3 Years After the Coup: Towards a Democratic Myanmar and Its Impact on Security Along the Thai Border

Remarking the 3 years after the Myanmar coup, Thailand’s Parliamentary Committee on National Security, Border Affairs, National Strategy, and National Reform has hosted a conference “3 Years After the Coup: Towards a Democratic Myanmar and Its Impact on Security Along the Thai Border” together with International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA), ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR), Fortify Rights, Mizzima Media Group, and SEM aiming to build the collaboration between pollical agency and the others both in Thailand, Myanmar, and International Communities,  and to lead the role for peace dialogue and peace solution in Myanmar.

“There is no denying that peace and prosperity in Myanmar are fundamental to securing the same for Thailand and the Southeast Asian region

By actively engaging in this peace process, we don’t merely act for ourselves; we assume a vital role on the international stage. Bringing together diverse stakeholders, nurturing an environment conducive to dialogue, and actively supporting the pursuit of a peaceful solution – these actions offer Thailand the chance to reclaim its credibility in the international arena. A successful constructive engagement that paves the way for a lasting political solution and a democratic future for Myanmar, will not only benefit the people of that nation but will also reaffirm Thailand’s commitment to regional stability and its dedication to collaborative action.” said Rangsiman Rome, Chairperson of Thailand’s Parliamentary Committee on National Security, Border Affairs, National Strategy, and National Reform.

Rangsiman Rome, Chairperson of Thailand’s Parliamentary Committee on National Security, Border Affairs, National Strategy, and National Reform giving a welcome speech

At the conference, there were many interesting sessions including the panel discussion on “Navigating the Political Landscape”, “Facing the Humanitarian Crisis”, “The Power of the Media”, “Ethnic Voices”, “Charting a Course for Thailand”, and “Building International Bridges”,  the presentation on “Unraveling the Economic Web” and “APHR’s Humanitarian Aid Fact Finding Mission Report Findings and Recommendations”, and the keynote address by Thailand’s house representatives, the permanent representative of Myanmar to the UN, the Myanmar youth representative on “Myanmar’s Future Through the Eyes of the Youth”, and Thai academia on “Thailand’s Path to Peace and Democracy in Myanmar.”

The panels offer crucial insights into the present political and conflict situation in Myanmar, as well as the humanitarian crisis affecting the whole country. These issues have far-reaching consequences, including impacts on Thailand’s border security and regional and global security threats such as armed conflict, military incursions, transnational crimes, narcotics, human trafficking, forced migration, and infectious diseases.

It is crucial to note that these impacts are not limited to internal affairs. All kinds of issues that insecure Myanmar people, also have a great impact on the neighboring countries and international communities as well. Thailand, along with ASEAN and others, is a key stakeholder in leading and solving this problem. Thailand’s commitment to peace and democracy in Myanmar has been questioned by many people, as pointed out by Surachart Bamrungsuk, a national security lecturer at Chulalongkorn University, that

“Peace in Myanmar is a very challenging topic for political security issues in 2024. Only the last question remains: How will the Thai government proceed to create Thailand’s role in this matter?”

Padipat Santipada, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, said “This two-day event represents a testament to our collective commitment to addressing this complex and multifaceted challenge. We have brought together a diverse and distinguished group of individuals, representing the international community, civil society organizations, esteemed experts, and most importantly, the brave people of Myanmar themselves.

I have long understood the importance of open dialogue and peaceful engagement. This conference exemplifies that very spirit. We gather here not only to hear diverse perspectives and gain valuable knowledge, but also to bridge divides, find common ground, and work together towards a more just and peaceful future for all.”

Padipat Santipada, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives giving an opening speech

Besides the conference, SEM also displays an “In-Between” exhibition to present updated information on the effect of Myanmar’s army airstrike operation in Myanmar, the timeline of major influx to Thailand since 2021 up to the present, including the consequence of the recent conscription law.

The exhibition also showcases the destroyed objects we called “Eyewitness From The Homeland”. It is evidence of items from the airstrikes carried out by the Myanmar army in the areas of Demoso and Loikaw, Karenni State, Myanmar over the past three years. The items include the shoes of a father who tragically lost his life in an airstrike, the books of children who have been deprived of their futures, the tear-stained longyi of a grieving mother, and the pots that she can no longer use to cook. The testimony of the brutality of dictators and wars, the grief of loss, the loss of breath, and the future that has been blown away. The eyewitness from the homeland, where people are still in-between.

For more photos: https://semasia.org/2024/04/02/in-between-exhibition/