Ever since the military coup in Myanmar on 1st February 2021, the country has been battling its own security forces for the re-establishment of democracy. As days are passing, the protest is growing more violent and chaotic. Hundred of thousands of protestors of every age group are taking to the streets, but at the same time, the military and police forces are also doing all in their power to end the protest.
In an informal General Assembly meeting of the United Nations on Myanmar crisis; Christine Schraner Burgener, Special Envoy urged the international bodies to stop the leaders of the Army Coup by “any means necessary”.
The unrest after military coup in Myanmar
In 1991, Mrs Aung San Suu Kyi was honoured with the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize for her constant non-violent fight for democracy in Burma. The country was praised globally for the successful democratic election of November 2020 handing victory to NLD by 82% of the total electable seats.
The unrest in Myanmar started after first February, the day on which the newly re-elected government of Prime Minister Aung San Suu Kyi’s NDL was to take the office. In the early morning of the same day, the military detained all the political leaders, declared a state of emergency in the country for one year, hence the military coup.
The Southeast Asian country was a young democracy that gained an elective government after more than 40 years of military rule. Only after a decade of democracy, the military again took over the country’s politics. This flamed the sparking rage amongst the citizens and now Myanmar is witnessing one the largest protest in the country’s history.
The scale of animosity can be seen by the huge number of determined protestors demonstrating in various cities and towns who want their elected prime minister back. The large scale protest is depicting the fragility of the country’s democratic landscape and is converging the international government’s eyes to Myanmar.
The anti-coup protest turning violent
Myanmar’s security forces are being criticized globally for using harsher methods to suppressing the agitated demonstrators. Protestors have entered the fourth week of unrest protest against the coup, demonstrating in almost all the major cities of the country.
Security forces were seen using rubber bullets, stun grenades and tears gases along with harshly beating the protestors on the major protest sites in Yangon, Sule Pagoda downtown, Hledan in Kamayut township and Myaynigone in Sanchaung township. Hundreds of protestors have been detained, even non-violent protestors are harmed by the police force.
Journalists who try to document the violent tactics of security forces against peaceful protestors are being increasingly targeted and arrested. According to the locals, a multimedia reporter who was live-streaming the protests was arrested in Myaynigone. Even international journalists are being detained covering the protests.
A few domestic media houses claim a woman being shot killed on Saturday in Conway. In a few parts of Yangon, protestors were seen embattling barricades to slow down the security forces from reaching the protestors.
Mrs Aung San Suu Kyi post the coup was detained in her own house, but now media houses claim that she had been displaced to another anonymous location. Her lawyer Khin Maung Zaw has confirmed this and says “I’m concerned that there will be a loss of rights to access to justice and access to legal counsel.”
The growing international concern
Christine Schraner Burgener, Special Envoy while addressing the informal UN general assembly earlier this week, described the situation of Myanmar as “fragile and fluid”. She condemned the coup and urged the ambassadors to send a clear signal in support of democracy to the Myanmar milatry.
Ms Burgener further shed the light on how the military held the maximum power even before the coup and said genuine democracy should give control to the civilians.
Kyaw Moe Tun, Myanmar’s ambassador in the UK, joining the envoy said, “all strongest possible measures to stop the violent and brutal acts committed by the security forces against peaceful demonstrators, and end the military coup immediately”. Filled with emotions and a breaking voice, he lifted his hand in a three-finger salute, supporting the pro-democracy protest.
An Al Jazeera’s reported James Bay, on the ambassador’s urge to the UN says; “This may well spur some members of the General Assembly to take a slightly tougher position. The General Assembly doesn’t have real teeth but it certainly amplifies a message and may well also give a little bit of a prod to the other key organ of the United Nations, the one that does have the teeth – the United Nations Security Council”.
The United Nations have asked the international community not to legitimate and provide any governmental recognition to the military regime of Myanmar.
Globally, the Burma army is being criticised for the military coup in Myanmar, the Envoy said, “There is no justification for the military’s actions, and we must continue to call for the reversal of this impermissible situation, exhausting all collective and bilateral channels to restore Myanmar’s path on democratic reform.”