Foggy futures

Ella Tallett

February 1, 2021: a cloudless day in Myanmar, with the day seemingly being as ordinary as the day before. However, later that day, Myanmar’s future suddenly turned foggy. 

On Monday, February 1, a military coup took place in Myanmar, which detained Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto leader of Myanmar, President Win Myint, the president of Myanmar, and other senior figures from the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD). The military, headed by Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, decided to take action because of alleged fraud in the November election, which the NLD won. The military declared a state of emergency for a year, cutting the internet and banning access to popular social media platforms. Min Aung Hlaing released a statement on February 8, promising to hold new elections in a year and hand power over to the winner. 

However, tens of thousands of Myanmar citizens have protested in opposition to the coup in cities such as Yangon and Mandalay, with the protest movement continuing to spread. These protests have been met with violence. The Myanmar security forces reportedly killed 114 people on March 27, the deadliest day since the military coup began. Nevertheless, resistance of the coup still continues, with an “Easter Egg Strike” that happened on Easter Sunday that involved the painting and writing of anti-military slogans on eggs as a symbol of defiance. 

A majority of countries throughout the world have expressed concern over the Myanmar protests, publicly opposing the coup and siding with the protesters. The Biden Administration announced sanctions in late March in coordination with the European Union. However, unlike the other nations, China—who has the power to end the mayhem in Myanmar—is taking a laissez-faire approach when it comes to the coup, with the country not wanting to interfere in Myanmar’s affairs since China is a major investor in Myanmar. 

International organizations have voiced opinions about the coup as well. 

“We strongly condemn the escalating violence against protests in Myanmar and call on the military to immediately halt the use of force against peaceful protesters,” Ravina Shamdasani, a spokeswoman with the United Nations Human Rights Office, said.

The affairs of Myanmar have also sparked the interest of students at Xavier High School. 

“I am hopeful Myanmar is able to become a democratic nation again and the people will stop being oppressed,” junior Maddie Steger said.

No matter the consequences or one’s stance, the revolution happening in Myanmar shows no signs of being resolved quickly, with the struggle for rights and freedom continuing to be waged in hope for sunnier days ahead.