Education International strongly condemns the military coup and the unconstitutional arrests of democratically elected leaders in Myanmar. EI also supports the civil disobedience movement and stands with its subsidiary, the Myanmar Teachers' Federation (MTF), on their general strike for freedom and democracy.
President Dr. MTF's Sai Khaing Myo Tun issued a statement condemning the "trampling of democracy" and the unconstitutional arrest of President Win Myint, State Councilor Aung San Suu Kyi and other leaders. The MTF called for the release of all detainees and called on the military to recognize and implement the results of the November 2020 elections.
“We support the Myanmar Teachers' Federation and their efforts with other unions and civil society allies to respect the election results. We stand with the brave leaders of the MTF in their struggle for freedom and democracy, ”said David Edwards, General Secretary of Education International.
“The people of Myanmar should never be forced to return to the isolation, fear and despair of military rule. We stand in solidarity with the teachers, workers, young people and committed citizens who raise their voices with great courage. " David Edwards added.
Education International calls on the United Nations and national governments to condemn the military coup in Myanmar and to press for the release of all those detained since February 1, compliance with the election results and the continuation of the democratization process in Myanmar.
Education International is also calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Australian academic Sean Turnell. Professor at Macquarie University and member of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU), Turnell is the director of the Myanmar Development Institute and economic advisor to Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi. He was arrested after the February 1 military coup and has been detained ever since.
Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) party won a landslide victory over the military-led USD party in the November 2020 elections. The seat of the newly elected parliament was prevented by a military coup on February 1.
President Win Myint, State Councilor Aung San Suu Kyi and more than a hundred NLD-elected lawmakers were arrested. The military, claiming the elections were fraudulent, set up a military government and declared a state of emergency for a year. However, the unfounded fraud claims came The election results were confirmed by an independent election commission and validated by international election observers.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres described the coup as a "heavy blow to democratic reform" and the UN Security Council is considering action. Many governments urged the reversal of the military takeover and the restoration of democracy. Some governments are considering imposing targeted economic sanctions on Myanmar. The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and the global union federations, as well as many national trade union organizations, have called for strong condemnation from governments.