Dictator Watch
April 16, 2021

NCGUB, MPU and CRPP were previous incarnations of governments in exile, and which accomplished - ultimately - nothing. What can/will the NUG do?

In the context of the popular revolution, the formation of the NUG is positive, if only because Min Aung Hlaing and Than Shwe won't like it. Any coordination of the different groups of people in Burma opposed to them is good. Further, it should help reinvigorate the protests. And, Min Ko Naing definitely deserves the benefit of the doubt. If he is for the NUG - he announced it - then it deserves a chance.

Personally, though, I am more hopeful about his NUCC, the National Unity Consultative Council.

From the Federal Democracy Charter: "there are also plans to establish a National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC) to coordinate cooperation among federal democracy forces. The NUCC will include representatives of the CRPH, political parties, EAOs, civil society organisations and CDM groups."

The NUG (which presumably will now replace CRPH) will be useful to the extent that it promotes CDM and helps the people who have lost their jobs and everyone who is in need of food and support. But otherwise, it seems mainly a diplomatic exercise, like the earlier groups listed at the start. This can be good, too, if the U.S. comes through, with recognition and funding. President Biden really has to step up now (assuming the U.S. did not have a role in the NUG's formation - it's interesting that they have a TV channel already).

On the ground, however, what will actually defeat the regime are:

The protests - to create the overall environment of resistance.

CDM and the strike, to shut down the country and deny the dictatorship legitimacy.

Pressure against international corporations, to get them to withdraw their financial support. It can't be over-emphasized that Total may well be the key. If activists can force this company to stop funding the dictatorship, it will be much weaker. China and Russia will never give money to the generals. Rather, they just want the natural gas proceeds in exchange for their jets and guns. The junta is their customer.

The people fighting back, forming defensive - and offensive - units, and rising up against all dictatorship entities and supporters.

The EAOs fighting offensively against the Tatmadaw and winning major victories.

And finally, the rank and file Tatmadaw soldiers, through both fleeing the Army and attacking senior officers. The Tatmadaw has to collapse for Burma to be free.

So, the NUG is good, but it sounds like the NUCC may be better, as it will be more involved in coordinating those actions that will actually cause the Tatmadaw to fail.

People are fighting and dying right now, every day. They don't actually require a government at this point. It's a revolution. They need money, food, weapons, and communications. If the NUG can get them, then it is positive. If not, it's just another talk shop/NGO.