This is the summary for day 32 of the #MyanmarCoup and night 19 of consecutive internet blackouts. So far at least 1507 people have been arrested, charged, or sentenced and at least 62 have been killed by security forces. The big stories of the day are the building international pressure against the junta and the continued defection of security forces from the side of the military.
Tatmadaw - Following the bloodiest day of crackdown to date, security forces continued to try and suppress nationwide protests using stun grenades, tear gas, and rubber bullets. No reports of casualties were reported on this day.
The junta has responded to international sanctions by saying that they are used to sanctions, referencing the decades Myanmar was under sanctions under previous military rule. The Tatmadaw invited foreign chambers of commerce to attend a meeting, part of its push to maintain business and foreign investment despite the coup. The invitation was declined by the European, American, and Italian chambers, with the letter being endorsed by the French and British chambers.
CDM - Protests continued across the country despite the high death count the previous day, with funerals being held for the fallen with thousands in attendance. Civil society groups continued their calls for a global arms embargo, targeted sanctions, denying the junta legitimacy, and the opening of a International Criminal Court case against the military for crimes against humanity.
There have been more defections from the military’s side, as 19 police officers fled to India saying that they have been given orders they cannot obey. Indian authorities say they expect more officers in the coming days.
Nearly 300 members of the Karen National Democratic Party have left the party after the party chair attended a meeting held by a new, military-appointed, election commission meeting in which the November 2020 results were announced to be annulled. CRPH has also announced through one of their newly appointed interim ministers that civil servants have until the 7th of March to join the movement before being seen as having taken the military’s side.
Emerging Stories - Gender politics have come into play as protestors have begun hanging women’s clothing above streets as a way to slow the advance of security forces. Many in Myanmar believe that walking under women’s clothing lowers the dignity of men, and many soldiers were seen taking the time to remove the clothing hung in their path before continuing on their way yesterday.
There have also been reports from members of the LGBT community, especially women, of experiencing sexual harassment while detained. The military has been accused for decades of using rape as a weapon of war.
Singapore, Myanmar’s biggest investor and a big target of calls for divestment by the CDM, has advised all nationals to leave. The EU announced that they have suspended support for development projects in Myanmar. The UN Security Council has also announced that they will hold a closed door meeting on Myanmar at the request of the UK.