Even today, the Myanmarese demonstrated against the military coup – after several dozen demonstrators were killed by security forces yesterday. One such victim was 19-year-old Ma Kyal Sin. The dancer and taekwondoka is buried today and has since become a hero and face of the protest movement.
Kyal Sin had taken to the streets of Mandalay city yesterday, wearing a black T-shirt with ‘Everything will be OK’ written on it in white letters. Photos show her taking cover when police opened fire on protesters.
Shortly after this photo, she was hit in the head by a bullet. Angel, as she called herself in English, died on the spot.
The photos of her in the black shirt with the optimistic slogan ‘everything will be fine’ have since been widely shared on Twitter. Supporters of the protest movement also share homemade animations of the 19-year-old woman:
Angel was aware of the danger she faced participating in the protest. She had stated her blood type on Facebook and indicated that her organs could be donated if she died, the BBC writes.
“She is a hero of our country,” a friend and fellow protester of Angel told The New York Times. “By participating in the revolution, our generation of young women shows that we are just as brave as men.”
Funeral and funeral procession
Hundreds of people attended Kyal Sin’s funeral in Mandalay today. They sang revolutionary songs and chanted their right to freedom and democracy. Thousands of people took part in the procession through the streets, whether or not on mopeds. Some had portraits of Angel in hand:
Farther in the city center today hundreds of people took to the streets against the military regime. Demonstrations were also held in other large cities. Among other things, the largest city of Yangon was shot again by security forces and tear gas was used. It is still unclear whether there have been more victims.
At least 54 people have been killed by the army and police since the coup a month ago, the UN human rights reporter writes. The actual number is probably higher. Last week, the military intervened on a large scale for the first time in an attempt to quell the protests. Yesterday alone, at least 38 people were killed when security forces fired live fire at demonstrators.
The UN Rapporteur reports that at least 1,700 protesters, politicians, journalists, teachers, monks and other opponents of the regime have been arrested since the February 1 coup.
The violence by the military rulers is strongly condemned internationally. The US State Department is “shocked” by the escalation in recent days. Washington has blacklisted senior officers, a number of Myanmar ministries and military conglomerates for trade.
The EU has halted a number of development projects in Myanmar. These support projects have involved more than 200 million euros in recent years, officials report to Reuters.
The UN Security Council will meet behind closed doors tomorrow to discuss the crisis. The question is how much the international pressure on Myanmar will help the protesters. The military regime has not yet taken notice of it. Apart from a number of years of early democratic reforms, the military has been in power for half a century.