MYANMAR REVOLT: AT LEAST 18 DEAD


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As we reported in our 9 February article, “MYANMAR PROTESTS SURGE, JUNTA CLAMPS DOWN,” on 1 February, Myanmar’s military put Aung San Suu Kyi, the country’s de facto leader, under house arrest declaring a state of emergency. Taking full control of the government, they postponed the new election until next year.
Since the overthrow began, hundreds of thousands have been protesting in cities across the country, and work strikes have jeopardized commerce, shipping, and the general economy. 
Yangon, the country’s largest city that has seen protests, experienced its fiercest police crackdown on Sunday, which included dozens of arrests. Police reportedly fired rubber bullets into crowds in various cities, and when that failed to break up the protests, they used live ammunition. At least 18 protesters were killed in the clashes, and 30 were injured, according to Reuters.
The U.N. Human Rights Office told the news agency that the protests occurred in Yangon, Dawei, Mandalay, Myeik, Bago, and Pokokku.
“People are protesting peacefully but they’re threatening us with weapons,” Shar Yamone, a youth activist, told Reuters. “We’re fighting to end this military bullying, which has been going on for generation after generation.”
Monwya, another city, saw a crackdown, and there were reports of some ten “prison buses” used to transport detainees from protests to a prison. Protesters are trying to identify those who were detained.
Prior to the bloodshed on Sunday, at least three protesters and one police officer have been killed during rallies over the past three weeks, according to the BBC.
The crackdown came after Kyaw Moe Tun, the country’s U.N. ambassador, “publicly broke ranks” and called on his countrymen to “find a way to protest peacefully.” Reuters reported that he flashed the three-finger sign adopted by protesters and said, “This revolution must win.”
The report stated the whereabouts of Suu Kyi is no longer clear. She had been held under house arrest but has since been moved to an undisclosed location.
Economy on the Brink
The Financial Times reported on Friday that bank employees in Myanmar have followed the lead of workers in other industries who have decided to stop showing up to work to further damage the country’s economic infrastructure amid the coup.
The paper said that bank branches across the country lack tellers, making it challenging for businesses to make payroll and deposit checks. This is also making it nearly impossible for the military to keep its vow to make sure the country keeps operating economically.
“Shutdowns in the banking system—by making payments to thousands of businesses and payrolls to more than a million people nearly impossible—are more likely than anything else to bring the political stand-off to a head,” Thant Myint-U, a historian and author, told the FT.
TREND FORECAST: Despite the U.S. and its allies condemning the Myanmar military for the coup and actions taken against protesters, the sanctions being imposed and threats made will have a minor impact on a nation that will reinforce its strong economic and geopolitical bonds with neighboring China.
TOP TREND FOR 2021: “YOUTH REVOLUTION”: As we had forecast as one of our “Top Trends for 2021,” the uprisings and revolutions that were sweeping the world before the COVID War will accelerate dramatically, as billions of people sink deeper into economic despair.. and the youth, who live in despair now and face a future of misery, will be leading the charge. 
The Guardian newspaper spoke to a 21-year-old protester named Myo who took part in a rally last Wednesday. He told the paper he was there because “the military took away my future.”
He said, “My work can no longer pay me. This country had barely started trying to develop and now it’s 2021. I don’t know what made them think they should stage a coup.”
The paper pointed out that many of the protesters were raised in a country that afforded them freedoms not available to their parents. Thinzar Shunlei Yi, a human rights activist who lives in Yangon, a city of 5.5 million, told the paper that these protesters “were ready to fly out and see things, but now they feel like their wings are being broken by these people.”
TREND FORECAST: We had forecast three weeks ago that military rule will continue in Myanmar and threats by the U.N., the U.S., and other nations will achieve nothing in terms of bringing so-called “Democracy” to Myanmar. 
Furthermore, the more outside countries put pressure on the Myanmar government – be they in sanctions or supporting rebel movements – the greater the ruling government will strengthen its ties with its Chinese neighbor.
The long term is still to be determined by what measures will be taken by the Youth Revolutionaries and their elder supporters who have joined the fight for freedom. 

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