Face of protest in Myanmar: Social media users launch hunt for girl’s shooter

WION Web Team
Naypyitaw, Myanmar Published: Feb 12, 2021, 02:20 PM(IST)

Protesters gather next to a large banner consisting of artwork showing the moment Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing was shot during a rally against the military coup in Yangon. Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing, a 19-year-old grocery store worker, had traveled with her sisters from a nearby village to Naypyitaw, the army-built capital in the center of the country, for a protest on Tuesday. It was one of dozens in towns and cities across the country

Myanmar teenager Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing, who was supposed to be celebrating her 20th birthday on Thursday, was determined to protest coup when she was shot by police. 

Instead, she is now fighting for her life in a hospital in the capital Naypyitaw after she was shot in the head when police cracked down on a protest against the military coup. A hunt is also on by the Facebook and Twitter users to find the shooter. 

Myanmar’s army seized power on February 1 and detained elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, ending a long transition towards democracy and bringing tens of thousands of demonstrators onto the streets. 

The shooting of the teenager - the first known serious casualty of the protests - has roused anger across the nation and rallied support for the anti-coup movement, many of whose members are part of a Generation Z, who say they refuse to allow another generation to experience military rule. 

Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing, a 19-year-old grocery store worker, had traveled with her sisters from a nearby village to Naypyitaw, the army-built capital in the center of the country, for a protest on Tuesday. It was one of dozens in towns and cities across the country. 

Police quashed the peaceful protest with water cannon and gunfire. The teenager was struck in the back of the head with a live round as she was fleeing. A doctor from the hospital said, she had lost significant brain function and was not likely to survive. 

The shooting has caused outrage across the country and recalled the long history of bloody crackdowns on protest by the security forces in Myanmar.  

Protesters draped a massive portrait of her from a bridge in downtown Yangon, the commercial capital, on Wednesday. “Let’s together oppose the dictator who kills the people”, the banner read.

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