Since the February 1 coup in Burma, violence has continued to increase in the country and even more so in recent days. This Saturday February 20 the police fired at a demonstrationleaving two dead and thirty wounded in Mandalay, in central Burma, according to rescuers. Among the two dead, a minor who was shot in the head, they said, adding that “Half of the victims were attacked with live ammunition.”
This increase in violence follows the death of a 20-year-old shopkeeper, Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing, shot and wounded on 9 February during a demonstration, who became a martyr for the resistance. The ruling junta has been increasing pressure on the pro-democracy movement since the coup. Despite this, several thousand protesters, including representatives of many ethnic minorities in traditional clothing, took to the streets of Yangon, the economic capital, on Saturday.
The bullet that went through it hit all of our heads
Protesters demand the return of the civil government, the release of detainees and the abolition of the Constitution which is very favorable to the military. Near the famous Shwedagon Pagoda, in the city center, a funeral wreath has been placed in tribute to Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing. “The bullet that went through it hit us in the head,” said one protester. “You are our martyr,” wrote another, placing a white rose at the bottom of his portrait.
Almost three weeks after the coup that overthrew the civil government of Aung San Suu Kyi and end a fragile ten-year democratic transition, International protests and the announcement of new sanctions do not influence the generals. In the country, Internet connections were almost cut off for the sixth consecutive night, before being restored in the morning.
In less than three weeks, almost 550 people were arrested, including politicians, activists and monks, and only about 40 have been released.