Myanmar’s military junta continues violence against its people after the bloody weekend. In Kayin State near the border with Thailand, she flies air strikes, probably in retaliation.
The military in Myanmar let the violence against their own people escalate. At least 14 people across the country were shot dead on Monday and, according to media reports, there were again several dead on Tuesday. And this after the rampant violence this weekend caused horror worldwide: 100 people and more died in nationwide protests against the takeover of power by the junta. Several children and adolescents aged five to 15 were reportedly among the dead – tragically, since the violence erupted in February, children have been shot dead by soldiers, even in the safety of their homes.
In Kayin State in eastern Myanmar, the military has been flying air strikes against civilians since the weekend. Many are members of the Karen ethnic minority, against whom the military has been brutally attacking not just since the military coup in February, but for years. The air strikes may be in retaliation for an attack by the Karen National Liberation Army on a military outpost. According to the guerrilla group, ten soldiers were killed and eight captured.
“The machine returned and dropped four bombs”
At least three people were killed and eight injured in the air strikes in the Papun district, according to the aid and underground organization Free Burma Rangers, which also reports to the UN. “About eleven kilometers from the Thai border, an army plane began to scout the region on Saturday afternoon. In the evening, between 20:20 and 20:30, the machine returned and dropped four bombs, ”said founder Dave Eubank about 20 minutes. Since then, air strikes have been flown until Monday. “In this region over 2000 people have fled their homes and are hiding in the jungle”. A total of 12,000 people were displaced in Kayin State.
Is Thailand rejecting refugees?
Many refugees are now on their way to Thailand, where, according to the statements of human rights organizations, they are only welcomed to a limited extent. Thai security forces stopped many of them at the border and sent them back. A reporter from the AP news agency in the border town of Mae Sam Laep was also able to see how soldiers from a paramilitary unit tried twice to refuse a boat with seven occupants on the border river. It finally landed, first aiders and villagers took care of the injured. One man had welts and open wounds on his back, another said that a bomb dropped splinters in his legs. Nurses took care of the two and tested them for the coronavirus.
The Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha denies that refugees from neighboring Myanmar are not allowed into his country: “We will not reject them,” he said on Tuesday. But so far there has not been such a large onslaught of refugees. Anyone who fled the recent military air strikes will be admitted. But many would have wanted to get across the border without being in an emergency. These people have been asked to turn back, said Prayut. “We asked them, we didn’t use force.
“Garbage is also a weapon to offer resistance”
In Myanmar’s former capital, Yangon (formerly Rangung), there is a “garbage strike” going on. The organization “Clean Yangon”, which normally helps to keep the streets of Yangon clean, has asked citizens on Facebook to dump as much rubbish as possible in the middle of the streets. “Garbage is also a weapon to oppose the junta,” it said. “Let’s throw garbage bags and other rubbish from our houses on the street.”
Protests with thousands of participants have flared up again in numerous other regions of the former Burma. Observers agree: the military junta underestimated the resistance in the country.
Four armed ethnic groups have threatened to support the population if the junta does not end the violence. The new military leadership must solve the political crisis and respond to the demands of the population, according to the rebel groups. If the military fails to meet these demands and continues to kill, then people will be helped to defend themselves.
135 nationally recognized ethnic groups live in the multi-ethnic state of Myanmar. Especially in the Kayin State in the north and in the Shan State in the east there has long been new fighting between the military and armed groups. Long before the revolution, more than 20 ethnic communities across the country fought for more autonomy and self-determination.
According to estimates by the prisoners’ aid organization AAPP, at least 510 people have been killed by military force so far. However, observers assume a high number of unreported cases.