Myanmar Coup Highlights in 90 Days

By The Irrawaddy 1 May 2021

Myanmar has now been under military rule for three months. Here is a timeline of the major events since Feb 1.

Feb 1: Myanmar’s military seizes power in a coup claiming the 2020 November general election that brought a landslide victory to the National League for Democracy (NLD) was marred by fraud. It arrests the leaders of the democratically elected government, including President U Win Myint, State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and region and state ministers.

The military announces a yearlong state of emergency and says a new election will be held and power transferred to the winner.

Coup leader Senior General Min Aung Hlaing briefs the National Defence and Security Council at the Presidential Residence after the coup on Feb. 1. / Military Information Team

Feb 2: Myanmar’s people bang pots and pans to protest against the coup. This form of protest has been taking place at 8 pm daily across the country ever since.

Myanmar’s military forms the State Administrative Council (SAC) with military officers and selected civilians replacing NLD ministers.

Feb 3: Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is charged under the Export and Import Law and Natural Disaster Management Law and remanded in custody.

Additional charges are later filed against her under the Telecommunications Law, sedition law and Natural Disaster Management Law in Naypyitaw. She also faces a charge under the Official Secrets Act in Yangon Eastern District. She faces a total of six charges and has not been allowed to meet her lawyers in person.

The military blocks access to Facebook, the primary means of access to the internet for the overwhelming majority in Myanmar. It is later followed by overnight internet shutdowns, which have since been lifted.

Feb 4: Led by 32-year-old Dr. Tayzar San, around 20 people took to the streets against the military regime in Mandalay. The street protests from Mandalay then spread across the country.

Myanmar’s first anti-regime protest takes place in Mandalay on Feb. 4, three days after the takeover. / The Irrawaddy

Feb 5: The Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), a body representing the elected NLD lawmakers from the 2020 November election, is formed.

Feb 6: Anti-regime protests begin in Yangon and other cities, followed by a total internet blackout which is lifted the following day.

Feb 8: Many civil servants come out on strike and join the civil disobedience movement (CDM). Mass protests with hundreds of thousands of protesters take place in Yangon, Mandalay, Naypyitaw and other cities. Some private banks have to close as their employees join the CDM. Myanmar’s military imposes a ban on gatherings of more than five people in Yangon and other areas.

Anti-regime protesters in Yangon. / The Irrawaddy

Feb 9: Ma Mya Thwe Thwe Khine, 19, is shot in the head as police open fire on anti-regime protesters in Naypyitaw. She later dies of brain injuries.

Feb 11: People, including celebrities, stage a protest outside the Chinese Embassy in Yangon in response to alleged Chinese support for Myanmar’s military. Protests continue daily outside the embassy until Feb 20.

Celebrities join anti-regime protesters in front of the Chinese Embassy in Yangon in response to alleged Chinese support for Myanmar’s military.

Feb 13: People protest outside the offices of United Nations agencies and the US Embassy in Yangon, calling on the international community to take action against the SAC.

People stage protests outside the US Embassy in Yangon, calling on the international community to take action against the SAC.

Feb 15: In an interview with Myanmar’s media, Chinese ambassador Chen Hai says the political situation in Myanmar is “absolutely not what China wants to see” and dismisses social media rumors of Chinese involvement in the Feb. 1 coup as “complete nonsense”.

Feb 19: Ma Mya Thwe Thwe Khine, who was shot in the head in the first shooting of junta forces, dies at a 1,000-bed public hospital in Naypyitaw, becoming the first victim to be shot dead since the coup. The SAC says she was shot by fellow protesters.

An anti-regime protester holds a portrait of Mya Thwet Thwet Khine, the first anti-regime protester killed by the security forces, at a memorial in Naypyitaw on Feb. 20, one day after her death. / The Irrawaddy

Feb 22: In what the biggest day so far of defiance since the coup, large crowds of protesters joined a general strike against the junta, closing businesses and flooding on to streets across the country. The protests are referred to as the “five twos revolution”, a reference to the date 22.2.2021.

Anti-regime protesters gather in Mandalay on Feb. 22. / The Irrawaddy

Feb 24: Facebook and Instagram ban Myanmar’s military and military-controlled state media, citing “exceptionally severe human rights abuses and the clear risk of future military-initiated violence in Myanmar”.

Feb 26: The military-appointed Union Election Commission (UEC) meets political parties in Naypyitaw during which UCE chairman U Thein Soe says the results of the 2020 general election are invalid.

Leaders of some political parties that did not win a single seat in the November poll ask the UEC to abolish the NLD.

Myanmar’s ambassador to the United Nations, U Kyaw Moe Tun, in his speech to the General Assembly’s informal meeting on Myanmar, called on the international community to “use any means necessary” to reverse the coup and protect the country’s people. He flashes a three-finger salute, a sign of protest, while addressing the meeting.

Feb 27: The junta announces the dismissal of U Kyaw Moe Tun, saying the envoy “betrayed the country and had spoken for an unofficial organization which doesn’t represent the country and had abused the power and responsibilities of an ambassador”. U Kyaw Moe Tun later sends a letter to the president of the UN General Assembly to say that he still holds the post.

March 3: More than 30 are killed in at least four cities in one of the bloodiest days since the coup as soldiers and police fire live rounds into crowds of protesters.

March 6: Junta forces detain ward-level NLD chairman U Khin Maung Latt in Yangon’s Pabedan Township. His dead body is returned the following day. Dozens of similar cases follow as activists and protest leaders die overnight in military custody.

March 8: The SAC revoked the licenses of five media outlets, Mizzima, DVB, 7 Days, Myanmar Now and Khit Thit Media.

Junta forces abduct U Zaw Myat Lin, manager of a vocational institute run by the NLD in Yangon’s Shwepyithar Township. His dead body is returned the following day.

March 11: Myanmar’s military regime sues The Irrawaddy for its Feb. 20 video showing the police asking for 13 million kyats (US$9,200) from relatives to release striking doctors detained at an anti-regime protest.

March 14: In another of the deadliest days since the coup, more than 50 people die in Yangon’s Hlaingtharyar Township as the security forces carry out a murderous crackdown on anti-regime protesters. Some Chinese-owned factories were set on fire in Hlaing Tharyar and Shwepyithar.

The Chinese Embassy urges Myanmar’s authorities to take measures to ensure the safety of Chinese citizens, projects and businesses.

The military council declares martial law in Hlaing Tharyar and Shwepyithar.

March 15: Martial law is declared in North Dagon, South Dagon, Dagon Seikkan and North Okkalapa townships in Yangon and five townships in Mandalay.

The junta blocks mobile internet access, the primary source of internet for the majority in Myanmar. Mobile internet access remains unavailable until May 1.

March 21: The Home Affairs Ministry declares the CRPH and its related organizations to be unlawful associations.

March 27: The military regime holds Armed Forces Day in Naypyitaw.

The Armed Forces Day parade in Naypyitaw.

More than 100 protesters are killed across the country on the bloodiest day of the protests to date as people fill the streets, defying a military warning that they could be shot “in the head and back”.

The UN human rights high commissioner’s office said it had received reports of “scores killed”, adding that “this violence is compounding the illegitimacy of the coup and the culpability of its leaders”.

March 31: The CRPH says it will abolish the military-drafted 2008 Constitution.

April 1: A striking policeman leads civilians to attack a police outpost in Tamu, Sagaing Region. The policeman dies in the attack that sees the four junta police officers killed.

The military regime blocks wireless internet access, making fiber internet the only means to get online in the country.

April 4: The European Union announces the suspension of all the development projects in Myanmar.

Apr 8: Eleven people die and dozens are injured as junta forces impose a violent crackdown in Taze, Sagaing Region, where anti-regime protests are gaining momentum.

April 9: At least 82 people are killed as junta security forces raid a protest camp in Bago where anti-regime protesters have rallied each day against the coup for 68 consecutive days. Many people are detained during the raid that forces more than 1,000 people from their homes.

April 10: At least eight police officers are killed as the tripartite Brotherhood Alliance of the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army, Ta’ang National Liberation Army and Arakan Army attacks a police outpost in Lashio, northern Shan State.

April 15: Prominent protest leader Ko Wai Moe Naing in Monywa is detained after his motorbike is rammed by junta forces in a private car. The 26-year-old activist faces 10 charges, including high treason.

April 16: The CRPH forms the National Unity Government (NUG), with President U Win Myint and State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi taking their original positions, and ethnic leaders and activists appointed as ministers.

The Home Affairs Ministry later declares the NUG to be an unlawful association. The junta also says it will blacklist striking doctors which it has sued for incitement.

April 24: In his first foreign trip since the coup, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing attends the ASEAN summit on Myanmar in Jakarta. A five-point consensus is reached on ending violence, facilitating a constructive dialogue between all parties, a special ASEAN envoy to facilitate the dialogue, acceptance of aid and a visit by an envoy to Myanmar.

Myanmar’s people express their disappointment as the leaders fail to mention the release of political prisoners. ​

Coup leader Min Aung Hlaing in Jakarta to attend the ASEAN summit on Myanmar. / ASEAN

April 26: Coup leader Min Aung Hlaing says he will carefully consider ASEAN leaders’ recommended steps for solving the crisis after the situation stabilizes.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman says: “China will maintain close communication with ASEAN and support its mediation efforts while reaching out to all parties in Myanmar in its own way, so as to secure an early ‘soft landing’ for the situation in Myanmar.”

April 29: Airbases in Magwe and Meiktila are attacked with rockets.

Family members mourn for their children killed by the regime in Yangon. / The Irrawaddy

April 30: The Assistance Association of Political Prisoners said 759 people have been killed, 3,485 are in detention out of 4,537 detained while 1,316 warrants have been issued by the regime since the February coup.

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