The February 1 coup ended the country’s turbulent transition to democracy and sparked nationwide street protests against the return of military rule and the arrest of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Despite the threat of arrest and fears of an increasing military response, live street protests have continued throughout Myanmar and belong to a wide range of class and ethnic groups.
The deaths occurred on Saturday as police entered the scene of an attack with striking shipyard workers and other demonstrators, according to Reuters. One man was reported to have died of head injuries, and the other, identified by relatives as a 36-year-old carpenter, died after being shot in the chest. Eyewitnesses said that they found rubber bullets and live ammunition at the scene of the clashes. A volunteer emergency service said at least 20 people were injured, including many who had bloodstained clothes and were taken away on stretchers.
The Myanmar army denied using lethal force at the February 9 protest in Naypyidaw, where Mia Thuy Thuy Khing went to demonstrate in a red shirt and protective helmet, Reuters reported.
Video footage of the event, however, was analyzed by Human Rights Watch Reuters, Mia Thawati Kheng is shown standing that day next to a row of riot police moving to disperse the crowd. It was first struck by a stream of water cannons. Then a woman next to her takes her hand and turns their back in retreat. This is when a crack can be heard, after which Mia Thuy Thuy Khayng collapses as the water sprinkler continues to spray.
Doctors confirmed that Mia Thawati Khaieng was hit by a live bullet, and they were able to identify at least two other people who were hit by live bullets during the same march. BBC reported.
The 19-year-old girl – Mia Thwati Thawat Kheng – was only two days away from her birthday – she traveled to Naypyidaw with her sister from Yazin village, northeast of the capital. And their families, while supportive of the protests, warned against joining them for fear of an outbreak of violence, according to Reuters.
Yi Hotot Aung, Mia Thani Thawati Kheng’s brother, told Reuters that she persisted. He said, “It was her soul.” “She wanted it, and I couldn’t stop it.”
I tried to call it from the march, but the connection was weak. The government choked internet and mobile phone connections in an attempt to thwart the protests.
Once again anxious brother asked her to hold back. “What would you do if they shot?” He asked, according to Watchman. She replied, “No, they won’t.” “It’s okay. Even if they shoot, that’s fine.”
They did not speak again. Mia Thawati Khing was on resuscitation equipment until her death.
In November, Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing voted for the first time for the National League for Democracy (NLD), the Suu Kyi party. Her brother said that her family also supported the party. But the NLD’s election success prompted the army to act against the elected leadership in Myanmar, citing, without evidence, widespread voter fraud as an excuse.
“I want to encourage all citizens to join the protests so that we can get rid of this system,” her sister Mia Tha To Noi told reporters on Friday, according to the BBC. “That’s all I want to say.”