Armored vehicles and tanks have taken over the cities in Myanmar to crush the ongoing protests against the military rule in the country. Pro-democracy protesters took to the streets after the military, also called Tatmadaw, arrested Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint on February 1.
— Yuki (@Yuki27985345) February 14, 2021
Images (sent to me) seen on #Yangon #Myanmar streets today as anti-#military protesters continue to voice their opposition after 2 weeks since military took control of the country, detaining #AungSanSuuKyi. Her detention is due to expire tomorrow Feb 15. #WhatIsHappeningInMyanmar pic.twitter.com/nXbuS61zuM
— May Wong (@MayWongCNA) February 14, 2021
Currently, soldiers and tanks are advancing in front of the Central Bank, and the public is blocking the coup junta in the form of motor vehicle malfunctions. #RejectMilitaryCoup #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar #Democracy #HereTheVoiceOfMyanmar #Myanmar #15Feb pic.twitter.com/FjDVuCqtvp
— YIN HNIN OO (@YINHNINOO) February 15, 2021
Protesters vs Myanmar Military Tank!#WhatsHappeningInMyanmar #myanmarmilitarycoup #Myanmarcoup #Myanmarprotest #myanmarcoup2021 #MyanmarDemocracy#DAYTONA500#DAYTONA#Myanmar
— Peeeeaky Pakaaa (@PeeakyPaka) February 15, 2021
On Monday, Myanmar’s military leaders have extended the detention of Nobel laureate Suu Kyi. Her lawyer has said she will be remanded till February 17. The development is likely to increase the tensions as people demand that democracy be restored at the earliest.
The country went under “state-ordered information blackout” as there was a total internet shutdown on Sunday. Even though connections were restored on Monday, NetBlocks, an independent internet watchdog, reported most of the residents still could not access social media.
⚠️ Confirmed: A near-total internet shutdown is in effect in #Myanmar as of 1 a.m. local time; real-time network data show national connectivity at just 14% of ordinary levels following state-ordered information blackout; incident ongoing 📉
— NetBlocks (@netblocks) February 14, 2021
On Sunday, there was a heavy deployment of armed forces in Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin state, which is 1,480 kilometers from Yangon. Security personnel fired tear gas, smoke bombs, and used water cannons to disperse the protesters.
As many as three people were wounded by rubber bullets during the clash last week. Kyaw Myint, a Myanmar Red Cross official who witnessed the incident, said “Three got shot, one woman in the womb, one man on his cheek and one man on his arm.”
Appears not just smoke bombs but some are telling me that it's tear gas fired in #Myitkyina northern #Myanmar #Kachin state. During 1 live stream, I also saw a group of citizens running to a well to wash their faces/eyes and they were visibly choking #WhatishappeninginMyamar https://t.co/m7SXxsgU7I pic.twitter.com/O1gCig3xTH
— May Wong (@MayWongCNA) February 14, 2021
#Myanmar police, #military soldiers clearing out anti-military government protesters in #Mandalay. We Are Not Safe#Feb15Coup
#WhatIsHappeningInMyanmar @MayWongCNA @freya_cole pic.twitter.com/lDBPtQcrgF
— SUNNY WEN 文星皇 (@XinHuang1357) February 15, 2021
As per reports, several journalists have been arrested as well. Tatmadaw had warned people against giving refuge to activists against whom the military had issued arrest warrants.
Last week, the UN Human Rights Council was told that the people of Myanmar are in “great peril” after police clashed with protesters and fired rubber bullets. The Council held a special session in Geneva to discuss the ensuing crisis in the country.
The council’s dedicated Myanmar investigator, Thomas Andrews, told the 47-member body, “As the people in Myanmar demonstrate their remarkable courage and resolve, let us demonstrate our support of them and the principles and values they are fighting for.”
He said the generals were showing “signs of desperation” and would be held accountable.
It's as if the generals have declared war on the people of Myanmar: late night raids; mounting arrests; more rights stripped away; another Internet shutdown; military convoys entering communities. These are signs of desperation. Attention generals: You WILL be held accountable.
— UN Special Rapporteur Tom Andrews (@RapporteurUn) February 14, 2021
Meanwhile, embassies of the US, the EU, the UK, Canada, Germany, and France urged the security forces to “refrain from violence” against demonstrators and civilians. In a joint statement, they said: “We call on security forces to refrain from violence against demonstrators, who are protesting the overthrow of their legitimate government.”
As reported earlier by The Eurasian Times, the Myanmar military had seized power by detaining Suu Kyi and members of her government by alleging that the government failed to properly investigate allegations of fraud in last year’s election, which were won by Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party.
On February 4, the United Nations Security Council came out with a statement taking a strong note of the military coup and calling for an immediate release of the civilian leaders, including State Counselor Suu Kyi and President Win Mynt.