Myanmar protesters hold memorial march for girl, 19, shot by police


Burmese protesters held a memorial service today for the young woman killed after being shot in the head by police during unrest in Myanmar.

Mya Thwe Thwe Khine, 19, was hit by live ammo fired at crowds gathering in the capital Naypyitaw on February 9 following the military coup. The woman died on Friday (Feb 19) and rights groups said her injury was consistent with a gunshot wound.

Protesters held banners with her picture on and carried flowers during a march in the former capital Yangon. They called for the police officer who allegedly shot Mya Thwe Thwe Khine to face justice.

The memorial march for Mya Thwe Thwe Khine came as security forced shot dead at least two protesters and injured at least six others in Mandalay on Saturday afternoon (Feb 20).

Villagers protesting against the military coup in the country tried to stop a ship leaving the Yadanarbon Jetty – part of a nationwide campaign of unrest that started after the military ousted Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1.

Police then allegedly retaliated with rubber bullets and live rounds. Gunshots and automatic weapons could be heard being fired.

Locals said the confrontation was sparked after staff from a shipping company joined the Civil Disobedience Movement – a nationwide attempt to force the government to release Aung San Suu Kyi – but were this morning forced to return to work. There was a confrontation shortly afterwards before reinforcements of police and military trucks arrived at the scene and chaos followed, with shots being fired.

Protests have erupted across Myanmar, or Burma, following the brutal military coup on February 1, which saw the well-like Nobel Peace Prize Laurette Aung Sang Suu Kyi detained alongside other civilian politicians.

Military chiefs seized power with force on February 1 and have reacted with brutal crackdowns, blasting locals with water cannon, firing gunshots, closing communications and enforcing curfews.

Army chiefs last reacted to the mass protests by closing Internet and phone connections across the capital. They then blasted protesters with water cannon and fired warning gunshots.

International pressure on Myanmar, still known as Burma, has grown amid the turmoil and U.S. Democrat politicians including Joe Biden have warned of sanctions on the country.

Burma was governed by Britain from 1824 to 1948, during which time it became the second-wealthiest country in Southeast Asia but following independence was ruled by the military until 2011 when democratic reforms began. It changed its name to Myanmar.