(RepublicanDaily.org) – The political situation in Myanmar (also known as Burma) is now a matter of international concern. Since the military staged a coup on February 1, democratically-elected leaders have been locked up. Troops have enforced a national “state of emergency” for a year, including a night-time curfew.
Myanmar’s citizens quickly began to rally against this state of affairs with public protests. The military’s response became more violent on Wednesday, March 3, as 38 people lost their lives during demonstrations. Videos that emerged on Thursday show security forces have begun to take a sterner approach to the protests, firing live rounds and handing out savage beatings.
The US was quick to denounce the military coup after it took place. On February 11, Washington announced sanctions on the country’s acting leaders and warned that more measures were possible. The Biden administration stressed that the restrictions were not permanent and could be reversed if democracy is restored and the elected leaders are released from custody.
The Commerce Department issued further sanctions this week in response to Wednesday’s violence. According to a statement released on Thursday, the US holds the “perpetrators of the coup responsible for their actions.”
The State Department has also called on China to address this state of affairs. Myanmar and China have close links, and American and Chinese officials have been discussing the situation, a State Department spokesperson revealed on Thursday. Last month, however, China blocked an attempt by the United Nations Security Council to issue a statement of condemnation regarding the coup.
What Happens Now?
Despite the tragic scenes witnessed on Wednesday, large-scale protests took place again the following day. This perseverance is a clear indication that Myanmar’s people won’t yield easily to their aspiring dictators. Unfortunately, it also signals more violence is highly likely; sources have reported military forces are continuing to use tear gas on the country’s citizens.
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