- UN Human Rights Office – At least 18 people dead and over 30 wounded,”
- The increase in repression by the Burmese military suggests a change in the strategy of the Military Junta, which is less and less willing to tolerate protests against its seizure of power.
- An overwhelming victory for the Suu Kyi party in the November elections, which would allow for a consolidation of the civilian sectors in governance, was poorly welcomed by the military who claim there was fraud.
The military who seized power in Burma are stepping up the crackdown on demonstrations that have persisted since the first of February with citizens demanding the restoration of the democratic regime. Security forces began using live ammunition against the population and at least 18 people were killed on Sunday and 30 were injured across the country.
The past two days have been the deadliest since the military took power, according to the United Nations Human Rights Office, which counted 18 protesters killed and 30 wounded. “Throughout the day, in several locations throughout the country, police and military forces have confronted peaceful demonstrations, using lethal force and less-than-lethal force that – according to credible information received by the UN Human Rights Office – has left at least 18 people dead and over 30 wounded,” the office said on Sunday.
The violence against the demonstrators is accompanied by almost arbitrary arrests of anyone who approaches the concentration sites, including dozens of journalists. On Saturday alone, 479 people were classified as “protesters against the state” by the state television channel MRTV.
“We Will Not Accept!”
The increase in repression by the Burmese military suggests a change in the strategy of the Military Junta, which is less and less willing to tolerate protests against its seizure of power. The rejection of the imposition of a riot police have detained scores of students and teachers. Military dictatorship is almost consensual in Burma, which spent much of its history after independence in 1948 under the rule of such a regime.
In a highly divided society around ethnic groups, opposition to the military has served as a unifying element, bringing together the majority Buddhist and other religions, as well as unions and students.
Despite the intensification of violence by the authorities, there is no sign that the protest movement will demobilize. “It is obvious that they‘re trying to instill fear in us by making us run and hide, We can’t accept that.” protester Esther Ze Naw told Reuters
About a decade ago, Burma started a democratic process, although military leaders have never strayed from politics. In 2015, the first free elections gave a victory to the National League for Democracy, paving the way for the first civilian government, led unofficially by Aung San Suu Kyi – the main face of the fight against the military and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.
An overwhelming victory for the Suu Kyi party in the November elections, which would allow for a consolidation of the civilian sectors in governance, was poorly welcomed by the military who claim there was fraud. On February 1st, the main Burmese political leaders were arrested, including Suu Kyi, in a swift military operation.
The leadership of the Military Junta has declared the state of exception and says it will schedule elections within a year, but these promises are viewed with profound skepticism by the general population.