In a spartan hillside room in India, furnished only with a thin sleeping mat, the Myanmar member of Parliament (MP) spends much of his days attentively listening to Zoom conference calls and tapping away messages on his smartphone.
The short, soft-spoken man is among roughly a dozen ousted Myanmar MPs who have fled across the border to India’s remote northeastern region after the Myanmar military’s February 1 coup and lethal a crackdown on dissent.
Reuters spoke to two such lawmakers and to a Myanmar politician, all involved with the Committee Representing the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), a body of ousted lawmakers that is attempting to re-establish the civilian government and displace the military.
The three said the group was supporting demonstrations, helping distribute funds to supporters and holding negotiations with multiple entities to quickly form a civilian administration across the nation. They asked not to be named for fear of reprisals against their families.
Most of the ousted lawmakers are from deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) that had overwhelmingly won a November 2020 election, which the military has annulled.
The coup has been met with a fierce pro-democracy movement and tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets, despite the crackdown.