Myanmar Junta Destroys Democracy Monument in Bago

By The Irrawaddy 11 May 2021

Junta forces destroyed a monument in Bago commemorating the 1988 pro-democracy uprising on Sunday evening, according to local residents. The monument stood in a public park in Hanthawaddy Ward.

“They came around 8pm and bulldozed the monument. The democracy monument was brought down,” a local resident told The Irrawaddy.

Junta forces also razed the public square inside the park where Bago residents mark the anniversary of the 1998 pro-democracy uprising, and where they have staged anti-regime protests since the junta’s Feb. 1 coup.

Charity groups in the town were previously forced by the junta in April to split a mausoleum into separate tombs for 14 civilians slain by the regime during their crackdowns on anti-coup protests.

On Sunday night, junta forces also arrested 88-Generation student leader Ko Hla Phone at his house. It remains unclear why he was detained and where he is being held. The wife and child of a striking educator from Bago University were also arrested, said a resident close to the man.

“He has been in hiding, so junta forces took his wife and child instead as he was not at home. The child is just four years old,” said the resident.

At least 82 people died in a bloody massacre in Bago on April 9 after more than 250 junta troops attacked four residential wards: Shinsawpu, Hmawkan, Nantawyar and Ponnasu.

Soldiers opened fire with automatic weapons and explosives during the raids. The explosives are believed to have been rifle grenades, which were fired at anti-regime defense team members and night watchmen guarding protest assembly areas in the wards.

More than one month after the regime’s onslaught on Bago, locals are still subject to arbitrary arrests and other threats, said residents.

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