Min Thang, Theology Department, Shan State Baptist Theological Seminary
Since independence in 1948, Myanmar has faced civil war and ethnic and religious conflicts for many decades. Since 1962, Myanmar has been under the military control and there have been abuses of human rights. After almost 70 years, again the military seized power in a coup on 01 February 2021, overthrowing the elected civilian government. The military has detained a number of politicians, artists, and civilian leaders. Before the coup, Myanmar faced challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the ban on large gatherings but in the following weeks, there were a few people protesting and later on massive protests in major cities and rural areas alike, calling for the release of all political detainees and a reinstatement of the democratically elected government. The so-called Generation Z is playing a key role in anti-coup protests—it is the biggest protest movement since 1988 and the 2007 Saffron Revolution in Myanmar. According to AAPP as of 10 August 2021, 965 people are now confirmed killed during the coup and total of 5,534 people are currently under detention. The international community condemned the military coup, the so-called State Administration Council, and the name change into the caretaker government. Today, many youth and civilians are resisting the coup with handmade guns—Tu Mae in the local language—calling it the Tu Mae Revolution. This paper attempts to explain the coup, the Tu Mae Revolution, and the political crisis in Myanmar. This paper examines the challenges of civilians and youth resistance during the coup and during the COVID-19 pandemic in Myanmar. What are the domestic and international communities responses to the military coup in Myanmar?
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