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On anniversary of bloodshed, Myanmar army chief vows to “annihilate” opponents

Days after human rights groups published an extensive report accusing Myanmar’s junta chief of targeting unarmed protestors, the Burmese chief vowed today to “annihilate” opponents of the junta. Today is the anniversary of Myanmar’s most violent crackdown on pro-democracy protests. The army chief, Min Aung Hlaing, said the military will “no longer negotiate… and annihilate until the end” groups fighting to end its rule.

The crackdown on this day one year ago killed 163 protesters, according to a local monitoring group. The protestors had been demonstrating against the junta ousting Aung San Suu Kyi’s government in the February 2021 coup. Since the coup, authorities in Myanmar have killed over 1,700 people, according to international monitors.

The day of the bloody crackdown, March 27, coincides with Myanmar’s “Armed Forces Day”. The day originally started to commemorate Myanmar’s freedom from Japan during World War II, however, one researcher at Human Rights Watch recently criticised governments that still celebrate the day.

“Governments joining Myanmar’s Armed Forces Day celebrations are celebrating the military’s brutal suppression of its own people”.

This week, two human rights bodies accused the chief of creating a special command that deployed snipers to kill unarmed protestors. The groups say this was to create fear. The researchers investigated leaked documents and 128 testimonies from survivors, medical workers, witnesses and former military and police personnel, on violence in Myanmar. The report is titled “Nowhere is Safe”.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post | Human Rights Watch

Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.