Deadly Protests in Myanmar


Courtesy of WRIC

People in Myanmar participate in a deadly protest against a military coup.

Fiona Salisbury, Photojournalist

In Myanmar, there are currently protests taking place as a result of a military coup. Since February 1st, Myanmar citizens have made their way onto the streets to protest against the military, but more recently, the protests have begun to grow increasingly deadly.

In order to understand how the protests turned deadly, it is also important to understand how the protests began in the first place. The country of Myanmar has had a history of having a militaristic government willing to use violence against anyone who opposes it. Over the years, there had been numerous attempts to protest against the government, but there wasn’t any success until more recent years. Aung San Suu Kyi was a key figure in Myanmar’s struggle for democracy. She spent years organizing peaceful demonstrations in Myanmar, and in 2015, she led the National League for Democracy to its first victory. 

The military coup began as a result of an election in which Suu Kyi and the National League of Democracy won by a landslide. This caused the military, led by commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing, to claim that voter fraud occurred despite having no solid evidence. The military then continued to detain some government leaders such as Suu Kyi, declaring a year-long national emergency. Due to this, the military enraged the citizens of Myanmar who are mostly supporters of the National League of Democracy.

Military oppression is something that the people of Myanmar are very familiar with. Because of this, it did not take long for the people to begin protesting peacefully against the military coup. The first month of protests had very few casualties, but March 3rd became the deadliest day for Myanmar protesters since the start of the coup. At least thirty-eight people were killed that day, bringing the total number of deaths to over fifty. 

The military still continues to control Myanmar, and the people are still protesting for democracy. According to Megan Chou (10), “it is sad that the people of Myanmar have to protest once again for democracy.” The people of Myanmar remain optimistic that their protests will be successful. The people hope for intervention from the United Nations to help restore peace in their country. Foreign countries have already requested the release of Myanmar’s leaders, including Suu Kyi without any success. Despite the deaths that have occurred, the people of Myanmar plan to continue their fight for democracy until they are successful.