The high-profile killings were the latest signal that the civil conflict in the Southeast Asian country is deepening nearly 18 months after hostilities began. staged a coup and proceeded to a democratically elected government in February 2021.
The military killed two leading political leaders opposed to the junta, Kyaw Min Yew, a writer and activist known as Jimmy, and Phyo Zeya Thaw, a hip-hop musician who became a lawmaker under the old political regime, citing anti-terrorism charges.
Two other people, Hla Myo Aun and Aun Tura Zaw, were executed after being convicted killed a woman who was reportedly a military informant.
The executions follow a recent report by Amnesty International, which said the military mining residential areas to injure and kill civilians.
I am a scholar from Myanmar politics and culture. Here are four key points that will help clarify the country’s complex conflict and the meaning behind the executions.
The military government is sending a message
The political executions of these activists were the first over many decades For Myanmar, which has oscillated from military control to emerging democratic leadership over the past few decades. The military wants to send a message to other citizens, and to the world, that it is in charge.
But behind a thin layer of control, the military’s fears of public opposition and uprisings can be exposed both inside Myanmar and by outside observers.
The military overthrew Myanmar’s former leader and foreign minister, Aung San Suu Kyi In early 2021 and first placed him under house arrest.
the coup raised a wave of protest nationwide – as of the end of June 2021, more than 4,700 cases of counter-coup have been reported. The military responded with mass arrests and killings of civilians.
The execution of the four revolutionary leaders is likely to fuel nationwide resistance to the military.
The complicated back story of the conflict
When the military organized the 2021 coup, the generals miscalculated.
Aung San Suu Kyi’s political party, the National League for Democracy, won the A a crushing victory against the army-backed opposition in November 2020. Military generals have demanded another election, presenting little evidence of irregularities but recognizing that power is slipping from their hands.
It was a global epidemic at that time. It the economy has slowed down.
The generals likely hoped the coup would just be a smooth transition to the old system before Aung San Suu Kyi’s party was first elected in 2015, when different generations of generals controlled everything. since 1962 ahead.
However, the coming to power of the National League for Democracy brought many positive changes, especially in the heart of the country, where main ethnic group: Bamar, live. of the country gross domestic product, an indicator of economic growthwas also at an all-time high in 2020.
Many could see life improving for themselves and their children. The generals did not foresee the outrage that followed the coup.
How did the political resistance play out?
The first days of peaceful protests after the coup quickly turned into armed resistance when the army did not respect the people’s demands to return power to their elected government.
UN human rights experts they said The military junta is a “criminal enterprise” that systematically commits murder, torture and enforced disappearances. Junta also blocked access to many social media sites such as Facebook and engage with it widespread violations of human rightsincluding attacks on civilians, according to the UN
Ethnic armies supported young people who decided to join the resistance, housing, feeding and training them.
Meanwhile, some Myanmar citizens have donated their income, homes and cars to support revolutionary groups. It has become popular for people to visit websites and play games online games created by tech developers in Myanmar, generating money that goes to these groups.
Other countries largely stay out of it
The United States and other major powers have been largely absent as Myanmar has been wracked by a coup and subsequent political and economic crisis.
Meanwhile, the Myanmar Army continues to receive support and military supplies from Russiaother countries have adopted a wait-and-see approach.
One reason is that Myanmar’s situation is domestic and its military does not fight other countries. Now, hundreds of internal groups in Myanmar are fighting for their own interests, including territory.
I believe that no clear winner will walk away from this civil war and that it has been the staging of little or no intervention. the general position of the international community. People of Myanmar interpreted this position as willful ignorance of their plight.
However, there are some symbolic victories for the opposition in the way of international engagement.
The National League for Democracy and the ousted anti-junta political leaders formed a new shadow government. Government of the National AssemblyIn May 2021. Many of their main members operate “undercover or through members abroad”. according to CNN.
The UN has not officially recognized the Government of National Unity, but has allowed representatives to speak on behalf of Myanmar at the UN.
The United States accepted the Government of National Unity delegations several times – but it still needs to be defrosted 1 billion US dollars that the previous government of Myanmar held in the US Federal Reserve Bank.
Both the National Union Government and the military claim the rights to this amount.
An uncertain future
Many citizens of Myanmar feel trapped entrenched in war.
The country is fast moving into the past when that happened deeply isolated from the world. And there is no clear end to the conflict.
Many of these groups, along with the newly formed armed People’s Defense Forces, part of the Government of National Unity, have vowed to fight, especially after the executions. Because of their determination, many people in the country feel that the future is uncertain, but not hopeless.
Author: Tarafi Tan – Associate Professor, Department of World Cultures and Languages, Northern Illinois University
High-ranking democracy activists were executed in Myanmar
SourceHigh-ranking democracy activists were executed in Myanmar