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Junta, opposition activists maintain dueling occasions to mark Martyrs’ Day in Myanmar — Radio Free Asia

Myanmar’s army regime and opposition forces held dueling occasions Tuesday to mark the nation’s seventy fifth Martyrs’ Day, with heavy safety deployed within the business capital Yangon for an official ceremony as anti-junta activists marched and held protests in a number of cities and cities.

The households of the 9 assassinated nationwide leaders honored on the vacation laid wreaths at an official ceremony held by the junta on the Martyrs’ Mausoleum in Yangon. Noticeably absent from the occasion have been the households of independence hero Gen. Aung San, whose daughter Aung San Suu Kyi was thrown in jail following the army’s Feb. 1, 2021 overthrow of her authorities, and his elder brother Ba Win.

The army closed a number of of the primary roads within the metropolis for the early morning ceremony, which junta chief Snr. Gen. Min Aung Hlaing didn’t attend.

A resident of Yangon advised RFA Burmese that the army arrange checkpoints all through the town forward of the occasion.

“Armed police have been positioned on pedestrian bridges and there have been a number of junta automobiles patrolling the streets. As well as, there have been police and troopers in entrance of Metropolis Corridor, at many intersections and posted at numerous checkpoints,” he stated, talking on situation of anonymity.

“There have been troopers and police in plain garments too … [The authorities] checked everybody who approached the cordoned areas.”

The army additionally tightened safety and carried out inspections alongside numerous roads in Myanmar’s second-largest metropolis Mandalay, the place the opposition maintains a powerful presence.

Demonstrators march in Kachin state on Martyrs' Day, July 19, 2022. Credit: Citizen journalist
Demonstrators march in Kachin state on Martyrs’ Day, July 19, 2022. Credit score: Citizen journalist

Regardless of the clampdown, folks on the streets in lots of townships, together with Yangon, commemorated Martyrs’ Day by honking their automobile horns and carrying wreaths honoring the 9 leaders.

Even political prisoners in Yangon’s infamous Insein Jail marked the vacation by writing excerpts of speeches by the 9 martyrs on their uniforms.

In the meantime, anti-junta activists staged protests and hung posters denouncing the army regime within the areas of Yangon, Mandalay, Sagaing, Magway, and Tanintharyi, in addition to in Kachin and Kayah states.

A monk in Mandalay advised RFA that activists held a march on Monday to commemorate Martyrs’ Day in anticipation of tight safety within the metropolis for the precise vacation.

“We have been in a position to lead a protest column … on the eve of Martyr’s Day,” stated the monk, who additionally declined to be named.

“Right now, safety was tight and we couldn’t undertake any actions … However we held a prayer ceremony this night.”

In Mon state, a member of the anti-junta Folks’s Protection Drive (PDF) paramilitary group in Thaton township advised RFA {that a} ceremony was held honoring not solely the 9 Martyrs, however all who had died within the wrestle for democracy.

“[They] are additionally martyrs who need to be remembered,” he stated.

“They fought and sacrificed their lives for the sake of the nation and other people, for the reality and for justice, so we additionally should salute them.”

Martyrs’ Day actions have been additionally noticed in Sagaing area’s Budalin, Chaung-U, Kani, Khin-U, Yinmarbin, Salingyi, Tamu, and Shwebo townships; Magway area’s Pauk, Gangaw, and Tilin townships; Tanintharyi area’s Launglon and Thayetchaung townships; Bago area’s Bago and Letpadan townships; Kachin state’s Hpakant township; and Kayah state’s Phekon township.

Vice-Senior Gen. Soe Win (front), vice-chairman of the junta, salutes with officials at the tomb of Myanmar's independence hero Gen. Aung San during a ceremony to mark the 75th anniversary of his 1947 assassination, at the Martyrs' Mausoleum in Yangon, July 19, 2022. Credit: Myanmar Ministry of Information via AP
Vice-Senior Gen. Soe Win (entrance), vice-chairman of the junta, salutes with officers on the tomb of Myanmar’s independence hero Gen. Aung San throughout a ceremony to mark the seventy fifth anniversary of his 1947 assassination, on the Martyrs’ Mausoleum in Yangon, July 19, 2022. Credit score: Myanmar Ministry of Info through AP

Deserted objectives

Nan Lin, a member ofCollege College students’ Unions Alumni Drive in Yangon, advised RFA that the junta had deserted the objectives of the Martyrs, so it was not unusual that the relations of Aung San and Ba Win didn’t attend Tuesday’s official ceremony.

“The primary factor they wished was independence and the formation of a federal union, adopted by the flourishing of democracy and human rights in our nation,” he stated.

“Nevertheless, what the army has been doing is completely towards the aspirations of the martyred leaders.”

On July 19, 1947, 9 of Myanmar’s independence leaders have been gunned down by members of a rival political group whereas holding a cupboard assembly in Yangon. The victims have been Prime Minister Aung San, Minister of Info Ba Cho, Minister of Trade and Labor Mahn Ba Khaing, Minister of Commerce Ba Win, Minister of Training Abdul Razak, and Myanmar’s unofficial Deputy Prime Minister Thakin Mya.

The 9 performed key roles in Myanmar’s independence motion and, following the tip of British rule lower than six months later, the date of their assassination was designated a nationwide vacation.

Talking to RFA in Yangon on Tuesday, youth protester Myat Min Khant stated that Martyrs’ Day is now a day to commemorate all those that have sacrificed their lives for the nation.

“There could have been 9 martyrs prior to now, however presently there are various greater than 9,” he stated.

“There have been martyrs within the city clashes, on the street protests, and within the liberated areas [of Myanmar’s remote border regions]. We should acknowledge the courageous warriors who died in battle [against the junta].”

The army seized energy from Myanmar’s democratically elected authorities final yr, claiming voter fraud led to a landslide victory for the Nationwide League for Democracy (NLD) within the nation’s November 2020 election. The junta has but to offer proof of its claims and has violently suppressed nationwide protests calling for a return to civilian rule.

In line with Thailand’s Help Affiliation for Political Prisoners, the army has killed a minimum of 2,092 civilians and arrested almost 15,000 for the reason that takeover, principally throughout peaceable anti-junta demonstrations. The group acknowledges that its listing is incomplete and says the numbers are seemingly a lot larger.

Translation by Khin Maung Nyane. Written in English by Joshua Lipes.



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