Chaos outside passport office claims lives in Myanmar

Photo courtesy of Thai PBS World

In Myanmar’s Mandalay, a rush for escape turned fatal as two lives were lost in a stampede outside a passport office yesterday.

According to an AFP report, the victims, two women aged 52 and 39, succumbed to the overwhelming surge of hundreds clamouring to secure their passage out of the country, amplifying the harrowing toll of Myanmar’s societal upheaval. A rescue worker, who wished to remain anonymous, recounted the grim scene, detailing how the victims, amidst the tumultuous crowd, met their demise in a ditch, deprived of oxygen.

These women were not the sole casualties of the frenzy. Another individual sustained injuries in the frenetic scramble for a coveted place in the line, underscoring the dangerous conditions that have engulfed Myanmar’s populace amid the junta’s relentless grip on power.

The backdrop to this tragedy is a nation grappling with the formidable forces of oppression and resistance. Three years following a military coup, Myanmar finds itself entangled in a quagmire of unrest, with armed opposition to the junta’s authority festering across the land.

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Recent weeks have witnessed a dramatic escalation in tensions, with the military regime facing setbacks in territorial control and battling an upsurge in armed resistance from various ethnic minority factions. Heightening the sense of urgency, the junta’s announcement of a controversial military service law, compelling citizens as young as 18 into military duty, has sparked widespread consternation and a frenzied exodus from the country, reported Thai PBS World.

Faced with the spectre of conscription and an uncertain future, throngs of Myanmar’s youth have mobilised in a desperate bid for escape, queuing outside embassies and passport offices, frantically seeking sanctuary beyond the nation’s borders.

In the metropolis of Yangon, scenes of desperation unfolded outside foreign embassies. Military conscription, coupled with the junta’s bid to bolster its ranks through pro-military militias, has plunged Myanmar into a state of uncertainty and fear.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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