Donors and friends open wallets to fund Myanmar’s government in exile

Want a website developed? Free studio portrait? Just donate some money to Myanmar’s provisional government.

Those are some of the perks being offered in recent days as Myanmar’s people open their wallets to a crowdfunding campaign that in two weeks has raised US$9.2 million and rising for the exile government of elected lawmakers who, as the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, hope to lead the nation once the military is removed from power.

The campaign is meant to help the committee, best known by its acronym CRPH, to “implement its political visions and carry out its primary responsibilities,” according to its GoFundMe pitch. That includes supporting ongoing protests and the civil-disobedience campaigns which have brought the nation to a halt.

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Its pledge to build a more inclusive, federal government has won the support of many of Myanmar’s armed ethnic groups.

“Donate $100 US to [the committee] and get a one-year website from me,” a Kyeyoung Lin offered on Facebook.

A well known photographer from Yangon also offered a portrait session at his studio.

The average amount donated has been quite high – over US$115 – and organizers hope to ultimately reach over US$15 million, relying on Myanmar’s reputation as one of the world’s most generous nations.

The most generous givers however have been members of the Myanmar diaspora, particularly given that few within the country can access the campaign, given that mobile internet data remains cut off by the junta.

They’ve harnessed some of the anger, especially after images generals celebrating over a lavish banquet attended by officials from Russia, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan on the same day more than 100 people were killed in the streets.

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