Conflict Alerts

Conflict Alerts # 344, 11 March 2021

Myanmar: The protests and the violence both escalates
Aparupa Bhattacherjee

In the news
On 7 March, a massive number of protestors joined the ‘general strike’ despite the night raids and detention of more than 41 people on 6 March.  18 labour organisations participated in the protest and called for the closing of shops, banks and factories. The military retaliated by opening fire and throwing tear gas, has killed three and injured many. On the same day, the state-run Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper printed an announcement threatening “action” against anyone who directly or indirectly works for the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH). It mentioned the committee to be illegal and had committed “high treason”.  

On 8 March, the Ministry of Information has revoked the publishing licence for 7Days News, Myanmar Now, Mizzima, DVB and Khit Thit Media. Apart from 7Days News the rest of the four newspapers have announced to continue their work independently.

On 8 March, the Chief Minister of Mizoram in India announced that his State will support the Myanmarese refugees with food and shelter. Since the end of February, several have escaped to the neighbouring countries of India and Thailand. To date, there are more than fifty refugees including eight police officials in the north-eastern states of India. Similarly, on 9 March, Thailand extended its support to the refugees who have escaped the crackdown.
 
Issues at large
First, fear becomes the tool for this government to sustain itself. Since the coup, on 1 February, the surge in violence has not assisted the government to control the protests all across the country. This government may have enforced itself, but is yet to gain legitimacy among the citizens and several sections of the international arena. The growing civil disobedience movement and the success of the general strikes despite the rampant violence make it evident. Several diplomats appointed by the government have resigned in defiance and all the NGOs across the countries have also refused to collaborate with the government. 

Second, the protests continue to gain momentum, even after a month of their inception. The ‘fear’ seems to not work and instead works as a catalyst for the protests. To date more than 60 people have been killed, more than thousands have been detained and two deaths have been recorded in detention. But these facts have not deterred the protestors, which has not only continued but have increased its dimension. On 7 March, unlike the previous weeks, most of the deaths happened not in Yangon or Mandalay but happened in Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin State. According to the Irrawaddy, more than 60 Police officers have joined the civil disobedience movement from all across the country except for the Rakhine state.

Third, history repeats itself, several escapes to the neighbouring countries. Similar to the 1988 and 2007 protests, the violent crackdown has forced several to escape to India and Thailand. In both countries, the shared ethnic linkages with the people have garnered sympathy and support for those who have sought refuge. The growing clampdown on the journalists and media houses may force them to shift their base to these countries as done previously before 2015.
 
In perspective
First, currently, the protests seem to escalate parallel to the violence. But given the atrocities the unilinear growth of the protests or the ‘spring revolution’ (as it has been renamed) in the coming months is questionable. As of now, violence acts as a trigger but the continuation of the same is doubtful.

Second, in the coming months, the growing refugee influx from Myanmar is going to be a chronic problem not only for India and Thailand but for the entire region. The number is going to increase rather than diminish in the coming years.  
 

April 2021 | Conflict Alert # 358
India: Another Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh
April 2021 | Conflict Alert # 356
Global Gender Gap Report 2021: Main Takeaways
March 2021 | Conflict Alert # 353
Niger: 137 massacred in the latest attack by gunmen
March 2021 | Conflict Alert # 351
Yemen: Saudi Arabia announces ceasefire
March 2021 | Conflict Alert # 347
Australia: Women fight against sexual violence 
March 2021 | Conflict Alert # 345
The US: The George Floyd trial begins
March 2021 | Conflict Alert # 340
Syria: UN report calls for a complete ceasefire
February 2021 | Conflict Alert # 333
South Korea: The 'Comfort Women' issue returns to haunt

January 2021 | Conflict Alert # 222
Russia: Pro-Navalny protests turn anti-government 
January 2021 | Conflict Alert # 220
COVID-19: The Vaccine Wars
December 2020 | Conflict Alert # 200
India: Farmers' protests intensify as deadlock persists
November 2020 | Conflict Alert # 191
Pakistan: Anti-French protests called off
October 2020 | Conflict Alert # 174
Bangladesh: Protests intensify against sexual violence
October 2020 | Conflict Alert # 167
India crosses 6 million-mark in COVID-19 cases
September 2020 | Conflict Alert # 166
Pakistan: The persisting polio problem
September 2020 | Conflict Alert # 156
Pakistan: Targeted Violence continues in Waziristan
September 2020 | Conflict Alert # 154
The anti-Racist Protests in the US: Between
August 2020 | Conflict Alert # 148
Israel and UAE normalize relations
August 2020 | Conflict Alert # 146
Bolivia: Protests against the Election postponement
August 2020 | Conflict Alert # 138
In Iraq, the protestors return to the streets 
July 2020 | Conflict Alert # 118
J&K: Geelani's Exit and Continuing Violence
June 2020 | Conflict Alert # 105
Black Lives Matter brings the US to its knees
May 2020 | Conflict Alert # 86
Libya: Khalifa Haftar announces ceasefire 
May 2020 | Conflict Alert # 81
India: The surge in violence in J&K
April 2020 | Conflict Alert # 71
Afghanistan: 300 Taliban prisoners released
April 2020 | Conflict Alert # 67
Syria: New UN Report on Idlib
April 2020 | Conflict Alert # 64
A lethal impact on the Refugee/Migrant Camps 

April 2020 | Conflict Alert # 63
Indigenous Communities battle a complete wipeout 
March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 51
Coronavirus & China: Fall in numbers 
March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 47
Coronavirus & Nepal: In the second stage, cancels
March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 44
Two Presidents in Afghanistan

March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 42
'Aurat March': A New beginning across Pakistan 
March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 38
Sri Lanka withdraws from 30/1 Geneva Resolution
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 35
A ceasefire between Israel, Islamic Jihad in Gaza
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 34
Libya: rivals withdraw from Geneva peace talks
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 33
India: Violence in Delhi
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 32
Afghanistan: Seven Days of Peace

February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 31
Climate Change Fallouts: Impacts the Bird population
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 28
Pakistan: Court convicts LeT founder Hafiz Saeed

February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 27
Pakistan: Suicide terrorism returns to haunt Quetta
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 26
Afghanistan: The US-Taliban Seven Day Deal
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 24
Israel: Violence in post  Trump-deal

January 2020 | Conflict Alert # 20
Kenya: Al Shabab and a week of killings

December 2019 | Conflict Alert # 19
Citizenship Amendment Bill:2019
November 2019 | Conflict Alert # 18
Lebanon: PM Hariri quits, but protests continue 
October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 16
Bolivian unrest

October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 15
Hundreds protest in Haiti
October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 14
Protests rock Chile
October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 13
Hong Kong Violence: A divide within
October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 12
Spain: The trouble in Catalonia

October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 11
Turkey's Offensive in Syria
August 2019 | Conflict Alert # 9
Africa to be Polio Free
August 2019 | Conflict Alert # 7
Myanmar: Teenage girls traded as brides to China
August 2019 | Conflict Alert # 6
Moscow Protests: Thousands rally in Moscow
August 2019 | Conflict Alert # 3
Jordan Restores diplomatic ties with Qatar