• February 8, 2023

As Myanmar Mourns Slain Protesters, Military Junta Threatens More Violence : NPR

A car with the body of protester Mya Thwet Thwet Khine is pictured at the head of a convoy during her funeral service in Naypyitaw on Sunday. It was the first confirmed death in the ongoing protests against the military coup. Stringer / AFP via Getty Images Hide caption

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Stringer / AFP via Getty Images

A car with the body of protester Mya Thwet Thwet Khine is pictured at the head of a convoy during her funeral service in Naypyitaw on Sunday. It was the first confirmed death in the ongoing protests against the military coup.

Stringer / AFP via Getty Images

The 19-year-old woman was standing with a group of about a dozen people peacefully protesting the recent military coup in Myanmar on February 9 when she suddenly fell to the ground.

A bullet fired by Myanmar troops had pierced the motorcycle helmet Mya Thwet Thwet Khine was wearing. She lay in a hospital bed in Myanmar’s capital for more than a week and passed her 20th birthday unconscious.

Mya Thwet Thwet Khine died Friday morning of her injuries, making it the first confirmed fatality in the ongoing confrontation between protesters and the Myanmar military. On Sunday, thousands of mourners lined the streets of Naypyitaw as hearses carried her golden coffin and hundreds of motorcycles followed.

The mourners raised three fingers to the sky – a gesture of solidarity introduced in The Hunger Games accepted by young Myanmar activists.

If the Myanmar military hoped their strength would quell opposition, Mya Thwet Thwet Khine’s death could very well lead to the opposite. “Please participate and keep fighting until we reach our destination,” her sister Mya Thatoe Nwe of the hospital morgue told The Associated Press reported.

Mourners raise three fingers to the sky as the body of Mya Thwet Thwet Khine is buried. The gesture of solidarity introduced in The Hunger Games was adopted by activists from Myanmar. Stringer / AFP via Getty Images Hide caption

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Stringer / AFP via Getty Images

Mourners raise three fingers to the sky as the body of Mya Thwet Thwet Khine is buried. The gesture of solidarity introduced in The Hunger Games was adopted by activists from Myanmar.

Stringer / AFP via Getty Images

Protests the day before were among the largest – and led to the worst day of violence since the coup began. Security forces opened fire in Mandalay city, killing two demonstrators and injuring at least 20 others. A doctor who was on site in Yangon told the story Al Jazeera The scene reminded him of a “war zone”.

The US embassy in Burma issued a statement condemning the use of lethal force. “Nobody should be harmed for exercising the right to object,” the message said wrote. “The military must stop the violence against the people of Myanmar.”

UN Secretary General António Guterres joined the condemnation. “The use of lethal force, intimidation and harassment of peaceful protesters is unacceptable,” he said tweeted. “Everyone has a right to peaceful assembly. I urge all parties to respect the election results and return to civil rule.”

The Civil Disobedience Movement, a loosely organized coalition of activists, this week called for a general strike to protest the army takeover of the country. Late on Sunday, state television broadcast a message from the military junta warning of dire consequences if the protests continued.

“It is stated that the demonstrators on the day of February 22nd raised their incitement to riot and anarchy,” the English text that appeared on the screen read the AP reported. “Protesters are now encouraging people, especially emotional teenagers and young people, to take a path of confrontation where they will suffer the loss of life.”

The US Embassy in Yangon says It has received reports that the city, the largest in the country, “may not be available” for the first half of the day on Monday. And the Myanmar journalist Mratt Kyaw Thu Reports that the military blocked the roads leading to several embassies in Yangon.

“The military junta might think the world is not seeing beyond Myanmar’s largest city” tweeted Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “We notice,” he added.

And just over a week after that restrict With the Myanmar military’s use of Facebook, the social media company completely deleted the page on Sunday. “In line with our global guidelines, we have removed Facebook’s Tatmadaw True News Information Team page for repeated violations of our community standards prohibiting incitement to violence and coordinating harm,” Facebook said in a statement from Reuters reported.

Jack

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