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Burmese protests countrywide call for a “spring revolution”

Neill Fronde

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FILE PHOTO: Protests in Myanmar / Burma February 2021. (via Wikimedia)

Calls for a “spring revolution” erupted from thousands of protestors marching across Myanmar today to protest the Burmese military junta. The country has been in turmoil since the Feb 1 coup that overthrew Aung San Suu Kyi’s government and installed military rule. Protests have raged for 4 months despite the Burmese military cracking down on demonstrations, often violently and bloodily, with an estimated 760 deaths and 4,500 people detained.

Today activists, many young students, started early, collecting at a downtown street corner in former capital city Rangoon, forming a flash mob that marched quickly up the blocks. The flurry grew quickly but also disseminated just as quickly, hoping to avoid another bloody clash with military forces.

Burmese protesters called for a “spring revolution” and a show of unity, changing phrases like “to get democracy is our course!” and “to bring down the military dictatorship is our course!” They waved the famous Hunger Games three-finger resistance salute.

Around the country, similar protests sprung up. In Mandalay, monks in bright orange robes and carrying the National League for Democracy flag led hundreds of demonstrators. In the Shan state to the north, young marchers carried large signs exclaiming “we cannot be ruled at all.” But junta military forces fired upon the crowds by 10 am, with one person shot in the head and killed. Protestors said that the Burmese military demanded the victim’s body, but friends hid him and planned a funeral.

After the brazen show of unity in protest, the military was reportedly patrolling areas arresting any young people they suspected had participated in demonstrations. Unidentified bomb explosions rocked Rangoon, with the military pinning the blame on protestors and characterizing them as instigators.

Conflicting info coming from the opposing sides have emerged. As the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners has been gathering statistics and claim 759 civilians have been killed, the junta disagrees. The AAPP is a local monitoring group, but has been labelled by military leaders as an unlawful organisation and dispute their figures. The military claims that 17 police officers and 7 soldiers have been murdered by Burmese protestors and the number of dead demonstrators is actually 258.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Gosport

    Sunday, May 2, 2021 at 5:15 pm

    It is revolution not demonstration. The NGOs show true color

  2. Avatar

    Jason

    Sunday, May 2, 2021 at 6:31 pm

    Forget the “Spring Offensive”, just stay home and protect yourselves from Covid. Your adversaries will congregate and get infected and the virus will do the work for you… if that is what you really want….although I doubt it…..they are your sons, husbands…fathers. To the armed services….your sworn duty is to protect the people!!!!! So protect the people!!! Forget the Generals and be true to your oath!!! Your people will hail you as true heroes, if you uphold your oath!!!

  3. Avatar

    ynwaps

    Sunday, May 2, 2021 at 7:27 pm

    How do these “spring revolution” usually turn out?

  4. Avatar

    Slugger

    Sunday, May 2, 2021 at 9:01 pm

    @ynwaps – Depend how the NED wants it. The whole thing is designed in Virginia. Fools nobody.

  5. Avatar

    Niko

    Sunday, May 2, 2021 at 9:33 pm

    This is more proof that this has the hand of foreign meddling and the NGOs. These tactics are very familiar for anyone who have followed this and has been seem recently in Thailand and HK for instance but also in many other parts like Ukraine or last year Bielorussia.

    The first they try to occupy a central plaza in the capital city in an attempt to paralyze the government and the economy if that´s not possible or the government cracks down they change to blocking intersections.

    If that fails then they move into flash mobs running around while shouting slogans
    Another sign is these stunts like in this case of Myanmar first was “civil disobedience” then it moved to “spring revolution” then the “federal army” and then the “National Unity Government” and now back to “Spring Revolution” part two I guess

  6. Avatar

    Mr cynic

    Monday, May 3, 2021 at 1:01 am

    I suspect the dissatisfied youth of thailand are watching proceedings in the next door neighbours back yard very closely indeed.
    Would be interesting to know the political view of the saffron robe brigade in thailand also.
    Thing’s can change very quickly in this part of the world.

  7. Avatar

    Newfie

    Monday, May 3, 2021 at 7:17 am

    It’s June already???? 4 months??? Where does the time go?!!

  8. Avatar

    Stardust

    Tuesday, May 4, 2021 at 1:12 pm

    @Gosport – yes you Nazi dictatorship supporters showed now long time your true colours, thats why more and more wake up and people like you and slugger are the reason for the revolution. You can fool the people sometimes but you cannot fool all the people all the time!

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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

Thailand

Thai government looks into “humanitarian solution” for detained reporters from Myanmar

Tanutam Thawan

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Stock photo via National News Bureau of Thailand

Following the arrest of 3 journalists from a Myanmar news agency and 2 activists, who all face deportation and charges for entering Thailand illegally, the Thai government says they’re looking for a “humanitarian solution.”

Following the February military coup, the junta attempted to silence the media by revoking licenses allowing outlets to report and arresting journalists.

The editor and director of the broadcast news outlet Democratic Voice of Burma, where the 3 reporters worked, called on Thai authorities to not send the journalists back to Myanmar. The news outlet had its license revoked by the military junta. Director says the reporters “life will be in serious danger if they were to return.”

Thailand’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tanee Sangrat recently told reporters that Thai authorities “are coordinating to find a possible humanitarian solution to this case.”

The reporters and activists were arrested in Chiang Mai’s San Sai district for allegedly entering Thailand illegally. The district police chief told Reuters that they would be deported, but they may possibly be held in detention for a 14 day quarantine as a precaution to prevent the spread of Covid-19 before being handed over to immigration.

DVB started as an exile media outlet, reporting on the previous junta and broadcasting uncensored reports. It then moved into Myanmar in 2012. The outlet’s broadcast license was revoked in March, a month after the recent military coup, but DVB continued to report on the protests and military takeover.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Thailand

3 journalists from Myanmar arrested in Chiang Mai

Tanutam Thawan

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Stock photo / Photo by Macau Photo Agency for Unsplash

Police in Northern Thailand arrested 3 senior journalists who had fled Myanmar due to orders from the military junta to stop reporting, the director and editor of the news agency Democratic Voice of Burma said in an email to the Associated Press.

The journalists, along with 2 associates, were arrested yesterday in Chiang Mai for allegedly illegally entering Thailand. Police were doing a random search, the editor says.

Since the February military coup in Myanmar, ousting state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi who had won the election in a landslide, more than 750 people have been killed by security forces. The military takeover also led to a clash with ethnic armies who support the anti-coup movement, including the prominent armed wing of the Karen National Union. Around 2,000 Karen refugees have fled to Thailand’s Mae Hong Son province due to violence between the Karen troops and the state military.

The junta has attempted to silence independent news media by arresting dozens of journalists and by revoking licenses that had allowed agencies to report in Myanmar. The Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand, or FCCT, says more than 70 journalists have been arrested since February. The Associated Press says there are currently around 40 journalists in detention in Myanmar, including at least 2 that work for DVB.

Many of the journalists arrested by the military junta are being held for violating Myanmar’s Penal Code which prohibits comments that “cause fear,” spread “false news, agitates directly or indirectly a criminal offence against a Government employee.” The charge carries a punishment of up to 3 years in prison.

The editor of DVB is urging Thai authorities not to deport the detained journalists and activists, saying “their life will be in serious danger if they were to return.” Photos in Thai media shows what looks like a video production studio set up at a home.

“They have been covering the demonstrations in Burma until March 8 – the day the military authority revoked DVB’s TV license and banned DVB from doing any kind of media work.”

The FCCT also released a statement calling on Thai authorities to release the journalists and offer them protection in Thailand.

These 5 individuals would face certain arrest and persecution, if not worse, for their work and association with the DVB, and under no circumstances should they be deported back to Myanmar.

Rather, the DVB journalists and their associates should be released from detention, urgently offered protection, and granted the right to remain temporarily in Thailand.

SOURCE: Associated Press

 

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Thailand

‘Safe zone’ in Thailand for refugees fleeing Myanmar violence

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo via Facebook/ Karen Information Centre

Due to the ongoing violence between the Myanmar military and ethnic troops, the Thai military has set up a “safe zone” for thousands of refugees in Mae Hong Son near the Salween River, the natural border between Thailand and Myanmar.

The prominent armed wing of the Karen National Union has openly supported the anti-coup movement in Myanmar, leading to clashes with the military junta. Recently, the Karen National Liberation Army reported took over a military outpost near the Thai border. Those just across the Salween River in Thailand said they could hear the gunshots and explosions.

Defence Ministry spokesperson Kongcheep Tantravanich says shelter and humanitarian assistance are being provided for around 2,200 people who have fled Myanmar.

Kongcheep says the “safe zone” is under tight security and only those authorised can enter. There are strict health and disease control measures are in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

His statement comes after the local civil rights group People of Salween River Basin Network called on the Thai government not to push refugees back, claiming that Thai soldiers had been ordered to tell the refugees to return to their home country due to a potential negative impact with border trade.

They say the Myanmar military has been carrying out airstrikes on Karen army bases and many Karen villagers fear for their safety.

Mae Hong Son governor, Sitthichai Jindaluang, also told a United Nations representative last week that refugees have been given shelter and assistance.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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