Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Birthday wishes sent to Myanmar military leader with mock funerals



Birthday wishes sent to Myanmar military leader with mock funerals

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Protesters in coup-hit Myanmar have marked junta leader Min Aung Hlaing’s birthday by burning his portrait and staging fake funerals. STR/AFP

Birthday wishes sent to Myanmar military leader with mock funerals

Protestors in coup-hit Myanmar marked the birthday of junta leader Min Aung Hlaing on July 3 by burning his portrait and staging mock funerals.

The nation has experienced mass protests and a brutal military response since the February 1 coup which ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Almost 890 civilians have died in a crackdown by the State Administration Council (SAC) – as the junta calls itself – and almost 6,500 have been arrested, according to a local monitoring group.

On July 3, anti-coup demonstrators posted pictures on social media of a traditional noodle soup dish called mohinga, which is often served at funerals in Myanmar.

One Yangon resident told AFP: “I made [mohinga] on his birthday because I want him to die soon.

“Many innocent people lost their lives because of him. So, if he died, the whole country would be happy.”

In Mandalay, the country’s second-largest city, some activists burnt pictures of the junta leader and set fire to fake coffins at mock funerals.

A Mandalay resident told AFP: “Because of this man, our Myanmar has many problems.

“He actually should not have been born. Therefore, we hold his funeral as we want to say he should be dead.”

Min Aung Hlaing turned 65 on July 3 – the age he would have been subject to mandatory retirement while he headed up the armed forces, as stipulated by the country’s 2008 constitution.

Some analysts believe that was a factor in his power-grab because he had not been able to see a path to higher office with the help of the military-backed political party, which was routed in an election last year.

Before the coup, Min Aung Hlaing was considered an international pariah, condemned for presiding over the brutal 2017 crackdown on the country’s stateless Rohingya population.

He has been banned from Facebook for stoking hate speech against the persecuted minority, and UN investigators have called on him and other top army leaders to be prosecuted for genocide.

But for years, he has steadfastly denied nearly all allegations of human rights abuses and says the military operations, which drove around 750,000 Rohingya refugees into Bangladesh, were justified to root out insurgents.

He was tapped to lead Myanmar’s armed forces in 2011, just as a previous generation of military leaders was transitioning the country to a parliamentary system after decades of junta rule.

Min Aung Hlaing’s regime has faced international condemnation and sanctions since the putsch, with concerns over mounting violence, political prisoners, internet shutdowns and a clawing back of press freedom.

His SAC on July 3 insisted it was working on achieving “enduring peace for the entire nation”, according to a state-run newspaper.

MOST VIEWED

  • Purging Sihanoukville’s past with a new masterplan

    Amid illicit activities, haphazard development and abandoned projects, the coastal city of Sihanouk province needs a reset to move forward. A new masterplan might be the answer to shake off its seemingly mucky image to become the Shenzhen of the south Gun toting, shootouts, police

  • Chinese may be first in tourism revival: PM

    Cambodia's tourism industry is gearing up to roll out the red carpet for Chinese travellers after Prime Minister Hun Sen on September 17 indicated that the Kingdom could soon throw open its doors to international holidaymakers vaccinated against Covid-19 – starting with guests from China. Cambodia Chinese

  • Tourism concerns laid bare

    To ensure the success of plans to reopen the tourism market for international visitors, Cambodia must pay utmost attention to two primary determinants – the ongoing paradigm shift in domestic tourism services towards the ‘new normal’, and the factors influencing choices of destinations among foreign holidaymakers.

  • Airline says ready for green light to reopen international tourism

    Sky Angkor Airline Co Ltd on September 21 said it is ready to transport South Korean and Chinese tourists to the Kingdom once the Cambodian government makes good on plans to reopen its borders to vaccinated travellers. The Siem Reap-based airline made the remark during a

  • Covid jab drive for 6-11 age group to begin Sept 17

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has permitted Covid-19 vaccinations for over 1.8 million children aged 6-11 across the country from September 17 in order for them to return to school after a long hiatus. Hun Sen also hinted that vaccinations for the 3-6 age group will follow in

  • No ‘Crown Prince’ exists to buy France football club: ministry

    The Ministry of the Royal Palace has denied media reports that a Cambodian “Crown Prince” had purchased the AS Saint Etienne football club of France’s top-flight LIGUE 1 at the cost of €100 million ($117 million). In a press statement on September 19, the ministry stressed that Cambodia