Info Sheet: Myanmar and the Rohingya People

By Anna Synakh || Managing Editor

Photo Courtesy of TheGuardian.com & Jaipal Singh

Where?

Myanmar, also known as Burma, is located in Southeast Asia, with Thailand bordering the South, China in the East and North, and Bangladesh on the Western border.  

What?

On February 1, 2021, the Burmese military staged a coup, overtaking the previous elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who maintained a certain peace and structure for a couple of years within the nation. Under her rule, many minorities were severely threatened, but she managed to create a country that had a functioning economy and performed as a fully capacitated state. Now that the military has taken over, Myanmar is on the brink of becoming a failed state, with many minorities being attacked out in public. Following the junta’s revolt, many people went out to protest and call for the return of Aung San Suu Kyi, but the new government had immediately taken to arms and has so far killed more than 550 people since the beginning of February, many of them children. Almost three thousand people have been detained. The junta has blocked all internet communication and restricted the news flow.

No major international involvement has been performed by the UN or any other international organization.

Who?

The junta which started the coup over the government is heavily based in the country’s military, which has had a lot of influence on the government’s official leaders for years prior. The Tatmadaw, as the military is officially called, is a group of not politicians seeking power, but rather an organization of “war fighters,” as claimed by political writer Mary Callahan. They are strongly unified, and strictly coordinated, and have immense control over the economy, the media and politics. The leaders of the Tatmadaw are strongly backed by China’s government.

Why today?

Many of the people who have come out to protest and who fear the new military-led government are a part of a small Christian minority group, which celebrates Easter. For the past few days, the protesters have used easter eggs as a sign of protest, writing messages on them to call the world’s attention to what is happening in their country. Many of the eggs now being posted have “spring revolution” written on them.

Junior Anna Synakh is the Managing Editor. Her email is asynakh@fandm.edu.

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