Myanmar troops on April 7 stormed an anti-coup protest camp, killing three people and wounding several other demonstrators. Since February 1 coup, Myanmar has been embroiled in protest against the military government, which has responded with increasingly totalitarian surveillance and censorship measures in addition to the violence. Citing Mizzima news outlet, Bangkok Post reported that on Wednesday, violence erupted again as troops entered the protest site in the town of Kale in the Saigang region, where demonstrators were demanding the restoration of Aung San Suu Kyi’s civilian government.
According to the local Myanmar media outlet, three people were killed and soldiers were roaming on the streets with rifles. Advocacy group, Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), said that around 581 people, including dozens of children, have been shot by troops and police in almost daily unrest since the coup. The group further added that forces have arrested close to 3,500 people, with 2,750 still detained.
Earlier this week, the authorities in Myanmar also arrested the country’s best-known comedian, Zarganar. According to AP, Zarganar was taken from his home in Yangon by police and soldiers who arrived in two army vehicles. The 60-year-old comedian is a sharp-tongued satirist who has been in and out of prison since he was active in a failed 1988 popular uprising against a previous military dictatorship.
In the past week, the Myanmar military has issued arrest warrants for at least 60 people active in the field of literature, film theatre arts, music and journalism on charges of spreading information that undermines the stability of the country and the rule of law. However, it is still not clear what Zarganar, whose real name is Maung Thura, has been charged with. Several ordinary protesters and activist are also being arrested every day, according to local media outlets.
Meanwhile, on Monday, protesters also started a nationwide “Blood Strike” as they sprayed red paint on the roadways and smeared several cities to express solidarity with the victims shot at by the junta. In an act to honour the fallen 'pro-democracy heroes' that succumbed to the gunshot wounds of the soldiers, civilians daubed bus stations, billboards, and highways with bright red paint in the second populous city of Yangon. The civil disobedience movement also marked two long months of lethal violence, killings, and bloodshed ensued by the military since it unlawfully seized power by overthrowing the democratically elected government. Some cities witnessed protests with Padauk flowers ahead of Myanmar’s upcoming new year.