By Mr. Theera Watcharapranee, Stopdrink Network, ILDC 2017, Thailand
One year ago on 1st Feb, when the military of Myanmar seized the power from the civilian government, the people of Myanmar became united in their opposition with the principles of civil disobedience and peace. At the same time, however, the number of innocent people were injured and killed by the military every day. This situation has made public safety worse. People gradually had fear of their own security and stopped posting about what’s happening around them on SNS.
In ILDC 2017, we, the participants visited Hiroshima and shared our idea of peace building in our own communities. Eve san, one of the co-participants from Myanmar, mentioned that she would like to create a place where people can freely get together in the community. “Peace” is a powerful and achievabble word that people of Hiroshima gave to us. Then I thought what we can do to encourage our friends in Myanmar. It was easy if I just send a direct message to her. However, I thought it is much better if more alumni of ILDC could think about Myanmar together.
With the advice from AHI, I took an initiative to hold a small online meeting on April 7, 2021. 7 participants from 5 countries including Eve san joined to discuss on possible role of NGOs in a conflict situation. Eve san shared about the situation of Myanmar at that time and how her organization has supported people in need even under the martial law.
Mr. Sunarman Sukamtoon (ILDC 2004, Indonesia) raised his concern that the living of the persons with disabilities must be harder. Ms. Khanitta Saeiew (ILDC2019, Thailand) emphasized on the importance of our solidarity to support people of Myanmar.
After the online meeting the open letter which was drafted by myself and approved by the participants of the meeting was shared on social media. More other alumni joined with their solidarity message and signature. We shared the meaning of hope and peace and felt connected for the solidarity.
However, we still need to speak out for people of Myanmar who has not surrendered and kept fighting by Hope and Peace until now!!