Wow, it’s my first time blogging in 2021! A lot has taken place in my life since the time I posted something on our blog. Personal and otherwise. As my title suggests, I’ve reviewed what I want my project to look like at least a handful of times. I’ve created a podcast with my friend Nick and we are indefinitely taking a hiatus as of now. We might pick it back up later HOWEVER, it looks like it’s going to be only after the presentation in May. We’re just not in the right place in life right now where we can give mental or creative energy to it. THAT BEING SAID! I still have LOTS of ideas for the project that I want to launch for this year. Please be patient with me! My plate is full with school, work and world events in general. I truly appreciate my parents, friends, teachers and the coordinators of the CUNY Peer Leader project of their patience, support and understanding.
My project is going to be centered around documenting the world through my eyes from sketches, photos, screenshots, and paintings – mixed media that I will be presenting as a Powerpoint in May. It will largely center around the military coup in my home country of Myanmar. We are going through the worst political event in our history in decades. The military is now in charge, once again, and declared a year-long state of emergency since February 1st. The military government is responsible for numerous human rights violations, including murder, rape and uprooting the Rohingya people along the border between Myanmar and Bangladesh. This was in 2016. Nothing has occurred to hold them accountable so far; nothing that really made much of a difference. The democratic party won by a landslide in 2015 and the military reluctantly withdrew its power to wreak havoc on the Rohingya. The leaders of the military knew this horrendous act would ruin the reputation of Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize winner and leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD). The international community then condemned Suu Kyi for denying that the military ever committing genocide. She cannot publicly announce anything as the military has the means and power to cause a million more deaths and destruction. People from other countries do not understand that the military formed its own totalitarian government since the death of Suu Kyi’s father, General Aung San. The general is known as the “Father of Burma”, who won independence for Myanmar from the British. The people are technically without a military or police that is willing to sacrifice and protect them. Burmese citizens are not allowed to carry firearms. How can we protect ourselves? The NLD cannot protect us either, they are without a military. Instead of providing substantial aid, the United Nations revoked Suu Kyi’s Nobel Prize and international organizations withdrew her human rights awards. I find it immensely frustrating with the world leaders; there is so much happening behind the scenes politically and economically that is causing more and more deaths in Myanmar.
What’s happening right now
With the police, the military is marching on the streets of my hometown, Yangon, shooting down peaceful and unarmed protestors. There has been 16 deaths (possibly more). I would like to take this space to honor those who died violently in the last month.
Feb 8, ’21: A man named KoKo Oo (AKA Ko Na’ Pwar) was run over by a car and killed on the spot in Mandalay. (+1)
Feb 15, ’21: A boy named Nay Nay Win Htet was brutally beaten while he was on the night patrol. He died a day later. (+1)
Feb 16, ’21: A military jeep ran over a boy named Salai Khwar Kone from the Chin tribe after being released from jail because he participated in the Civil Disobedience Movement. He didn’t survive the accident. (+1)
Feb 17, ’21: Two children died in a fire intentionally caused by the military at a refugee camp in Hpa-An, Kayin State. (+2)
Feb 19, ’21: A young woman named Mya Thwet Thwet Khine got shot in the head by police officer KoKo Lwin in Nay Pyi Taw. She suffered from left brain dead and her family decided to pull the plug on her on Feb 19, 2021. (+1)
Feb 20, ’21: Seven young men were fatally shot during the crackdown in Mandalay. (+7)
Feb 20, ’21: A defenseless neighborhood watch member was ambushed and fatally shot in the head in Shwe Pyi Thar, Yangon. (+1)
Feb 20, ’21: Two male adults were run over by a car and killed in Inn Sein, Yangon. (+2)
For Burmese people who are living abroad such as I, all we can do is raise awareness through protesting, posting on social media and fear for our loved ones still in Myanmar. I wish more than ever that I can stand alongside my fellow Burmese people right now in this historic event that is going to change our futures forever. This is all I can do and I wish I could do so much more.
Credit goes to ‘Myanmar Now’ on Facebook.