Written Story for the Special Initiative “Living the Coup: Collective Diary of Daily Life in Myanmar” by SEA Junction and Partners.
|Title:||Life in Myanmar after the Coup|
|Storyteller:||20-year-old Burmese Youth|
When I woke up early in the morning on the 1st of February around 6 am, my mom came to me looking scared and lost. She told me that our Leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has been arrested by Min Aung Hlaing lead military. I wasn’t as scared as my mom since I’d never ever experienced and I checked the news to make sure and it was the truth. Actually, I have already mentioned to my close friend that there will be a coup soon. However, the response I got from her is I was stupid and it was impossible. The reason why I thought so was that there was an elucidation meeting a month before where the Minister of Information quoted “We cannot confirm that there will be No Coup.” after the Journalist asked him point blank. Then, there was too much information on social media as most of the users in my country believe in the news easily.
I started to notice a lot of things were stopped due to the coup including education, business, the healthcare system, etc. I was working at a logistics & supply chain company so we are connected to the government in many ways. I stopped working a week after the coup as I felt like continuing to work provides tax to the military. Some people leave the country, and some people leave their jobs to try to stop the system but the people are weak as they have families to take care of. We cannot blame them since they have to feed their children and continue to fulfill their dream careers. In my opinion, it is way too easy to adjust to the new government, suck their toes and go with the flow.
Then there was the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) where we all would resign and stop the infrastructure of the country. However, people try to get back to the job and it didn’t last as I mentioned above, we have families. I felt that it is a big demotivation for the people who really want to fight and are ready to sacrifice their life for democracy and for our leader. The truth is that this coup has been planned for almost a decade by the military by destroying our education system and brainwashing people in undeveloped places. It was very smart and devious of them (the military).
I joined the resistance and went into some sort of military training which lasted 7 days only but every day was a different hell. It was kind of a hideout and a bit far from my city (Yangon). Up to 3 out of 10 people could not make it till the end. In fact, the real training takes at least 6 months but the leaders of the Resistance tried to squeeze it into 7 days as we have limited time to learn everything. During the training period, I felt like death is waiting for me. I somehow made it to the end but it took a lot of effort. After that, I wanted to run away rather than fight for the country so I chose the easy way which was leaving the country instead of fighting for my country. I am ashamed of myself as well for being such a coward.
After four months, the military had already ruined my country. The inflation was already there and killed more than hundreds of our own people for rebelling against them including kids and women who were pregnant. I started to get scared and lost for real after 4 months into the coup. I got to know a lot of things about people to its core after the coup and what they are made of. It was creepy and scary at the same time. Some people are self-centered and inconsiderate. I do not want to sacrifice for such people who look for their own sake and are willing to let others to death. Even if we won in the end because of the resistance, those people will get the ultimate freedom for free. Therefore, I rather let them suffer if we all are not united. It really is very sad that I, myself, am thinking this way but I am happy to leave my country. I really don’t even miss my home but I am trying to support my mom financially who is still in Yangon now. This is how I ended up with the coup in Myanmar.
“Living the Coup: Collective Diary of Daily Life in Myanmar” is a special initiative of SEA Junction in collaboration with Asia Justice Rights (AJAR) to document how people are living in present-day Myanmar and their coping with daily security, economic and health challenges. We are asking for short stories in the form of written, photo essays or art illustration, in Burmese Language (to be later translated into English) or in English. For more background and other stories click here.
SEA Junction, established under the Thai non-profit organization Foundation for Southeast Asia Studies (ForSEA), aims to foster understanding and appreciation of Southeast Asia in all its socio-cultural dimensions- from arts and lifestyles to economy and development. Conveniently located at Room 408 of the Bangkok Arts and Culture Center or BACC (across MBK, BTS National Stadium), SEA Junction facilitates public access to knowledge resources and exchanges among students, practitioners and Southeast Asia lovers. For more information see www.seajunction.org, join the Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/1693058870976440/ and follow us on twitter and Instagram @seajunction
Asia Justice and Rights (AJAR)
AJAR is a non-profit organization, based in Jakarta, Indonesia, whose aim is to contribute to the strengthening of human rights and the alleviation of entrenched impunity in the Asia-Pacific region. Its work focuses on countries involved in transition from a context of mass human rights violations to democracy, where it strives to build cultures based on accountability, justice and a willingness to learn from the root causes of human rights violations to help prevent the recurrence of state-sanctioned human rights violations. For more information, see https://asia-ajar.org.