Myanmar dispatches: updates and analysis from our law student correspondents in Myanmar Dispatches
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Myanmar dispatches: updates and analysis from our law student correspondents in Myanmar

JURIST EXCLUSIVE – Our law student correspondents in Myanmar continue to send reports of the latest developments on the ground, along with their perspectives and analysis of the legal issues presented by the February 1 military coup.

This perspective focuses on our correspondent’s reaction to the Friday Special Session of the UN Human Rights Council on the Myanmar situation, recent arrests and kidnappings, and the atmosphere of fear of arrest at night that military rule had brought with it. The piece has been very lightly edited so as not to unintentionally distort the author’s meaning.

Shame on the UN Myanmar Representative

Myint Thu doesn’t represent the voices of Myanmar people at all. He was literally translating everything Min Aung Hlaing (the military leader) said on their military-owned MWD TV channel. He was lying and covering up the real situation in Myanmar.

I hope the UN takes action rather than issuing another joint statement or sanctions. Those statements are just paper. In the current situation, that paper does not take the bullet for us or guarantee our human rights. Despite being a legal scholar myself, I ask myself many times whether the fundamental values of morality, law, and order, and the rule of law can be enforced in real life. In books, we learn no one is above the law but obviously, the military dictators are sitting above the law. I know there’re several steps to finally reach the stage of taking action (like sending us military force). But I think the more we waste our time, the more time the military will get to eat up all alive. If the world is silent on this matter, they’re selling the democracy and human rights values into the hands of the dictatorship.

Today at Mawlamyein University, four university students were arrested. The police used guns to disperse the protesters but the people demand the police to release the students. There was no warning or redline, the police start shooting with rubber bullets. Today, there was a man who took the rubber bullets on his back (8 rubber bullets) to protect other people near him.

The military took over power illegally with the reason of election fraud. The military first targets the Union Election Commission (UEC). Kidnapping them at night like 2 pm when everyone is asleep. They’ve already arrested almost all staff from UEC. The next target is the government staff who participate in CDM. Tonight, about 13 military cars enter the University of Mandalay so all neighbors bang pots and surround the compound but then, they just drive around and leave without arresting anyone. They also came to government staff residents near Mandalay 300 beds hospital and Myanmar Train Station residents.

Here is the list of places in Mandalay they’ve come to tonight:

1. The University of Mandalay at 9:50 pm
2. 300 beds Teaching Hospital on 62nd street 10:00 pm
3. Sein Pann Street, 90th street between 35th and 36th streets 10:09 pm
4. The fire brigade on 21st street 10:05 pm
5. 40th Street, between 81st and 82nd streets 10:10 pm
6. Hospital staff residents, on 29th street, on 74th street 9:20 pm
7. Fire Brigade, 36th street, between 77th and 78th streets 9:40 pm

Tonight is the Biggest Psywar

Many police and military cars drive around the cities everywhere. They also enter the University of Mandalay. They came to chase people but release them back when neighbors bang pots. This happens almost everywhere and at the same time. We don’t know where to go first, making us confused. Also, this all happens around 9 pm. Too early to arrest people as their evil plan. They could have waited till everyone is asleep. Their main intention is not to kidnap people. They could have done it very easily and quietly using force. They want the news to be spread.

(1) They want to scare us. They want to make us confuse and lose sleep so that we might not protest strongly during day time and we might not bang pots loudly or we might give up. This may be their intention. For this, we’re thinking about forming security groups in every town or block. We will take turns to sleep at night and protest during day time.

(2) To observe our response. They make us weak now so that when they finally materialize their plan, we might be too weak to respond to them. Like in Hong Kong, they’re observing our habitual response and initial plans so that they can find fault in our plans and take advantage of it to actually seize us later.

(3) The most dangerous!! To Distract! Tonight, they target firemen. As they arrest two or three firemen, their colleagues follow the police car to ask them to release. During that time, when all water cars are gone from that town, they pour petroleum on houses and streets. They create chaos on one side to start a fire on the other. (there are photos of trucks carrying petroleum and on some streets, they actually pour and start the fire). This is a very notorious habit of the military. To burn popular places. They’ve burned Yadanarbon Market, Mingalar market, and other offices. They destroy buildings with fire whenever they want to get rid of something. Are they trying to get rid of citizens??

(4) Are they trying to bring people onto the streets after the curfew? (from 8 pm to 4 am) It is confirmed that they’ve released some prisoners to create chaos. It seems like they could have made deals with the prisoners. Someone caught one prisoner pouring petroleum on the streets and asked him questions and go live on Facebook. They announced a one-year emergency condition (randomly labeling the whole countries as chaos in their MWD channel) but there was no chaos to point out the people so they might make us create Chaos by ourselves and within us. They’re testing the patience of the people. Once we respond violently, we will fall into their trap.

The GOOD Among the BAD

The Civil Disobedience Movemnent (CDM) is really working. CDM is the military’s biggest struggle right now so they’re haunting people to stop CDM.

They’re trying to harm CDM so we have to make this stronger.

We have to maintain this for months. We failed once in 1988 when we stopped CDM but not this time.

Meanwhile, I really hope the World, the UN, the countries, and the NGOs DO SOMETHING about this. ACTIONS speak louder than WORDS.

This is not just our National Crisis anymore, this will indicate the failure of human rights norms, the failure of the law, the failure of the human race. DO SOMETHING, ANYTHING!