Global YMCA movement joins the Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs in calling for a peaceful restoration of democracy in Myanmar.
In the name of the young people and communities in Myanmar which it serves, and in the name of community and democracy and livelihoods and of the country’s continued efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, the YMCA Movement calls for the restoration of democratically elected leaders in Myanmar.
We offer our strong support and solidarity to the people of Myanmar and pray for the restoration of the peace and justice which was their vision in the elections of November 2020, in which the National League for Democracy won over 80% of seats.
Myanmar was waiting for the newly elected legislators to begin their new mandate when the parliament session reopened. The people of Myanmar hoped especially that the new Government would be able to regain the trust of the people and the international community, rebuild the economy, and improve the country’s Foreign Direct Investment.
The whole YMCA community across the Asia-Pacific region therefore woke up in shock on 1st February to hear the news that the military had seized control of the country, under an 11-member junta led by the armed forces chief Min Aung Hlaing. The military has declared a year-long state of emergency with the transfer of legislative, executive, and judicial powers to the Commander in Chief. The coup d’état disrupted internet connections and phone lines throughout the country. Pro-democracy activists have been arrested, and soldiers are on the streets.
“Our thoughts are with the people of Myanmar at this time”, said Nam Boo-Won, General Secretary of the Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs. “They are also specifically with our friends and colleagues at the 70 year-old YMCA of Myanmar, based in Yangon and with 17 local YMCAs across the country, serving an estimated 120,000 people.”