Myanmar Reacts as Resistance Fighters Make Deadly Jump to Avoid Raiding Troops
By The Irrawaddy 11 August 2021
Myanmar was shocked on Tuesday when the country’s ongoing revolution against its military regime saw another bloody sacrifice, as five people including a woman jumped from a four-story building rather than surrender to raiding soldiers, leaving at least two of the five dead.
They jumped from the building as regime troops raided their apartment on 44th Street in Yangon’s Botahtaung Township.
One man and the woman—who was the mother of a 6-year-old child—died on the spot after striking the concrete alley below. The other three males were injured, the regime said in a statement on Wednesday. However, given the height from which they jumped, those injured likely have a very narrow chance of survival. The announcement also said three other people—two men and a woman—were arrested with explosives, including grenades, at the apartment.
The raid came after a series of blasts in downtown Yangon in recent days, including one on Tuesday morning. Myanmar has been in turmoil since the military takeover in February as people across the country have been resisting the regime by any means at their disposal. Young people have taken up arms in response to the junta’s deadly crackdowns against protesters, targeting the regime’s troops and their associates by hurling explosives and conducting deadly hit-and-run attacks.
During the raid on Tuesday, witnesses said, the military regime’s forces sealed off the building before opening fire on the men and women fleeing to the rooftop in order to escape the raid.
Due to the junta’s shooting, a man fell from the rooftop of the building. Rather than surrender to the military regime’s forces, the five trapped on the rooftop jumped from the building, according to witnesses.
The witnesses told The Irrawaddy that some of the youths who still showed signs of life after jumping from the rooftop of the four-story building were beaten with rifle butts by the junta’s soldiers and police.
“They didn’t seem to have any other options. They would have been beaten and tortured by the regime forces if they had been arrested. So, they chose another way, as they didn’t want to be arrested,” one witness said.
Others believed that the five decided to sacrifice themselves in order not to reveal information about the anti-regime movement while under interrogation by the junta, sparing their comrades from being seized.
The father of a 27-year-old man who was among those who jumped told The Irrawaddy his son had never been interested in politics until the February coup.
“After the military coup, he started trying to resist the junta for the sake of their future. He was arrested once in February,” the father said on condition of anonymity for security reasons. As of Wednesday, he still had no idea about his son’s fate—whether he is alive or dead.
“I take him as dead now. It is painful, but I am proud of him,” he said.
As the news spread on Tuesday, Myanmar people reacted emotionally. All regarded the five as martyrs who didn’t hesitate to give up their lives for what they believed in.
One of Myanmar’s most famous rockers, Han Htu Lwin of Big Bag, posted on his Facebook: “Rest in power, brothers and sisters. Much love and respect…”
An artist’s illustration showing five people boldly jumping from a building has been widely shared. In the picture, there is no concrete alley below, but a sunflower field.
“While older people lack courage, the young people know no fear. They are not afraid of death. More young people will die due to older people’s fear,” wrote Soe Min, a Facebook influencer and medical surgeon who has been on strike against the regime, referring to some government officials who have failed to join the Civil Disobedient Movement (CDM) against the regime.
Another user writes: “They jumped to the highest by jumping down…”
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