Whats Happening in Myanmar?

What DHS Students Should Know about this Growing Human Rights Issue

Britney LaVecchia, Co-Editor in Chief

From 1962 to 2011, Myanmar has struggled under the oppressive regime also known as Burma. Ten years after democracy began, Myanmar has now fallen to a military coup on February 1 2021. The military seized power after detaining elected officials and staging a vote fraudulence. Heres what you need to know about this growing issue. 

What is currently happening?  

This all began on February 1, within a weeks time the military has banned social media sites such as Twitter, Instagram and partially Facebook. The internet blackout has also cut off phone lines as well as news channels. The military regime has justified this by blaming voter fraud in the past election, but in reality this is only for power. 

It has been reported by journalists and other media workers within Myanmar that they feel unsafe and that their lives are at risk. Without the internet and news stations, there has been little reports on what is occuring in Myanmar and we are unable to see the reality of the situation. 

This Image, Via Net Blocks, shows a collapse of connectivity within Myanmar on February 6 2021.

On February 7, thousands of people began to protest in Yangon denouncing the coup. The crowd cheered “We don’t want military dictatorship! We want democracy!”  as they are hoping for the release of  Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi who they look to as their leader. 

Brad Adams, Asia Director at Human Rights Watch states that “The Myanmar military has engaged in a naked power grab that if not reversed will set back democracy and the protection of human rights for a generation”. This issue at large is not only political, but of human rights. The people of Myanmar are unable to speak their voice as the oppressive military regime has blocked off all online communication as well as arrested activists. 


Why is this happening? 

The State Counselor of Myanmar, Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, has become known as a worldwide symbol of peace and democracy in her actions against the military regime within Myanmar. In November 2020, she won the country wide election with a landslide, but the strong military disputed the results. February 1 was the day that parliament was to sit for the first time, until the coup began. 

After the coup, she has been detained as she is the representation of democracy and peace for those in her country. The military leader, Min Aung Hlaing, was set to retire in June 2021 as he has led the military since 2011. Although he has remained in power alongside Suu Kyi, he has now led the coup in order to gain the presidency before his retiring. 

As the coup continues, more sources have showed that the people of Myanmar are protesting for the return of their leader who is currently detained. The military regime has a lot of control right now, it is difficult to see how they plan to lead the country, especially under Hlaing.

Who is Aung San Suu Kyi? 

Suu Kyi has been widely popular, both in Myanmar as well as around the world. Due to restrictions of the Constitution she cannot be President, but she does hold more power in her position.

Before Myanmar had become a democratic country, she had fought for reforms and human rights, making her well known around the world. When she was elected as Prime Minister in 1990, she was denied her position and detained by the military under house arrest. She won the nobel peace prize in 1991 for her non violent protest for democracy within her home country.


Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi has been detained by military officials as the coup continues.

Although Suu Kyi is very popular, the 2017 Rohingya crisis brought light to her negligence of minority groups as she backed the military’s actions against this group. After this occurred, it has been argued if she should have received the nobel peace prize. Suu Kyi has also been criticized for the prosecution of activists who defied her laws. Not only did she have little reform, but the military also held a quarter of the power in the Parliament, still making them prominent. 

Why should we know about this at Darien High School? 

Not only is this a worldwide known issue, but it is a growing human rights issues that students should be aware of. As most journalists have already been detained, it is important as a community to raise awareness to the growing issue in Myanmar. As there is little knowledge of how this will resolve or what is happening within Myanmar’s borders, it is important to know about this issue as it grows more prevalent this year.