This is the summary for day 21 of the #MyanmarCoup, day 15 of protests and night 7 of internet blackouts.
The big stories of the day are the Tatmadaw’s continued gaslighting of the country, the formation of new (and potentially) leadership groups within the anti-coup movement, and chilling warning signs for the protests planned today - Monday 22.2.2021.
Tatmadaw Response - The military has continued their strategy of denying things people saw with their own eyes. They denied responsibility for the young woman shot in the capitol, Ma Thwe Thwe Khine. The state-run newspaper also ran an article titled “Protestors attack security force members at Mandalay Yadanabon dock” with no mention of the dozens of protestors who were injured and the two who were killed and no mention that the security forces even discharged any weapons.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also put out a statement calling the actions taken by the international community as foreign interference in violation of international treaties. In anticipation of the nationwide general strike called for today, Monday, the state-run TV channel put out a warning that protestors “will suffer the loss of life” if they do not obey martial law. 640 people have now been arrested and at least 4 are dead.
CDM - There are now two leadership organizations that have emerged in relation to the Civil Disobedience Movement. CRPH is the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, an organization made up of the elected parliamentarians from the 2020 elections.
GSC is the General Strike Committee, an organization that includes multiple political parties, religious leaders, student groups, and unions. It is unclear at the moment if these two groups are working together.
Day 20 also saw even more protestors, including in Mandalay, despite security forces opening fire on day 19. The funeral for Ma Thwe Thwe Khine was also held, and many watched her funeral procession through Naypyitaw, the capitol, live on Facebook.
Day 20 also saw a new dynamic in which KNU soldiers, KNU is a Karen Ethnic Armed Organization, escorted anti-coup demonstrators during their protests. It remains to be seen how having armed protection (at least in some areas) changes the direction and tone of the CDM movement.
Emerging Stories - Facebook has continued its takedown of military run pages, yesterday taking down the “True News Information Team'' page - a military mouthpiece page.
An internal memo leaked from the Myanmar Times states that the paper will be suspended for 3 months. Nearly half the staff walked out in the last couple days due to perceptions that management was too willing to follow military directives on how to cover the coup, including not using the word “coup”.
Looking forward to today, Monday the 22nd, there are fears that a massive crackdown is planned for today. Reports indicate that all roads to embassies have been blocked and that the internet will be down until noon. Today is also likely to see the largest protests yet, as organizers have called for a nationwide general strike.