Myanmar Coup

May 2021 Forums General discussion Myanmar Coup

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 76 total)
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  • #213714
    Wez
    Participant

    ‘The military might back down or they might crack down. It’s up to them.’

    It depends on, like the socialist revolution scenario you described earlier, what level of political awareness the members of the military possess. Of course, in the long term, we are in the business of prediction as this is the only way to empirically test our model of historical development. The interface between long and short term predictions based on historical models is interesting – where is the boundary?

    #213716
    ALB
    Keymaster

    It isn’t really a military coup as the military have held power there for decades. It is just that for the past few years they have handed over a part of the civil administration to elected civilians. What they have just done is to remove that façade. They never gave up real power. That’s why I can’t see them doing an Erich Honecker and giving up (though I imagine they could have a gilded retirement in China). They are talking of fresh elections. What will they do if they lose those?

    So this isn’t really the hypothetical scenario that is put to us. Still, it is a case of a ruling class trying to rule in the face of mass popular opposition. Which they can do for a while. As long as the armed forces remain loyal to them they can see off strikes and street demonstrations.

    #213717
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    Latest news is that the military are starting to crack down but still exercising a certain amount of restraint compared with their previous history.

    We can only hope that there is sufficient dissatisfaction within the ranks that the generals cannot trust issuing shoot-to-kill orders.

    This is what happened in Tiananmen Sq where the loyalty of Beijing garrison troops couldn’t be relied upon so provincial regiments were eventually deployed.

    “…Most of the soldiers were from peasant families who had never been to Beijing and did not understand the situation they were about to confront. Many privately looked forward to their first trip to the capital and expected to be welcomed by residents. The military units from other regions spoke a different northern dialect than the Beijing citizens, adding to the confusion. The soldiers were strictly prohibited from communicating with residents. This language barrier would limit curious soldiers in finding information on the student movement other than what they have been told by their chain of command…”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People%27s_Liberation_Army_at_the_1989_Tiananmen_Square_protests

    #213720
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    As we all hoped.

    In Magwe in central Myanmar unconfirmed reports on social media claimed several police officers had crossed over to join the protesters’ ranks.

    In the delta city of Pathein video posted on Facebook appeared to show protesters persuading some police officers to stand down.

    However, “We want the police to join us. It is the army we are worried about. If they are told to shoot people, they will shoot.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/feb/09/myanmar-protesters-curfew-junta-demonstrators-army

    #213755
    Zusammenhang
    Participant

    Biden announced today that he was imposing sanctions that would prevent the generals who engineered the coup in Myanmar from gaining access to $1 billion in funds their government keeps in the United States, and said he would announce additional actions against the military leaders and their families.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-myanmar-politics-idUSKBN2AA2OF

    #213756
    ALB
    Keymaster

    That would suggest that the US government thinks that the Chinese rulers are behind the coup or at least gain from it and is preparing to punish the ordinary people of Burma for being ruled by a government considered hostile to the overseas interests of US capitalism. Just as it has done to the people of Iran, Venezuela, Cuba and Syria. The US government is not interested in “human rights” in these places but in “regime change” — to one favourable to its interests.

    #213781
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    Protests continued across the country for a sixth straight day on Thursday.

    Hundreds of workers lined a road in the capital Naypyitaw in support of the civil disobedience movement, chanting anti-junta slogans and carrying placards supporting Suu Kyi. Hundreds of protesters also demonstrated outside the Chinese embassy in Yangon, accusing Beijing of supporting the military junta despite Chinese denials. Protesters also demonstrated near the embassies of the United States, Russia and France as well as the offices of the United Nations. The French ambassador went out to meet them to state his support for democracy and for the release of detainees.

    In keeping with the creativity of recent demonstrations, where some protesters have worn ball gowns and costumes, rallies in Yangon included men and boys dressed in short skirts. “We don’t take off our skirt until we get democracy back,” one sign read.

    Hmmm?… will members be wearing a tutu in November for COP26?

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-myanmar-politics/suu-kyi-aide-electoral-officials-arrested-in-myanmar-biden-approves-sanctions-idUSKBN2AB06O

    #213784
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    The EU provided crowd control training to specialist Myanmar police units. Specialist crowd control units which received EU training have been involved in policing the protests and have been among those accused of using excessive force against demonstrators including firing water cannons, rubber bullets and live ammunition.

    The irony being

    “…The project, initiated in 2012, provided training and equipment to help modernise Myanmar’s military-controlled police force along the lines of “international best practice and respect for human rights”…”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/feb/11/eu-provided-crowd-control-training-to-myanmar-police-units

    #213853
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    More and more arrests are occurring. Strikes in army-controlled businesses are happening. Those who are identified as participants in the protests fear for their jobs. Some police are defecting to the side of the protesters but still not in significant numbers. The army remain mostly in reserve, ready to be deployed if necessary.

    This will be a drawn-out war of attrition.

    #213873
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    Reports of increased army activity, armoured cars and troop movements in the streets.

    #213897
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    Long jail sentences threatened to those who are resisting the coup
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-56067423

    Soldiers used for the first time to break up protests
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/feb/15/myanmar-internet-restored-protesters-army-presence-aung-san-suu-kyi

    #213917
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    Army shuts down the internet again.

    #213966
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    Thousands of protesters took to the streets in even larger demonstrations than seen in previous days with protesters blockading roads with vehicles to stop troops from moving through the area.

    UN special rapporteur Tom Andrews warned that reports of soldiers being brought into Yangon could lead to a largely violent situation.

    “I fear that Wednesday has the potential for violence on a greater scale in Myanmar than we have seen since the illegal takeover of the government on February 1,” Andrews said in a statement.

    https://www.dw.com/en/myanmar-coup-thousands-rally-against-military-build-up/a-56594373

    #214062
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    The start of the crackdown or a miscalculation?

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-56137025

    #214100
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant
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