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Liberty and Leadership Scholar Updates from the Frontlines

We asked our Liberty and Leadership Scholars to share what they would like the world to know regarding what is happening in Burma.

February 17, 2021 //   5 minute read

Scholar A  

(Feb. 12) I'm feeling distressed.  I'm deeply worried about the potential negative consequences on the health, education, psychological well-being of the children, and food and nutrition security of the vulnerable population especially already poverty-stricken breastfeeding mothers and children.  The civil unrest and total government system shutdown especially hospitals and banks closing have superimposed on the destructive impact of COVID-19 crisis.  We are not able to monitor the situation of COVID cases spreading in the country and expect the cases have been doubled by directly and indirectly transmitting through the crowds.  The conflict-affected community including displaced people in Rakhine, Kayin, Kachin and Northern Shan states should get special attention as the children living there in IDP camps have very uncertain future.  I wish this crisis will end very soon. 

(Feb. 14) The Janda released thousands of prisoners. Pretending as prisoners, the policemen and the men hired by military people are invading the quarters, trying to fire the houses at night. The community members are arranging to secure their quarters their own. Last night and the previous night, the police men and their men with the drugs, hand cuff and weapons were arrested by the community in some quarters in Yangon and Mandalay, including my quarter. According to my experience in1988, the police and military used the same method to create the civil unrest and murder committed by the community to use the reason of the coup. But the community now know their method and are being very careful not to allow the murder. The community is trying only to arrest those men and send them to the police station or detain them in the public religious building. Every night, we are keeping ourselves stay awake, securing our quarter ourselves 

Scholar B 

This demonstration not necessarily mean our love for Democracy. It is mostly our hatred towards Military dictator. The country with or without cou , need to address root causes. Such as poverty. Inequality. Human rights abuses. Etc. 

Scholar C   

My family and I are still fine and safe.   

Yes, it is a challenging period for all of our people and we feel that loss of the future due to this military seize power.   

However, millions of citizens are against the coup and show their feelings by marching into protest.   

We Yangon Based Kachin Youth also participate in this protest which has been for five days so far.   

Many young Kachin young people are motivated to fight against the military. Now, every corner of the streets are full of protesters and involve many ethnic groups as well. It is now nationwide and you may see the protest across the country.   

But It really needs international community support to the people who are involved in this protest and against the military regime. We really appreciate your government's immediate action and please keep them put under pressure.   

Scholar D 

It’s been consecutive nights in a row that our civilians are illegally arrested during night. Isn’t it 2 weeks too long to take serious action against this unlawful Coup? How much of our safety and lives will be threatened in these days again? 

The MILITARY revoked the law so that they can now : 

  • arrest anyone without warrants   
  • search houses without any ward administrators or warrants   
  • eavesdrop lines or calls to seek information   
  • can detain anyone for > 24hrs  

HUMAN RIGHTS? PRIVACY? SECURITY?    

We’ve believed the freedom of speech, freedom of expression and basic human rights in this 21st century. Now the Military is taking all away because we’re against their COUP. As they do so, our OPPOSITION against their coup act will be nothing but STRONGER.    

The Myanmar military is "irrational" and mired in some sort of ancient, occult darkness -- or most analysts, scholars and journalists like myself simply lack the contacts and insider insights to understand the institution and its actions but are loathe to admit it.  

State Counsellor Daw Aung San Su Kyi, elected Presidents and over 300 democratic leaders are seized since 1st Feb 2021.   

Myanmar citizens are grateful for strong supports from UN US & EU. However, we currently needs actions more than sanction.   

We're looking forward to the support for global organizations so that we can continue to walk on the path of true democracy.  

Scholar E