Turmoil in Myanmar

Turmoil+in+Myanmar

Catherine Chan, Staff Writer

With the unrest in Myanmar, the numbers of protesters being killed and detained are rising each day. Since the Myanmar military, also known as Tatmadaw, staged a coup due to an allegedly fraudulent election, 250 heroes have died for the nation’s democracy while 2,175 have been detained. 

On Mar. 3, now recognized as the bloodiest day of the coup, approximately 61 people were reported dead with an estimate of over 100 people wounded. Many fatalities were caused by live ammunition fired into crowds in Yangon, Myingyan, Mandalay, Myeik, Bago, and Kalay. Ultimately, North Okkalapa, a township in Yangon, suffered the most casualties with around 20 reported dead and 40 wounded from the military’s gunshots. 

19-year-old Ma Kyal Sin from Mandalay garnered international sympathy after being killed by a shot to the head. The phrase on her shirt, “Everything will be okay,” went viral on social media, becoming a tagline of the revolution. A teen boy was killed in the same fashion in Myeik. This boy was eventually reported to be a 14-year-old and was not involved as a protester.

A 16-year-old Myanmar student named Victoria shared that on the bloodiest day of the coup, “we were just watching from the sidewalk and went to hide behind the shelter when I heard all the shotguns. We thought they were just firing into the sky. So I told my sister that we should head back home. She got shot.”

“At first I thought she just fell over out of anger. Only when people started helping her get up, we decided to take her helmet off so that she could breathe properly. The moment we took it off, blood started spilling out of her head. That moment, I realized that she got shot. We only have our mom left as our dad passed away too,” she said.

Victoria finished her message by saying, “I am going to keep fighting against this military, so that my little sister’s life is not wasted in vain. Please let the world hear our voices.”

As a result of the military’s violence, the people of Myanmar are making numerous attempts to declare that the military and its supporters will not be tolerated in their society. Military-affiliated brands, celebrities, and individuals are being boycotted online for their silence and complicity. 

On Mar. 24, a deafening silence greeted the terrorist military council in a silence strike. Images depicted the streets of Yangon, one of the busiest cities in Myanmar, completely emptied and eerily quiet, with no cars, no people, no shops, and no businesses. Yangon was joined by several other cities in their silence strike, including Mandalay, Kyauk Mel, Mone Ywar, Mu Sel, Lwai Kaw, Myit Kyee Neer Bo Mou, PaThein, and more.

The citizens acted in resilience to show that their cities belonged to the people and not the military regime. Their persistence and silence speaks loudly to the world as they fight back for their democracy.

 

Photo courtesy of BBC.COM