The Myanmar military ordered a coup and the detainment of Aung San Suu Kyi and her government members last Saturday, February 1st, declaring a one year state of emergency. Myanmar will now be under Junta's reign as the military deposes the existing government and installs an ostensible government.
After winning by a landslide in the Myanmar Fall election, Aung San Suu Kyi was reelected to represent her country as a democrat. Suspicions raised during the following months after the military questioned the legitimacy of her win, wondering if any tampering of the election took place.
As rumors grew across the country, tension rose between the military and anti-government protesters to support their leader. On January 26st, a military advocate refused to rule out the possibility of a coup, and the day following was when Myanmar’s military chief stoked fears when he claimed that the constitution should be appealed if it was not abided by.
When the first of February arrived, tensions reached an ultimate peak and Myanmar’s military issued a statement saying the commander-in-chief’s comments had been misinterpreted and pledged to protect the constitution.
Not even hours had passed, and hundreds of protesters gathered around the capitol in Myanmar after hearing rumors of their government. The civilians held an anti-military rally where public speakers discouraged any talk of a coup with the support of the people.
There was a moment of complete silence across the country, the civilians nor government officials from the democrats knew what the next step would be. Then finally, one of the scariest moments for Myanmar’s political stability; Aung San Suu Kyi and her government officials were detained and sentenced to prison. While the security of Myanmar has always been unstable, it was at this moment that every civilian across the country understood that the faith of their country’s democracy is uncertain, remaining in the hands of their military.
Following the arrests, protests in not only Myanmar but from their neighboring countries broke out to speak out against their military. Thai protesters have been reported to join protests at the embassy 300 meters away from the Bangkok embassy to stand in solidarity with the people of Myanmar.
Police officers have since been ordered to stand ground in front of the embassies and government facilities, barring any form of entrance from the protesters. While journalists reported the protests to have been peaceful, once police pushed back the protesters and became aggressive, chaotic riots broke out in the streets of the country. Armed with weapons and gases, the police fought back aggressively to the civilians, owner of no weapons but their cardboard signs.
The anti-government protesters began picking up traffic cones and scraps of metal from the fencing to fight back, which escalated the protest to another extreme, losing the true meaning of their original fight; protesting against the government demanding for Aung San Suu Kyi to be put back in place.
The following week, on February sixth, the number of protests increased from a few hundred to thousands of scared and concerned civilians demanding the release of their rightly elected leader.
As the protests grew and caught the attention of their continent no less than their world, more foreign Asiatic civilians made their way to the streets to support the much-wanted democracy Myanmar deserves.
Many of the protesters took on the three-finger salute created by Susan Collins’ The Hunger Games. The Three fingers pointing upwards symbolizes a revolution and rebellion against totalitarian rule. Others carried signs of their former presidents’ face to stand in solidarity with her and their region’s democracy.
It was that same day that the military realized the seizing of their leader was not enough to stop the people’s voice. They then shut down the internet, telephone communications, and cable leaving the people isolated, with no exterior information explaining the status of their country.
As civilians become more and more disconnected from the rest of the world, the search for updates and responses will be slim, leaving the Myanmar military in all power over the people. Many are in fear for their safety of not only their lives but their political stability.
Since the blackout, many have rushed to Yangon, the country’s largest city to stock up on essentials in case they need to go into lockdown and a war breaks out. What took place in the last week from peaceful to aggressed protests are now being fired back to the civilians. After the blackout took over the country, tanks and military supporters toured the cities and cried for a civil war in honor of their military’s position.
“The military will never support us as long as they go against our hopes and dreams. I want to demand that they free mother Aung San Suu Kyi, the president and elected MP immediately”, A university student activist said to a BBC reporter.
These words spoken by one seem to be shared across the people of Myanmar. Many are scared and in disbelief over the situation, in fear of the uncertainty for the following year where the military takes totalitarian power of their country.