28th February 2021

I struggled a little to find news to report yesterday as things seemed to be settling down. That came to an end with a bang today – literally.

Reuters report 7 confirmed deaths in Myanmar, but social media reports 27 deaths, and that figure is climbing. What is even more disquieting is that it wasn’t a response to a major demonstration in a large city that got out of hand but is spread throughout the country. This would seem to suggest co-ordinated response and implementation of a central policy.

Early reports indicate the following casualties:

Total Today’s list of dead = 23

  • Dawei: 5
  • Yangon: 4 (Hledan-2, Thingangyun-1, South Dagon-1)
  • Myeik: 7
  • Bago: 3
  • Mandalay: 2
  • Pakokku: 1
  • Lashio: 1, plus 4 yet to be confirmed.

This covers the country from Dawei in the far south to Lashio in the north. Many of the deaths were from headshots rather than hits to the chest and one was even a motorcyclist brought down by a headshot whilst riding his bike. These figures include a pregnant woman and a young boy.

The Military tactics are getting dirtier (if that was possible):-

The BFD. Sniper in civilian clothes firing into Mandalay City Development housing, 36 street, Mandalay.

Soldier ready to disguise himself and infiltrate the crowds later. The trainers are the giveaway. The BFD.
Medical staff under fire whilst treating casualty. The BFD.
A casualty. The BFD.

One casualty resulted from this. I have refrained from showing the inside of the helmet and the body as I don’t wish to sensationalise the issues.

Policeman being shown how to use military grade rifle. Expressions of sheer joy when they hit the target. Such jolly fun!

Even in such horrible times, there are actions that lift the spirit.

Advantage protestors!. The BFD.

Advantage protestors!

Some protestors in a piece of inspiration and creativity deterred security forces by glueing large posters of coup leader Senior General Min Aung Hlaing on the road. This caused significant delays to the riot police and soldiers who didn’t dare defile the image of their leader.

Barrier to troops. Remember, don’t tread on the cracks! The BFD.

Barrier to troops. Remember, don’t tread on the cracks!

Journos under threat.

Staffer from USA embassy being arrested for filming action. The BFD.
Shin Moe Myint, a 23-year-old freelance photojournalist, was severely beaten and arrested by 7 policemen while she is covering the protest in Myaynigone, Yangon on 28.2. 2021.

Shin Moe Myint, a 23-year-old freelance photojournalist, was severely beaten and arrested by 7 policemen while she was covering the protest in Myaynigone, Yangon on 28.2. 2021.

This gives an idea of the conditions under which brave reporters are operating to bring the truth from Myanmar.

Today’s conduct by security forces focused more on arresting journalists covering the civil disobedience movement protests across the country.

As of Saturday evening, more than 10 local journalists from news outlets like 7 Day News, Myanmar Now, Monywa Gazette, the Hakha Times and The Associated Press were detained by security forces in Yangon, Monywa, Chin State and other areas.

Source The Irrawaddy 28th February 2021.

I have on file 7 pictures of the deaths that occurred today and I do not propose to publish them, not because I believe in censorship but out of respect to the dead and because of the graphic, bloody nature of the pictures. I do not want to sensationalise the reports that I am sending. I don’t feel that it is appropriate to publish a picture of the interior of a motorcycle helmet with blood and brain tissue on display.

I will however include the following because it shows the lack of humanity in the Military. Remember. These are civilians they are dealing with, not rebels, armed insurrectionist or terrorists.

Troops hiding the body of a victim under rubble. The BFD.

Troops hiding the body of a victim under rubble.

Police clearing away the evidence. The BFD.

Police clearing away the evidence.

 As the day draws to a close in Myanmar the unconfirmed deaths reported stands at 37. The estimate of wounded is in excess of 1,000. Police are preventing the injured from getting treatment by arresting medical staff and they have opened fire on Mandalay hospital.

The situation has reached a tipping point and the authorities, true to form, will start escalating violence as they think they have subdued the media and reports to the outside will start to fall. What they don’t seem to appreciate is that times have changed since the last major bloodshed of 1988. The local media is determined to ensure that they use technology and get the facts out to the world. The CDM is hitting the economy and the Military feel that they have no alternative now and have to crack down before the economy collapses.

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The Blood Hits the Fan

Brought up in a far-left coal mining community and came to NZ when the opportunity arose. Made a career working for blue-chip companies both here and overseas. Developed a later career working on business...