There’s no going back. That unflinching commitment to months, if not years, of resistance has poured out of every person I’ve spoken to from Myanmar since the coup of 1 February 2021.
Friends and colleagues lost their liberty overnight. Only six years ago we were celebrating hopes for a new future after the first free elections in decades.
The people of Myanmar know dictatorship. They’ve seen more starkly than most how the few profit from the many. How their schools and hospitals crumbled as the generals and their cronies hoarded wealth. The muzzling of debate.
To stop a return to those days they’ve made extraordinary sacrifices. Striking workers are giving up their wages. Neighbourhoods are pooling funds to build clinics. Thousands are in hiding as activism and newsrooms are forced underground. More than 800 civilians have lost their lives to junta forces.
This Big Story set out to record the terror but also the tremendous courage. In the following pages you’ll hear from people leading the resistance in Myanmar. They spoke from safe houses and jungles in the hours internet was freed from state-imposed blackouts. Some of our contributors have been anonymized for their safety.
We also chart a heartening shift, as new solidarities emerge between the Buddhist majority and persecuted minorities, including the Rohingya. There is hope in the push for a new federal democracy. The world must decisively stand with Myanmar’s people.
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Preeti Jha for the New Internationalist co-operative.
What is the price of speaking out against China’s oppression of the Uyghur people? Sayragul Sauytbay, an ethnic Kazakh and Chinese national, talks to Alessio Perrone about being forced to teach propaganda in a concentration camp and fleeing to Kazakhstan.
Ethical and political dilemmas abound these days. Seems like we’re all in need of a New Internationalist perspective. Enter stage: Agony Uncle.