The paradigm of ruling has been changed: from reign to court. Long before, the political affair was mainly carried by the ruler’s arbitrary decisions, but in the present the decision-makers are hugely people of the nation who constantly voice for the equity and better future for the younger generation. The three countries: Hong Kong, Thailand and Myanmar, have been fighting for their freedom. As long-term political discordance continues, with inundating tidings, the Mirror summarized the salient points of the current political issues of the following three countries.
Hong Kong: 2019-2020 Hong Kong Protest
In 2019, the Hong Kong’s legislative enacted the amendment Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation Bill which is known as 2019 Hong Kong extradition bill. The bill was amended to provide mutual legal assistance and mechanism for transfers of fugitives not only for Taiwan but also for Mainland China and Macau. Unexpectedly, the Chinese government took advantage of the bill by arresting the voices of political dissents in Hong Kong. Following the people’s disagreement and protest against the act, The Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region was established by the mainland China under the pretext of protecting the Hong Kong from the intense pro-democracy protests. The National Security Law of Hong Kong was passed on June 20 of 2020, it became an igniting point of the Hong Kong’s democracy movement. Against the mainland’s stifling on voices of democracy, the anti-Beijing as known as pro-democracy backers cry for their freedom. Toward the upheaval, the mainland police forcefully arrested and attacked guiltless citizens of Hong Kong.
So far, nothing has been changed. Recently, Hong Kong’s teacher union disbanded as the government of Hong Kong cut ties with the association and the China’s media reported them as “malignant tumor” which promulgate anti-Beijing ideology. Hong Kong’s citizens with British National (Overseas) Passport (BNO) expatriated to be free from China’s oppression. The organizations related to pro-democracies suffering from scrupulous crackdowns, as the fund supporting arrested protesters stopped receiving donations and The Civil Human Rights Front, the main organizer of yearly protest marches in Hong Kong, ended up being disbanding under the intense police pressure.
Thailand: 2020-21 Thai Protest
A year has passed since the pro-democracy’s protests against the all-powerful Thai monarchy. Thailand, a country ruled by the monarch, has all the mighty authorities of the Royal family from controlling corporations, army and even prime minster, and their influence reaches to every corner of Thai society. The Thai protests were initiated with the demonstrations against the government of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s corruption, economic mismanagement and delinquency in responses to coronavirus. Later, the protest expanded to demands for reformation of the country’s monarchy which is a breaking taboo of publicly criticizing the ruling system, as the monarch is a God-like figure. The pro-democracy protesters demand a reformation of the monarchy: to separate the King’s personal and royal assets, reduce the budget allocated to the monarchy, abolish the unnecessary Royal Offices and units and to open assets of the monarchy to audit. However, following this issue, the Thailand researchers of the Human Right Watch claimed that “The situation is quickly deteriorating.” The royal police are forcing the lawyers to retract defending the protesters and the authorities of Thailand are getting aggressive more than ever. Still, the Royal ruling system is intact, and the future of Thailand is in obscurity.
Myanmar: 2021 Burmese Protest
Followed by the Myanmar’s General Election in November 2020, the military junta appealed an electoral fraud over the landslide victory of Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of National League for Democracy (NLD). In other words, the military junta started a coup to remove the democratically elected government and to seize political power. The head of NLD was put under house-arrest in the junta’s purpose to suppress her political clout and to dampen her supporter’s democratic spirits.
The Burmese considered the military intervention as corrupted and raised a huge backlash. To control the city, the coups cutdown the internet, hindered communication wires and foreign news channels, even arrest the foreign reporters and muzzled the local media. The young went into the jungle to be a part of People’s Defense Force (PDF) to protect themselves and their freedom. It is reported that about 900 of people are dead and thousands of people are arrested*. The frontline medical workers witnessed countless dead bodies are carried to the hospitals with serious wounds, a headshot which is intended to kill the people, not to suppress or threaten.
The activists are still fighting to reshape the nation without the military junta and their ideologies. It is prospected by the Myanmar’s General Min Aung Hlaing that “The country’s state of emergency would be extended until August 2023 and promised new general elections.”
*Numbers reported on August 7th
Still the three countries’ people are living in insecurity of violent political tensions. It is yet obscure how much time is required to recover their status quo. Even though the substantive support is impossible, the continuous attention on their voices will be the best humanitarian aid we can provide as we were once the seekers of the democracy.
By Kim Chaiwon Editor-in-Chief