The chaotic situation in Myanmar showed no signs of ending after the coup, as the protests still boiled and more and more people died.
Nearly two months after the military coup in Myanmar, the death toll is still increasing. The Myanmar army was accused of using force to suppress protesters at more than 40 locations across the country on March 27, mainly in Mandalay and Yangon, according to the Association to Support Political Prisoners (AAPP).
The United Nations said at least 107 Myanmar protesters, including seven children, were killed on the day and the number will grow further. Myanmar Now news agency reported that at least 114 protesters were killed across Myanmar on March 27, the anniversary of the country’s armed forces.
An additional 12 people were killed in protests in Myanmar on March 28, bringing the number of people who usually died from the February 1 coup to 459, according to the AAPP. Myanmar security forces were also reported to open fire on a protestant’s funeral in Bago city, near Yangon, on March 28.
Children were killed in clashes over the weekend, including several 13-year-olds and a 5-year-old baby. Witnesses and survivors recounted scenes of security forces shooting on densely populated areas in major cities such as Yangon and Mandalay.
Meanwhile, the media reported that the Myanmar generals seemed to have held an Armed Forces Day celebration party on March 27, when the bloody demonstration was taking place. “When the night sky in the capital Napyidaw blazed with a drone performance by military leader Min Aung Hlaing, his soldiers burned alive a grocer in Mandalay,” the Guardian article on March 28 there was a segment. “A witness said the man shouted for his mother when the fire enveloped him.”
Myanmar fell into turmoil when protests took place almost every day after the February 1 coup, prompting State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi and senior officials in the civilian government to be arrested and judged. end the democratic transition over the past decade.
The international community’s wave of condemnation has been strong and widespread. The heads of the Ministry of Defense of dozens of countries, including the US, UK, Australia and Japan, issued a statement criticizing the suppression of the Myanmar army’s bloody protests over the weekend.
“We urge the Myanmar Armed Forces to immediately stop the violence and work hard to restore respect and confidence to the Burmese people lost after their series of actions,” the statement said.
British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab described a bloody crackdown on March 27 that pushed Myanmar troops down “a new low”, while the European Union (EU) considered it “unacceptable”.
Tom Andrews, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Myanmar, calls on the Security Council for an emergency and international meeting to coordinate action to punish the Southeast Asian national army, including measures to limit the high-ranking official’s acquisition of oil and gas, as well as the purchase of weapons for use against civilians.
“The words of condemnation or concern have absolutely no value to the people of Myanmar,” Andrews said.
“It’s terrible,” US President Joe Biden said on March 28, adding that his administration is considering a new round of sanctions.
California’s Democrat Ami Bera, chairman of the House foreign affairs subcommittee for Asia, pointed to the move to punish two major conglomerates of the Myanmar military as a welcome step. “I strongly encourage my allies and partners to continue to work with the US to hold Myanmar’s military accountable for deflecting the country’s democratic process and increasing pressure on the Tatmadaw. of the Myanmar Army) “, said Bera. “It is unacceptable to hold onto power desperately by sacrificing the lives of those that the army must protect.”
However, Ishaan Tharoor, editor of the Washington Post, said there is little indication that the Security Council could take a tough action on the situation in Myanmar. Russian and Chinese officials are said to have been present at the regime’s celebrations on March 27. After the Myanmar army last weekend raided ethnic minority forces in the southeastern region of the country, forcing thousands of villagers to flee across the Thai border, many activists said The team has been strengthened after years of receiving support from Russia and China.
Meanwhile, military officials are viewing the protest movement as a threat backed by foreign forces. “They see protesters as criminals because anyone who disobeys or demonstrates against the army is a crime,” Tun Myat Aung, an officer who has left the anti-coup protest line, told NYTimes. . “Most soldiers have never experienced democracy in their entire lives. They still live in the dark.”
On the other hand, the protest movement with the participation of a young generation did not want the country to withdraw from the decade of economic and political liberalization and reform.
“Neither side, the military or the protest movement, is ready to step back,” said Moe Myint, editor of the BBC. “The military thinks they can use violence to achieve stability and security. But the street protest, led by young people, is determined to take the country out of the military regime forever.”
Lee Morgenbesser, a senior lecturer at Griffith University in Australia, said the protest movement in Myanmar “may never and never” reach a threshold of force stability to sustain long-term. “That means the coup can only be reversed if there is division within the Tatmadaw, which is known to be one of the most cohesive and enduring forces in the world,” said Morgenbesser.
Thanh Tam (According to the Washington Post)