Voices of Myanmar: Hopes for the country’s future
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Voices of Myanmar: Hopes for the country’s future

In the weeks that have passed since Myanmar’s February 1 coup d’état, as dissenters have been jailed, disappeared and killed, a group of JURIST law student correspondents* has participated in street protests by day and navigated government-ordered internet blackouts by night to report on the crisis.

Below, we share some of their hopes for the future of Myanmar. What follows are perspectives gathered in recent weeks from JURIST’s correspondents and other student respondents from law schools across Myanmar. All of these responses are being published anonymously due to the risks faced by these students.  While we have made minor revisions for clarity, we have endeavored to publish these students’ words in their own voices, with minimal editorial interference.

This is part five of a series of articles in which we explore the Myanmar crisis from the perspectives of our correspondents on the front lines. All five parts can be accessed via the following links:

I hope the crisis is resolved via the removal of the military dictatorship, and the punishing of those who are responsible for the coup. I also want to see the formation of a government by those who were elected by the people of Myanmar in November 2020. The people of Myanmar have made clear their desire for true democracy. I hope that as a result of our revolution, Myanmar will become a democratic nation, and we will develop a new constitution that completely removes the possibility of a military dictatorship.

I really hope when this crisis is resolved, our democratically elected leaders will be freed and the new government will work for democracy, freedom, peace and development in every sector of the country. In order to reach our destination, we will keep fighting side-by-side and supporting each other. I believe that the power of the people will prevail over the use of force.

I hope to gain genuine democracy for our country as soon as possible. We have never wanted to live under a dictatorship. We want our leaders – those who were democratically elected during the latest elections – to take back control, and we want to see Myanmar flourish.

I hope Myanmar will become a democratic country where 100% of the sovereign power flows from the civilians. I also hope we will be able to bring the perpetrators of the military coup to justice before the International Criminal Court or the International Court of Justice.

I hope to see this resolved by way of a triumph of justice over injustice. At the same time, I can’t help but wonder if there isn’t a better way to fight for justice than by protesting in the streets only to be shot at. Is there really nothing else we can do to stop this crisis?

The junta must fail in order for justice to prevail.

I hope that by fighting side-by-side and standing together we will be able to resolve this crisis soon.

Above all I hope that this crisis will end peacefully, but I’m starting to fear that won’t be possible.

I think the international community needs to focus diplomatic efforts on recognizing the leadership of the people who were fairly elected. And I hope the International Criminal Court will issue warrants against those responsible for this coup.

I do think that the junta is incapable of actually running the country. They can’t run hospitals, banks and offices with guns, and they likewise can’t handle logistics like keeping air traffic flowing and managing public transportation. They need us; without the people of our country, the junta is powerless.

We need to take a stand, and when this is all over, we need to ensure that our country is headed into a democratic transition.

*Please note:  All of these responses are being published anonymously due to the risks faced by these students.  While we have made minor revisions for clarity, we have endeavored to publish these students’ words in their own voices, with minimal editorial interference.