On the day of the annual observance for the 2021 International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, an important event was held in Seoul, Korea. The day was observed and celebrated on March 21, 2021, urging the Korean government to enact the Anti-discrimination Act under the slogan “Stop Racism! Equality Act Now!” Thanks to the organizers, the event was attended by the audience, both offline and online as well. The first part of the observance was the migrants’ speak-out platform on anti-racism. The speeches were delivered by invited guests representing various immigrant communities, interested groups and human rights defenders. The second part of the event hosted a panel debate on the establishment of the Anti-discrimination Act known as the Equality Act in Korea.
We celebrated the day with music and dance performances by the Filipino migrant women’s dance team and PADMA band. One of the important speeches was delivered by the Myanmarese migrant community in South Korea who spoke against the military coup, representing the people who are suffering in their own country because of the military junta. The speech has been roughly translated from Korean to English and you can read it here.
I am a Myanmar immigrant in Korea. First of all, I borrowed this place for my voice.
Thank you for allowing me to share the voice of Myanmar. As you all know, at the dawn of the 1st of last month, a military coup broke out in Myanmar, which was peaceful.
The symbol of democracy, Mrs. Aung San Suu-Kyi, the President, and all of her aides were detained.
The military took over the country through a coup on the grounds of fraudulent elections.
Since then, the people, including doctors, teachers, and bankers, started the civil disobedience movement. The younger generation took the lead in the protests. But even the Special Forces have stepped in to exercise bloody suppression against the citizens who are conducting non-violent protests. There are ruthless arrests and torture, which are getting worse. They enter the house at night without a warrant to make arrests. There are even incidents of bodies being returned to the bereaved family the next morning.
More than 200 heroes of democracy lost their lives, 2000 Koreans, including young students, were arrested. The highest number of deaths according to statistics is between the ages of 18 and 25. I really can’t help but shed tears.
Also, the media in Myanmar is completely under control. Border media only broadcast distorted reports that are not true, and the same goes for newspapers. Since the coup, you can’t use social media like Facebook without a VPN. Wi-Fi Internet access is possible now, but by blocking data service, I am also unable to make video calls with my parents in Myanmar and have to contact them by international phone call. You do not know when the use of wifi internet will be cut off.
So far, I have been talking about the situation in Myanmar at the national level after the coup.
What I really want to say is, I would like to ask you not to believe in the media on the borders of Myanmar, but to believe in the true voices of the people of Myanmar. This situation is not a war between progress and the conservatives, but a fight between right and wrong.
Every week, many Myanmar citizens in Korea hold various press conferences and protests are held throughout the country. Every time I cheer, support, and cheer! Thanks to many Korean citizens “We were able to make our voice more powerful.” The Korean government and the people of the Republic of Korea support and support the democracy of Myanmar. We are truly impressed and grateful. I think that not only me, but also many Myanmar people have the same heart.
Please. We ask for your continued support, solidarity, and interest. This time we must win. No more victims should come out. Please. That concludes my story.