Live rounds were fired at protesters during the first time security forces used violence against demonstrations in Hsipaw. An eyewitness told SHAN that water cannons were also used to attack protesters.
“They’re trying to prevent people from protesting against the military regime…Soldiers arrived in military vehicles,” a local journalist told SHAN.
In the morning, police tried to convince the protesters to disperse. “A police officer told us we were allowed to protest for 15 minutes and after we must leave,” said a male protester. When people refused to stop the police fired on the crowd.
Before the pandemic started the small, sleepy town, located in Burma’s northern Shan State, was a popular destination for backpackers and other tourists.
A anonymous political analyst suspected the violence against protesters in Hsipaw coincided with an online meeting between the Restoration Council of Shan State and Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), which happened a day earlier. “They (Burma Army) have a very poor opinion about ethnic people,” he told SHAN.
Politicians who won seats during the 2020 election formed CRPH after the military regime staged a coup on February 1, arresting senior members of the National League for Democracy government. The committee selected temporary ministers until the democratically elected government is restored.
Locals told SHAN the junta’s State Administration Council is oppressing the people the same way the military regime did in the past. Because ethnic people suffered for many years under the rule of the gun we’ll keep fighting the military dictatorship until we get freedom, they said.