Myanmar coup latest: Miss Myanmar urges everyone to speak out
Miss Myanmar Thuzar Wint Lwin appears onstage at the National Costume Show, part of Miss Universe 2021, on May 13 in Hollywood, Florida. © Getty Images
Nikkei staff writers | Myanmar
YANGON/BANGKOK — Myanmar’s military on Feb. 1 detained State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint in the country’s first coup since 1988, bringing an end to a decade of civilian rule.
The Suu Kyi-led National League for Democracy had won a landslide in a general election in November. But the military has claimed the election was marred by fraud.
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Follow the latest developments here (Yangon time):
Monday, May 17
3:30 p.m. The Mindat People’s Administration announces on Facebook that fighting between the Chinland Defense Force (CDF) — a newly formed ethnic militia — and the military is ongoing in the western state of Chin, bordering India. The administration is acting as the CDF’s political unit. It added in its post that seven locals had been killed during the recent fighting. The State Administration Council, as the junta is formally known, declared martial law in the northwestern town of Mindat on Thursday.
10:30 a.m. Thuzar Wint Lwin, Myanmar’s Miss Universe contestant, who has made it to the finals, used the pageant on Sunday to urge the world to speak out against the military junta. “Our people are dying and being shot by the military every day,” she said in a video message for the competition in Hollywood, Florida, according to Reuters. “I would like to urge everyone to speak about Myanmar. As Miss Universe Myanmar since the coup, I have been speaking out as much as I can,” she said.
Sunday, May 16
10:10 a.m. During a special Mass for the Myanmar community in Italy, Pope Francis says the people of the country must not despair in the face of evil or allow themselves to be divided. “Your beloved country of Myanmar is experiencing violence, conflict and repression,” the pope said at St. Peter’s Basilica. He urged drawing inspiration from the final hours of Jesus Christ. Francis visited Myanmar in 2017 and has been outspoken against the junta since the Feb. 1 coup. The predominantly Buddhist country is home to fewer than 800,000 Roman Catholics.
People hold a banner in Saint Peter’s Square after Pope Francis held a mass for Myanmar residents of Italy in the Vatican on May 16. © Reuters
3:20 a.m. A total of 63 people have been killed in recent attacks by junta opponents, according to junta spokesman Zaw Min Tun. “Terrorists are planting bombs in public areas and there are some injuries among the people,” he told a news conference, while asking for information on the attackers.
Saturday, May 15
11:45 p.m. Fighting breaks out between the army and local militia fighters in the northwestern town of Mindat, residents say, in some of the heaviest fighting since the military seized power three months ago.
The fighting underlines the growing chaos as the junta struggles to impose order in the face of daily protests, strikes and sabotage attacks after it overthrew Suu Kyi.
“We are running for our lives,” a resident tells Reuters from Mindat, a hill town just over 100 km from the border with India.
“There are around 20,000 people trapped in the town, most of them are kids, old people,” the resident says. “My friend’s three nieces were hit by shrapnel. They are not even teens.”
The junta imposed martial law in Mindat on Thursday and then stepped up attacks on what it called “armed terrorists.”
9:10 p.m. Sai Kan Nyunt, a member of Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy, has been found dead with many stab wounds, according to local media reports.
To catch up on earlier developments, see the last edition of latest updates.