By Shin Kasahara, staff writer
A group of Myanmar nationals living in Japan on April 25 formed an organization in Tokyo to financially support pro-democracy lawmakers in Myanmar and others protesting the Feb. 1 military coup in their homeland.
The group calls itself Support CRPH Japan, which comes from the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH). The organization was established by legislators of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD).
“We want to expand this movement to gain backing from the Japanese public, and we believe that will contribute to peace in Myanmar,” said the group’s chairman, Than Swe.
Myanmar nationals have staged numerous protest rallies around Japan since the coup to draw attention to the military’s crackdown on civilians.
Support CRPH Japan members said they decided to found the group after learning members of the CRPH had established what they called a National Unity Government this month. The NUG says it is the legitimate government of Myanmar.
The group intends to raise funds to finance NUG’s activity and shore up ongoing civilian resistance to the military government.
It will also lobby the Japanese government to recognize NUG as a legitimate government.
Support CRPH Japan was founded by seven people, some of whom were involved in Myanmar’s pro-democracy movement in 1988.
The group, in line with NUG’s appointment of members of minority groups as senior officials, includes members who are Karen, Kachin and Palaung.
Group member Mai Kyaw Oo, who is Palaung, said the Myanmar military has cracked down on the ethnic minority for years.
“I will work from Japan so that ethnic minorities will join the Bamar majority in overthrowing the military and achieve equity among ethnic groups,” he said.