By now, you may have heard about the political upheaval that took place January 31, 2021 in Myanmar. Of note, the military has staged a coup and prevented those elected in the November 2020 elections from taking power. They have placed the country under martial law for one year. They have also detained Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and many of her key colleagues in the elected government.
These events are causing much fear and distress across Myanmar and among those who dearly love the people of Myanmar.
We are in close contact with our senior leadership in Myanmar and will support their efforts to ensure the safety of all staff and partner villages. Unfortunately, the entire Myanmar-based staff has been through such trying times before, and they know how to care for one another during these trials. As of now, they have confirmed the safety of all staff and villages. Fortunately, the ongoing events are focused on the capitol, Naypyidaw, and the commercial capital of Yangon. They are not taking place near our partner villages.
Given that these events began barely 48 hours ago and are still playing out, we don’t have much more information at this stage. I can report that some of Shanta’s project work is continuing, if cautiously, while in other regions the senior in-country management has decided to pause briefly for a safety evaluation. The safety of our staff and villagers is our paramount concern, and we will defer to our in-country leadership to determine when it is safe to resume any activities that have been paused.
Thank you for your deep concern for the villagers of Myanmar and our staff. While they are not directly involved in these events, political unrest in the nation can only make their circumstances more precarious. After a year of the pandemic and its negative effect on the Myanmar economy, millions across the country are teetering on the edge of extreme poverty. Now more than ever they need our support and the knowledge that we will be there for them regardless of these events.
Please contact me directly if you have any other questions and do keep our Myanmar brothers and sisters on your mind and in your heart. We will be in touch as we learn more and the events continue to unfold.