On February 1, Army trucks and tanks rolled into the streets of Naypyidaw and Yangon, signaling the military's overthrow of a government in which it had a sizeable share of power. The generals felt insecure with the landslide victory of the Aung San Suu Kyi-led National League for Democracy (NLD) in the November 2020 elections. They decided to exert full control and terminate the experiment of transition to democracy that their wiser predecessors had initiated in 2010. Paying a hefty price The costs of this political U-turn have been high. People clashed with police and army units wielding batons, rubber bullets and live ammunitions. Youth, women, professional groups and ethnic minorities rose in unison to demand the release of their elected leaders and return of freedoms and democracy. People's resolve surprised the military as much as the latter's brutality shocked the largely non-violent protesters. In the end, unarmed demonstrators had to yield to the logic of the bullets fired. The civil disobedience movement began to lose momentum from early April. The people paid a heavy price: 750 were killed, thousands injured, and over 2,500 detained. One reality, however, remained unchanged: power still flowed from the gun in Myanmar. The Army… Read full this story
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