Myanmar Regime Orders Dismantling of Mausoleum to Slain Democracy Protesters

By The Irrawaddy 20 April 2021

Under pressure from the military regime, charity groups in Bago were forced to split up a mausoleum for 14 civilians slain by junta forces during their crackdowns against anti-regime protests into separate tombs on Monday.

To honor those killed by junta troops during crackdowns on anti-regime demonstrations, residents entombed the remains of 14 civilians including protesters in a mausoleum they built at the Shin Phyu Kwin cemetery in the town.

At a meeting on Sunday, regional authorities ordered at least 17 charity organizations providing medical assistance and free funeral services in the city to dismantle the mausoleum and bury the corpses in separate tombs.

The military regime also forced the charity groups to remove the words “Hero of the Spring Revolution” from the tombstones of those killed.

The charity groups were also told that the tombs must be at least 3 feet from each other.

On Monday, the charity groups dismantled the mausoleum according to the order of the regional authorities, according to a charity group in Bago.

An anti-regime strike leader in Bago told The Irrawaddy on Monday that the military regime ordered the charity groups to remove the tombs because it wants to erase its history of deadly brutality against the people.

He said the military regime’s order that people destroy the mausoleum is itself another chapter in that history.

“They don’t want to let [future] generations know how brutal and utterly despicable they were. They can destroy the tombs, but they can’t abolish history,” the strike leader told The Irrawaddy.

The chairman of a charity group who attended the meeting with the regional authorities was arrested on Monday, a resident close to the charity groups told The Irrawaddy.

The regime’s forces committed a bloody massacre in the town on April 9, killing about 82 people during raids against anti-regime strongholds.

At about 4 a.m. on that day, more than 250 military regime forces launched attacks on four residential wards—Shinsawpu, Hmawkan, Nantawyar and Ponnasu—in Bago, which is located 98 kilometers from Yangon.

During the raids, troops opened fire with automatic weapons and heavy explosives. 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.

Due to the brutality of the raids, hundreds of residents from the wards fled their homes.

On March 28, junta troops cracked down on the funeral of student union member Ko Thae Maung Maung, 20, who was shot dead on March 27. The funeral was held in Bago Region’s Phaya-Gyi Town.

The troops opened fire on mourners at the funeral while trying to arrest attendees.

Since the Feb. 1 coup, nearly 100 people including anti-regime protesters, bystanders and pedestrians have been slain in Bago by the military regime, according to Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), which is documenting fatalities and detentions.

As of Monday, nearly 740 people had been killed nationwide by the regime’s forces during their crackdowns, raids, arrests and random shootings, said the AAPP.

Also, more than 3,200 people including elected leaders, NLD party members, election commissioners, doctors, journalists, writers, artists, protesters and civilians have been detained.

Amid the brutal killing and arrests, tens of thousands of people across Myanmar have taken to the streets to show their defiance of the military regime.

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