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Mishap of democracy in Myanmar

Myanmar is also known as Burma and lies in the South East Asia. It is surrounded by countries like Thailand, Laos, Bangladesh, China and India. It has a population of 54 million with main region being Buddhism. There are many ethnic groups in the country. The country gained independence from the British in 1948. It was ruled from 1962 until 2011 by army and later came under a civilian rule. 

The Myanmar coup began on 1st February 2021 when democratically elected members of Myanmar’s ruling party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), were overthrew by the Tatmadaw-Myanmar’s military.  Military Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing has taken over the power. They seized control after Ms Suu Kyi’s NLD won the elections. The military has declared a yearlong state of emergency. 

It has been more than 150 days since the Myanmar military took over the democracy in the country. The political crisis has led to the humanitarian crisis. Although the reasons are unclear, the military has accused Aung San Suu Kyi under the violation of Export and Import law, Natural Disaster Management law, and section 505b of the Penal Code and section 67 of the Telecommunication law. 

As the coup formed, the elected lawmakers of the civilian Government formed the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH). They announced the interim cabinet and gave itself recognition. The CRPH has also reached to several Ethnic Armed Organisation (EAO) to form stronger opposition against the military coup. 

The protest over the coup has been the largest since the so-called Saffron Revolution in 2007. Protestors include teachers, students, bank officer, lawyers and government officers among others. The military has imposed restrictions including curfews and limits to the gathering. As of the data that has been collected by Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) as of 12 June, more than 900 protestors have been killed whereas more than 4500 have been detained. 

The military launched airstrikes against civilian targets in Hpapun Township and others are creating fear for Syria like situation. The military has stepped up its control over the journalists and media houses as well. Around 56 Journalists have been arrested. 

It is predicted that the coup will eventually fail as the world is full of democratic countries. But Covid-19 and the limited access of the other countries have made things a little difficult yet it will eventually end. As Fernando Cardoso said “Democracy is not just a question of having a vote. It consists of strengthening each citizen’s possibility and capacity to participate in the deliberations involved in life in society”.