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Myanmar coup: ‘Everything will be OK’ teenage protester mourned

People attend the funeral of Angel, 19-year-old protester also known as Kyal Sin


Crowds gathered in Mandalay on Thursday for the funeral of a 19-year-old woman who was shot dead during Myanmar’s anti-coup protests a day earlier.

Kyal Sin, known as Angel, was wearing a T-shirt with the phrase “Everything will be OK” when she died.

Tributes have flooded in on social media, with many calling her a “hero”.

Since the 1 February military coup, Myanmar has been gripped by protests demanding the release of detained elected leaders.

More than 54 people have died since the protests began, according to the UN Human Rights Office, although other reports put the figure much higher.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet called on security forces to “halt their vicious crackdown on peaceful protesters”.

People attend the funeral of Angel a 19-year-old protester


On Thursday in Mandalay, people lined the route of Angel’s funeral procession.

Mourners sang revolutionary songs and chanted anti-coup slogans, Reuters news agency reports.

Images of the teenager wearing her “Everything will be OK” T-shirt at the protests had gone viral.

Aware of the dangers of taking part in the protests, she had written her blood type details on Facebook and requested that her body organs be donated in the event of her death.

Protesters lie on the ground after police opened fire to disperse an anti-coup protest in Mandalay


Myat Thu, who was with her at the protest on Wednesday, said she had kicked open a water pipe so protesters could wash tear gas from their eyes. She had also tried to help him as police opened fire.

“She told me ‘Sit! Bullets will hit you’,” he told Reuters. “She cared for and protected others.”

He said police hit them with tear gas and then the bullets came.

Myat Thu said Angel, who had proudly voted in elections for the first time last year, was a “happy girl”.

“She loved her family and her family loved her so much too,” he said. “We are not in a war. There is no reason to use live bullets on people”

People also paid tribute to Angel on social media. One friend wrote on Facebook: “My heart feels so my hurt.”

Another said: “Rest in peace my friend. We will fight this revolution to the end.”

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Myanmar has seen mass protests since the military seized power on 1 February, with demonstrators calling for an end to military rule and the release of its democratically elected leaders, including Aung San Suu Kyi.

Dozens of countries have now condemned the violence in Myanmar, though this has been largely ignored by the coup leaders.

What is the latest on the protests?

Protesters hold up placards demanding the release of detained Myanmar civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi

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Undeterred by Wednesday’s deaths, protesters made their way out on to the streets of Yangon and Mandalay – the country’s two biggest cities – as well as those of other cities and towns.

According to news site Myanmar Now, tens of thousands of people were protesting in the town of Myingyan, where a demonstrator had been shot dead the day before.

Reuters news agency says police opened fire and used tear gas to break up protesters in Yangon and the town of Monywa.

Residents said that five fighter jets had made low passes in formation over Mandalay early on Thursday, in what appeared to be a show of military strength.

More than 1,700 people, including members of parliament and protesters, have been detained since the coup, Ms Bachelet said in a statement. Arrests have been escalating with 29 journalists detained in recent days, she said.

She warned the figures could be much higher due to the large scale of the protests and difficulty in monitoring developments.

What happened on Wednesday?

Police and soldiers reportedly opened fire with live rounds in several cities and towns with little warning.

“They didn’t spray us with water cannon, [there was] no warning to disperse, they just fired their guns,” one protester told Reuters.

Another told the BBC that demonstrators were killed near her house.

“They didn’t give any warning… they just started to shoot. They used rubber bullets but also live bullets to kill civilians.”

UN envoy to Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener, said one video clip showed police beating an unarmed volunteer medic.

Why are people protesting?

Myanmar’s military seized power after overthrowing the government and declared a state of emergency.

Just days later, the civil disobedience movement began to emerge, with many people refusing to return to work.

The movement quickly started to gain momentum and it was not long before hundreds of thousands of people began taking part in street protests.

A violent crackdown began on the largely peaceful protests last weekend.

The military has not commented on the reported deaths.

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Myanmar in profile

  • Myanmar, also known as Burma, became independent from Britain in 1948. For much of its modern history it has been under military rule
  • Restrictions began loosening from 2010 onwards, leading to free elections in 2015 and the installation of a government led by veteran opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi the following year
  • In 2017, Myanmar’s army responded to attacks on police by Rohingya militants with a deadly crackdown, driving more than half a million Rohingya Muslims across the border into Bangladesh in what the UN later called a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”

Map of Myanmar showing Mandalay, Nay Pyi Taw and Yangon

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