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#WhatsHappeningInMyanmar - Day 55


This is the summary for day 55 of the #MyanmarCoup. March 27th is Armed Forces Day in Myanmar. This year the Tatmadaw held military parades and an evening gala to celebrate, while soldiers and police killed at least 114 people, including a 5 year old child, and dropped bombs on civilians in Karen State. So far, at least 3070 people have been arrested, charged, or sentenced and at least 423 have been killed by security forces.

A woman cries over the body of a man killed in an anti-coup protest, outside a hospital in Latha township, Yangon, Myanmar, Saturday, March 27, 2021. AP Photo

Tatmadaw - The Myanmar military began violently cracking down on protests early in the day, and by the end of the day killed at least 114 people in at least 23 cities, towns, and villages across the country with the majority of the casualties being concentrated in Mandalay. At least four children were killed, with the youngest being 5 years old. A one-year-old was also shot, making them the youngest person to be injured in the coup so far. One journalist was also shot in the hand.

The Tatmadaw also used fighter jets to drop bombs on a village in Karen State, killing at least two. This is likely in retaliation against an attack from a Karen ethnic armed organization on an army base that killed 10 soldiers earlier in the day. The group, the Karen National Union (KNU), is also sheltering hundreds of people who have fled from central Myanmar.

People witnessed soldiers threatening to rape women, a common tactic the military has used for decades to terrorize the people in areas they are trying to control.

The Tatmadaw also celebrated Armed Forces Day with a military parade, one that was attended by representatives from China, Russia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Lao, and Thailand. They also held a gala dinner that was broadcast on state-owned television channels, while funerals and vigils were being held to mourn the dead.

Anti-coup protesters gesture with a three-fingers salute, a symbol of resistance during a demonstration during by police crack down in Thaketa township Yangon, Myanmar, Saturday, March 27, 2021. AP Photo

CDM (Civil Disobeidence Movement)- Tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, went out to continue their protest against the coup despite warnings aired on state-owned television channels on Friday that people would be shot in the head and back if they continued to protest. Many were broken up early in the day, but protesters continued to hold marches, sit-in, and vigils as the security situation allowed throughout the day despite the mounting death toll.

The Civil Disobedience Movement has now been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, but with the attacks on military bases by the KNU and new warnings from the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS), it is looking more and more likely that the situation will become more war-like in the coming weeks and months. The RCSS has also warned the interim civilian government that they would oppose any new draft constitution that was not written in consultation with ethnic minority groups, showing how delicate the current alliance against the military is.

Many ethnic minority organizations are likely to withdraw their support from a united movement against the military should the Bamar majority interim government decide to ignore their voices and concerns.

Emerging Stories - The international community is becoming more and more drawn into this coup, with Russia stating that they are seeking to strengthen military ties with the Tatmadaw. This represents the first country to openly state that they are seeking to support the military since the coup. The American Center in Yangon was shot at on Saturday, and while there were no injuries or casualties, this has a high likelihood of provoking a stronger response from the US than a statement or more sanctions.


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