MYANMAR SOLIDARITY ACTION – CANDLELIGHT VIGIL

Summary of Action

This Saturday, 27 March 2021 from 8 PM to 9 PM, Amnesty International Malaysia is mobilising the public to join the growing global voices in solidarity with the people of Myanmar and their resistance. You can organise a ‘Stay at Home’ candlelight solidarity vigil or an on-ground candlelight vigil with your family members and friends in compliance with COVID-19 rules. This action will be carried out across several countries.

Background

The Myanmar military staged a coup on 1 February 2021. Over one month from the military coup, there has been a significant escalation in violence against and suppression of the people of Myanmar.

As of 23 March, at least 2,812 people have been arrested, charged or sentenced, of whom 2,418 remain in detention. The security forces are using increasingly lethal tactics and weapons normally seen on the battlefield in a planned, premeditated and coordinated manner against peaceful protesters and bystanders across the country. Live rounds, rubber bullets, water cannons, tear gas, flash-bangs and slingshots are used against peaceful protesters. A local NGO, AAPP Burma, suggests 275 people have been killed as of 23 March.

27 March 2021 is the ‘Myanmar Armed Forces Day’. Originally called ‘Resistance Day’ as people from all walks of life and various actors and forces were involved in the resistance against the Japanese occupation in 1945, it was later on changed to the Armed Forces Day so the military could take full credit for the resistance.

The candlelight vigils on this day will be used to stand in solidarity with the people of Myanmar as they reclaim the date for the Myanmar people and their strong spirit of resistance. We will light candles to remember those who have been killed by the Myanmar security forces, and to call for immediate action to stop the killing spree in Myanmar as the military intensifies violent repression against unarmed civilians.

In Malaysia, we also bring attention to the fact that are over 100,000 Myanmar refugees and asylum seekers living in Malaysia, seeking safety yet face discrimination, detention and violence. Despite strong statements against the military coup, the Malaysian government deported 1,086 Myanmar nationals to the Myanmar military—including children and UNHCR document holders. While we stand in solidarity with those in Myanmar who are demanding democracy and justice, we also draw attention to Malaysia’s responsibility to protect the people of Myanmar who face violence inside our own borders.

What to do/How to do it:

1. Stay at home candlelight solidarity action

Please take and post a photo of yourself holding a lighted candle on social media wearing black, with a sample message and hashtags below. You may also tweet or post a solidarity message on social media instead of a photo.

2. On-ground candlelight solidarity action

From 8PM-9PM on Saturday March 27, please organise a candelight solidarity vigil in compliance with COVID-19 rules. You can hold lighted candles together or place them on the floor to form a symbol or a phrase. You can set up or hold solidarity placards, art, or photographs

You can incorporate activities including saying prayers, singing songs of resistance, or observing a moment of silence dedicated to those who have been killed, and/or chanting a few slogans, or writing solidarity messages/signing on a banner, a card or a letter for their government to take action.

Please take videos and photos of your event and post to social media using the suggested hashtags.

When:

This Saturday, 27 March 2021 from 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Social media hashtags:

  • #MyanmarSolidarity
  • #WhatsHappeninginMyanmar
  • #SolidaritiBersamaRakyatMyanmar

Suggested messages:

  • Showing solidary with the people of Myanmar mourning the deaths of peaceful protester
  • Condemn the violence and human rights violations against peaceful protesters
  • Keep the calls on the international community to take immediate action to halt the violations and hold perpetrators to account
  • Highlight and call for an end to the violence against Myanmar nationals inside Malaysian borders

Here are some solidarity graphics you may use:

http://bit.ly/myanmarplacards

Examples of candelight formations:

Letter of “We want Justice”
Letter and Map of Myanmar
Letter of Solidarity

Safety Precautions

  • Please observe COVID-19 rules: scan MySejahtera (if it’s available), wear masks, observe social distancing of minimum 1 metre apart during all activities  
  • For on-ground action: Please scout the location before gathering 
  • Small gatherings of 5-12 people 
  • For indoor action: Please adhere to the 50% of the capacity limit 

Resources

Topics