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Why is Myanmar’s military killing civilians?

Over 700 people have died during pro-democracy protests following a coup on 1 February.

Over 700 people, including children, have now died during pro-democracy protests in Myanmar following a coup on 1 February. Military chief General Min Aung Hlaing has declared a year-long emergency and promised to hold fresh elections at some time in the future. The armed forces of Myanmar are guaranteed a minimum number of seats in the nation’s parliament, retain control over many of the country’s institutions, and profit from a sprawling domestic business empire. But the military says the 2020 vote - which returned the governing NLD party under Aung San Suu Kyi to power with a larger majority – was flawed.

Many politicians, including Ms Suu Kyi, are under arrest. She’s been charged with criminal offences and if found guilty can be barred from contesting future elections. The coup has taken place at a time when Myanmar, also known as Burma, is continuing to battle the coronavirus pandemic, an economic crisis, regional insurgencies and is also facing an international investigation into alleged war crimes over the killing and expulsion of tens of thousands of minority Rohingya people. So, what's behind the military's decision to row back democracy and attack its own citizens? And what can the international community do about it? Join Ritula Shah and guests as they discuss the military in Myanmar.

Available now

53 minutes

Last on

Sat 17 Apr 2021 03:06GMT


Aye Min Thant - Burmese-American journalist

Wai Hnin - Burmese human rights activist working at the Burma Campaign UK

Mary Callahan - Associate professor of international studies at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington

Also featuring ...

Andy Heyn - UK ambassador to Myanmar 2009-2013, now an honorary professor at the Senator George Mitchell Institute at Queens University, Belfast

Clarissa Ward - Chief international corrrespondent for CNN and author of ‘On All Fronts: The Education of a Journalist'


Military commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing who led the coup - Credit: Getty Images


  • Fri 16 Apr 2021 09:06GMT
  • Fri 16 Apr 2021 23:06GMT
  • Sat 17 Apr 2021 03:06GMT

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