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Synopsis: Myanmar’s military is unwilling to give power to the democratically elected government. It is time for the regional countries to put pressure to end the military rule in Myanmar.
Myanmar celebrated its Armed Forces Day on March 27. But violence broke out during the celebration. It led to the killing of more than 100 protesters. After the military coup in February, this once again brought back the demand for Rule of Law in Myanmar.
India and Myanmar:
India maintains a cordial relationship with Myanmar. An Indian representative was sent to attend the Armed forces Day. Along with India, 7 other countries sent representatives to attend the Armed forces’ day celebrations in Naypyidaw. This includes China, Pakistan, Russia, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand.
When the military conducted parades, the police and soldiers in other parts of Myanmar used lethal force against unarmed people. This resulted in the killing of more than 100 unarmed protesters.
India condemned the “use of violence”. Further, India also asked Myanmar for the “restoration of democracy”.
Difference between past and present protests:
The history of Independent Myanmar is a swing between democratic and military rule. Earlier the military rule relied on swift actions to curb protesters in 1988 and 2007.
According to independent agencies, the military has so far killed more than 570 civilians, including 46 children, since the coup. But the protests are increasing day by day and not reducing like the past ones. This is due to the following reasons,
- The military rule at present followed after a decade of partial democracy. The people enjoyed their freedoms under the elected government for a decade. So, people are opposing military rule at present.
- The challenge with the banking system. Apart from street protests, the banks in Myanmar are also on the brink of collapse. Most of the bank staff are on strike against military rule. This resulted in a shortage of cash and inflation of essential goods.
- The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was also intensified by the protests of the Industrial Workers.
- Support of armed insurgent groups for protesters. The insurgent groups oppose the military as they are they take strict measures to control the insurgents. So, the insurgent groups provide support to the protesters.
Suggestions to bring back normalcy:
India and China initially remained silent on the Coup. However, now their stand is changing as unstable Myanmar is not in the interest of any country.
So far, the military Generals are unwilling to give up power. Therefore, the only way is through the involvement of India, China, and other countries in ASEAN to put pressure on the military to restore democracy in Myanmar.
Source: The Hindu