On September 9th, 2015, the military coup that would lead to two years of military rule in Myanmar was executed. Since then, the country has seen a sharp decline in human rights and freedom of expression. This blog post is written as a tribute to those who have lost their lives in the conflict and as a call for action to those still living under military rule. It covers topics such as the Rohingya crisis and the state of media freedom. It is our hope that by reading this, you will be inspired to take action and help bring about change in Myanmar.
A “silent strike” is being held by pro-democracy activists in Myanmar to commemorate two years since a military coup toppled Aung San Suu Kyi.
On August 18th, 2016, military forces led by General Min Aung Hlaing staged a coup d’état in Myanmar. The junta quickly replaced the democratically elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi with an appointed one.
Since the coup, pro-democracy activists have been staging “silent strikes” to commemorate two years since the military took control. These protests have largely been peaceful, but there have been sporadic outbreaks of violence.
In response to the silent strikes, the government has enacted new restrictions on freedom of expression and assembly. More than 1,200 people have been arrested and dozens jailed for participating in or organizing demonstrations since August 2016.
The anniversary of the Myanmar coup is marked by ongoing protests and a climate of fear for those who oppose the military regime. The United States and other international actors must continue to pressure the junta to allow a free and fair election that would bring democracy to Myanmar
New sanctions against companies linked to the army have been announced by the UK, the US, Canada, and Australia.
On December 9th, 2010, a military coup d’état took place in Myanmar, resulting in the installation of a junta led by General Thein Sein. Since then, the country has been ruled by a military regime with little public accountability. In response to the junta’s lack of progress on democratic reform and human rights abuses, international organizations have imposed a series of sanctions on the country. On September 25th, 2015, the United Kingdom announced new sanctions targeting companies and individuals that are “linked to the army or other security forces.” The US followed suit on October 5th with similar sanctions against individuals and companies. Canada and Australia also added names to their respective lists of sanctioned entities.
In a vote that Ms. Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) won with more than 80% of the vote in November 2020, the army had made allegations of widespread fraud.
Since the military coup in 2015, activists and observers have expressed concern about the conditions of freedom of expression and civil liberties in Myanmar. In a vote that Ms. Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) won with more than 80% of the vote in November 2020, the army had made allegations of widespread fraud. The “silent strike”–a term used to describe protests by civilians against military rule–began on 20 April 2018 and continued until 25 May 2018. The protests were called after a controversial election in which Ms. Suu Kyi’s NLD was not given an opportunity to compete.
The anniversary of the Myanmar coup is marked by various events across the country. On 20 April, protesters gathered at Yangon’s Shwedagon Pagoda to observe a “day of silence.” On 24 April, students from Rangoon University staged a sit-in protest against arrests and censorship on campus. And on 25 May, rallies were held throughout the country in memory of those killed during the “silent strike.”