In early days of the coup, one of the State Administration Council members said that protests would die down eventually. It’s been 30 days and is far from “die down” despite the brutal crackdowns.
Nationwide, protesters are still out in the streets, fighting for democracy. Mass rallies like we witnessed on 22222 Strike no longer happened for the security forces occupied hotspot areas since early morning before the protesters could gather. Troops also entered residential areas and opened fire to scare the residents and protesters in hiding. They acted like mad dogs trying to bite whatever they saw. Despite their attempts to break up crowds, people still managed to gather in separate groups, regroup several times a day, and fought back when the police used force. We saw video footage in which a tear gas was thrown back and forth between the security forces and protesters in Yangon. In Kalay Township, Sagain Region, we saw video footage of frontline defenders fighting back the police. All over the country, unarmed civillians bravely defended fellow protesters from armed and well-protected thugs as if they are bullet proof. The unshaken courage and strength of the protesters gives us chills.
In addition to the lethal force used by security forces, protesters and the public also face with misinformation on social media. While it is advantageous for us to have the free-flow of infomration, sharing unverified information without fact-checking is dangerous for protesters on the ground. Hence, Mohinga Matters would like to request keyboard warriors to verify the information, check with 2-3 sources, and get visual confirmation if possible before sharing. Let us support the protesters by sharing accurate information while they risk their lives for our freedom. The least we can do, ain’t it?
From the hideout, the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) keeps releasing statements that wowed both Myanmar public and the international community. Today, the CRPH appointed four acting ministers, covering nine different ministries to assume the duties of union ministers who were arrested since the coup. Acting ministers Daw Zin Mar Aung, U Lwin Ko Latt and U Tin Tun Naing are elected parliamentarians from the lower house while Dr. Zaw Wai Soe is a prominent doctor who has been leading the CDM movement among healthcare workers. It’s no surprise that all of them are in hiding so now we will see what kind of moves they will make without physical presence.
Meanwhile, foreign ministers from ASEAN countries convened their first meeting this afternoon to discuss the current situation in Myanmar after the shuttle diplomacy by Indonesia. Although Myanmar people repeatedly called out to not give the putschists any legitimacy, the junta-appointed foreign minister Wunna Maung Lwin was present at the meeting. Initial news reported that ASEAN leaders called for immediate release of the detainees including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and President U Win Myint. We wonder how the military representative took it, or responded. We will read about it in tomorrow’s state-owned papers and keep ourselves entertained.
Back in mid February when Internet shutdown were imposed, service providers announced that the ministry’s directive of Internet shutdown was only until February 28. We are no stranger to the junta’s empty promises but many hoped the Internet shutdown would be lifted by the end of February. Sadly, no. The Internet shutdown from 1 am to 9 am is still effective everyday.
Lastly, we hear that troops are still deployed at hotspots areas such as Hlaing, Pazundaung and South Okkalar townships in Yangon until now and some of the protesters have been trapped in nearby apartments. With the curfew in place, many of those will have to spend tonight away from their families. We wish for a safe travel back home to everyone.