Burma Solidarity Philippines (BSP) and its member organizations and allies join the Myanmar people, international community, democracy observers and solidarity activists around the world in commemorating the first anniversary of Myanmar junta’s bloody aerial massacre of Pazi Gyi Village that took 165 lives on 11 April 2023.

This brazen violation of International Humanitarian Law is a grim reminder that the Myanmar military junta shows casual disregard for fundamental human rights, wantonly snuffing  innocent lives to assert its illegitimate control over the country, and that it is willing to do anything just to maintain its grip on power. The international community in this regard has to act with urgency to help restore peace, justice and democracy in Myanmar.

Survivors from the massacre in Pa Zi Gyi recall that the junta not only bombed a community hall in the middle of a public celebration, the Myanmar military, displaying its brutality, further sent a military helicopter to target responders and survivors of the initial bombing attack. Around 40 children lost their lives in this incident, joining the thousands of innocent lives lost throughout the war as the Myanmar military junta continues to launch airstrikes on civilian areas suspected of cooperating with ethnic revolutionary organizations (EAOs).

In the first quarter of this year alone, as resistance forces seized more territories from the junta, it has doubled down on using aerial bombings of peaceful communities in Myanmar. This year alone, the number of airstrikes launched by the junta constituted 26% of all airstrikes launched through the entirety of the military campaign since Feb 01, 2021 attempted military coup.

Sadly, this continuing atrocity and war crimes being committed by the junta highlights the lack of meaningful intervention from international bodies such as the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), both of which have member-states downplaying the negative impact of the crisis and intervening in ways that promote the Myanmar military junta’s hideous agenda.

In particular, BSP notes that in China’s speech on 4 April 2024, UNSC Briefing on the Situation of the Rakhine State in Myanmar, the Chinese delegation remarked that the crisis is purely an internal affair. It was audacious enough to call for the international community’s neutrality and impartiality on the issue, while China remains one of the Myanmar junta’s main suppliers of weapons and dual use equipment. Without regard for justice, call for restoration of civilian power and the resistance movement’s goals for self-determination, China’s interventions in Myanmar consist of bizarre ceasefire arrangements between the junta and EAOs mainly to protect China’s economic interests in the country.

The Russian representative on the other hand called for a depoliticized and non-confrontational approach toward the Myanmar crisis, and condemned Western governments for exerting political pressure on the junta, including through the use of human rights in their calls. Russia too, like China, is one of the junta’s weapons trade partners. Russia’s call for a depoliticized approach is silly if not altogether absurd as it dilutes the role of human rights in conflict resolution.

Meanwhile, among ASEAN member-states, Thailand remains insistent on bilateral engagements and support for the Myanmar military junta. Recently, Thai administration allied political parties withdrew their representatives from a seminar engaging members  of the Myanmar EAOs and resistance movement in response to the Myanmar junta’s protest. This occurred in line with Thailand’s attempts to invite ASEAN foreign ministers to engage the junta and its provision of capacity building to junta officials. Additionally, Vietnamese, Malaysian, Indonesian and Singaporean business entities continue to allow the use of their ports, warehouses, and shipping vessels to transport aviation fuel used for the Myanmar junta’s aerial forces, despite international sanctions. The continued adherence of the ASEAN to its non-interference policy by member-states have done nothing but to shield the junta generals from accountability to war crimes and international criticisms.

While we commend how other attending parties in the UNSC briefing condemned the human rights violations occurring in the Rakhine state, we express concern on their continued faith in ASEAN’s Five Point Consensus, which the peoples of Burma have deemed irrelevant and a failure. We also note that countries sympathetic to the Myanmar military junta failed to acknowledge, perhaps deliberately, the plight of the Rohingya in the Rakhine state.

In light of the anniversary and the recent UNSC briefing, BSP and its allied civil society organizations in the Philippines reiterate the call of human rights organizations and Myanmar civil society to end the export of weapons and aviation fuel to Myanmar which  enable the junta to commit international humanitarian law violations resulting to prolonged armed conflict in the country.

We also echo the peoples of Burma’s call to coordinate humanitarian aid with the EAO’s humanitarian aid committees and community-based organizations. The resistance movement’s takeover of the border town of Myawaddy presents an opportunity for a fair and coordinated initiative that guarantees that humanitarian aid reaches the victims of the military junta’s atrocities.


We also call for support for Rohingya communities which includes upholding their right to self-determination. We encourage foreign governments and human rights institutions to engage the National Unity Government (NUG), the National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC), and EAOs which are developing a Rohingya policy for the political inclusion of the marginalized Rohingya people. Similarly, we call for sanctions and independent human rights investigation against the military junta, that has shifted from Rohingya genocide to ongoing forced conscription of Rohingya youths to serve as meat shields against EAOs.

Lastly, we call on ASEANto scrap the Five-Point Consensus (5PCs), which continues to portray the junta as a legitimate government in the crisis. The 5-Point Consensus  not only lacks transparency on how the ASEAN Special Envoy engages the junta and EAOs, but also has no clear indicators to address the junta’s blatant disregard for each point, and is selective in engaging EAOs and other democracy forces in conversation.

The entire solidarity movement calls for a tangible commitment of ASEAN member-states, not just the ASEAN authoritarian bloc, in facilitating a sustainable and peaceful resolution to the Myanmar crisis.

Today, Philippine solidarity activists commit to sustain and embrace the struggle of the peoples of Myanmar towards freedom, justice and restoration of democracy.  ###

Contact: Gani Abunda +639083241195