Journalists in Myanmar have faced tremendous challenges and difficulties over the past two years as they continue to document the popular resistance against the military regime and the people’s demand to restore civilian rule and democracy.
This sums up the special briefing organized by the International Press Institute to mark the second anniversary of the February 2021 coup. IPI was joined by Mizzima News founding editor Soe Myint and freelance journalist Thin Lei Win who both highlighted the critical role of the independent media in countering the lies of the junta and spreading awareness about the pro-democracy movement.
Thin referred to the junta as a small group of people with arms and resources while the vast majority of the population wants to be free from them. Soe added that the extension of the state of emergency reflects the military’s desire to remain in power even if it lacks credibility and legitimacy.
Despite the vast resources at its disposal, the junta could not effectively govern as pro-democracy forces and armed ethnic groups have gained footholds across the country. In fact, the successful “Silent Strike” during the coup anniversary was widely seen as a loud indictment of the junta rule. People protested by refusing to go out in the streets.
“The international community must renew its commitment to Myanmar and protect and defend the courageous journalists who are risking their lives to report on the regime’s ongoing human rights abuses,” said IPI Deputy Director Scott Griffen in a statement released after the briefing.
By Mong Palatino