A brief about Myanmar:
Myanmar is located in the southeast region of Asia, with a population of about 54 million people. This country is Burma. The capital of Myanmar is NAY PYI TAW, and the neighboring countries are Thailand, Laos, Bangladesh, India, and China.
The main religion followed in this country is Buddhism. However, there are many other ethnic groups in the country, including Rohingya Muslims.
British rule in Myanmar lasted from 1824 to 1948. From the successive three Anglo-Burmese wars, Burma was a province of British India. To an independently annexed colony and finally independent. After every war, new regions designate as the minor province of British India.
Finally, after the third Anglo-Burmese war in 1885, annexation of the upper half (central region) of Burma takes place, and therefore led to the creation of the BURMA in British India. British rule finally left Myanmar after world war II, and it gained independence on 4 January 1948.
Burma separate from the Indian empire just ten years before India became an independent country in 1947.
Burma becomes Myanmar on 18 June 1989.
The country gains independence from Britain in 1948 and the armed forces rule from 1962 until 2011 when a new government began ushering in return to civilian rule.
WHAT HAS HAPPENED NOW IN MYANMAR?
As we all know, in 2011 in Myanmar, the civilian rule came into practice, but now the military is back in charge and has declared a year-long state of emergency. Through the general elections, Ms. Suu Kyi’s NLD party won the elections. Ms. Suu Kyi’s party won the elections just through a landslide, so the opposition party started demanding a rerun of votes.
The opposition party backs the armed forces saying that the winning party won through frauds. On the contrary, the election commission says that there is no evidence to support these claims raised by the military.
Ms. Suu Kyi is under house arrest and is in charge with various accusations such as violating the Covid-19 restrictions during the last year’s election campaigns and publishing news that may cause “fear of alarm.” She has also been accused of owning illegal walkie-talkies.
Now, the Military Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing has taken the power of ruling the country. He says that armed forces, the military, are with the public and forms a “true and disciplined democracy.” He also adds to hold a true and fair election once the state of emergency is over.
An order by the acting President Myint Swe, a former general, aligned with the army, granted full authority to the army chief to run the country, saying it was necessary to act now before the new parliament sessions began this week. The army statement says to check voter rolls and the election commission would be “re- established.”
WHAT MS. SUU SAN KYI HAS TO SAY ABOUT THE MILITARY COUP ?
Ms. Suu Kyi says that is an attempt to bring the nation back under military leadership and that they don’t care about the Covid-19 pandemic people are facing. She urges the public not to support the military actions but to oppose them. She also stated on the party’s Facebook Page, “We urge people to strongly oppose the unacceptable military coup.”
THE CURRENT SITUATION OF THE PUBLIC AND HOW THE PEOPLE HAVE REACTED IN MYANMAR.
The people have started protesting against the military coup. It is the largest protest since the saffron Revolution in 2007 when thousands of monks rose up against the military regime. The protesters include Teachers, students, government workers, and bank officers. Mass protesters are across the southeast Asian nation since the military seized power on Feb 1.
The current situation of the public in Myanmar is very disturbing and pitiful. The security forces are using water cannons, tear gas, rubber bullets, and live ammunition on the protesters so that they step back.
More than 50 people died in the protests who are calling for an end to the military rule and are demanding the release of their elected leader Ms. Suu Kyi.
But the people say that they will stand on the ground and will fight for their democracy. According to a protester in Myanmar, the military troops detained him for three hours and tortured with belts, chains, bamboo sticks, and batons.
They separated men and women from each other and photographed. The soldiers took them to a room, saying, “It’s the hell room, why don’t you guys have a taste?”
The protesters in Myanmar are hanging women’s clothes on strings to slow down the soldiers and police as walking under women’s clothes a bad omen already. “It’s their weakness,” a protester stated. Sometimes, they hung women’s underwear too.
One 64-year-old resident of Hlaing township told AFP: “I don’t want the coup. I have seen many transitions in this country and I was looking forward to a better future.”
Author and historian Thant Myint-U tweeted that a door had opened to a “very different future”. He feared for the millions who had been descending into poverty.
WHY THE ARMY IS TAKING THE ACTION NOW AND NOT BEFORE?
The tension between the armed forces and the government is well known to the people of Myanmar and other countries. The party backed up by the military, the USDP, didn’t win the last November’s general election due to their poor performance and poor campaigns, whereas the NLD did even better than in 2015.
The timing of the coup is self-explanatory. The coup unfolded a few hours before the first parliament session was to be held since the 2020 election. The tensions have been rising between the USDP and NLD since the 2015 elections. When even in the 2020 general elections, Ms. Suu Kyi won, it turned out to be very devastating for the military.
Both the elections showed the results of the increasing popularity of Ms. Suu Kyi and the degrading popularity of the armed forces. The army launched a brutal crackdown on Rohingya in Rakhine state before the 2020 elections in the name of fighting terrorism.
The crackdown forced over 70,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee Myanmar to the neighboring countries. The army projected commander-in-chief, Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, as he has an image of being a tough soldier always fighting for the security of the country.
But no actions of the USDP helped the armed-backed politicians win the elections. The USDP needs only 167 seats to form the government as 166 seats are already reserved for the military. On the other hand, NLD needed 333 seats to win the election. In the 2020 elections, NLD won by 396 seats, and USDP ended with only 33 seats.
Disappointedly, the military said that the election was won through chicanery and that we need to run a fresh election. The military also declared that it’s a state of emergency. The nation will be ruled by them for a year.
INTERNATIONAL REACTION TO THE COUP:
Dozens of people are escaping Myanmar borders to flee to the neighboring countries due to the military crackdown.
Many Burmese have including the policemen and women, have fled to Mizoram, fearing the military crackdown.
The MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs) has written to the Chief Secretaries of Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, and Arunachal Pradesh to “take appropriate action as per law to check illegal influx from Myanmar into India.”
The Myanmar people also tried to escape to Thailand. On 7th March, the Thai army declared that a group of eight Myanmar nationals tried crossing the Ruak river from Myanmar’s Tachileik district into Thailand’s Chiang Saen district. They were pushed back as they were ordered not to take in any refugees.
South Korea’s foreign ministry has said they will ban the export of arms and suspend defense exchanges to the country to suppress the anti-coup protesters. The US and UK have responded with sanctions, whereas Beijing has stated a preference for no violence in Myanmar.
Neighbors, including Cambodia, Thailand, and the Philippines, have said it is an “internal matter”.
Singapore, the biggest investor in Myanmar, said that whatever is happening there is inexcusable and that the coup should end.
In the end, the conclusion comes that no one is happy with what is happening in Myanmar. Even though many countries remain silent on their views. It is understandable that no country supports the coup. This madness should end soon as it is harmful and dangerous for their own people.
The enraged anti-military protesters want nothing but the release of their elected leader honoring November’s elections.
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