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Statement from the Myanmar Research Network based at the University of Melbourne on the 2021 militar

On 1 February 2021, Myanmar’s military seized control of the country, arrested democratically elected leadersand declared a year-long state of emergency.

The coup presents a major blow to long-standing hopes for democratisation and peace in Myanmar. Throughout the country, citizens are responding through a growing movement of peaceful ‘civil disobedience’ and public protests in cities and towns.

As members of the Myanmar Research Network – which is based out of the University of Melbourne and includes researchers, students, alumni and colleagues in Australia and in Myanmar – we are deeply concerned by the military’s actions and by the impacts that these will have on the lives and welfare of Myanmar’s diverse peoples. We condemn the military coup, the arrest and detention of elected civilian leaders and their advisors, the disruption of telecommunication services, and the denial of citizens’ democratic rights and freedoms.

We are extremely concerned for the safety and wellbeing of people throughout Myanmar. And we extend our thoughts and solidarity to all our friends, colleagues, students and alumni in and from Myanmar.

We also extend our solidarity to the Unimelb Myanmar Student Association and Myanmar Students in Victoria, who have been working very hard since the coup to support Myanmar students during this difficult time and to coordinate with other associations across Australia, in response to the coup.

Together, Myanmar Students in Australia have issued a public statement on the coup, which you can access here:

In looking to the future, we will continue to work on supporting progressive political and social change in Myanmar. In particular, we aim to continue supporting our student community and collaborating with researchers, activists, civil society groups and others in and from Myanmar who are committed to respect for human rights and democracy.

We hope that the will and democratic rights of Myanmar’s people will be respected and that civilian rule will be rapidly restored.

Myanmar Research Network Members


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