Civilian deaths & the concept of Justice

Myanmar Spring Chronicle – December 07 Scenes
MoeMaKa, December 08 2022

Civilian deaths & the concept of Justice

There have been a large number of cases in the past two years in which civilian who was neither a member of the armed forces nor involved in an armed conflict or assassination was killed.


It must be said that the death toll is already in the thousands in various circumstances. It includes those who were killed by live ammunition fired by the coup army and security police during the crackdown on the demonstration of non-violent protest, those who were seriously injured and killed in the beating of protesters, and NLD party members and organizers, members of parliament (MPs) and other persons suspected of being a leader in the protest who were arrested, interrogated and tortured to death within hours or days. Examples include Mya Thwet Thwet Khaing of Pyinmana and U Khin Maung Latt of Yangon’s Pabetan NLD, who were shot, tortured, and killed for participating in unarmed nonviolent political activities for their beliefs. 


Similarly, in the last two years, some journalists who were photographing protesters, as well as many villagers, youths, the elderly, and the disabled, who were accused of encouraging PDFs, have been killed in villages and cities. 


On the other hand, following the military council’s brutal crackdowns and arrests, the PDF groups and guerrilla groups operating in the city under various names decided to respond with armed means and killed by targeting not only the armed forces of the military council, but also many lower-level ward/village administrators and a few township administrators from the administrative operation, who are called the pillars of the military council/military coup. Again, it is seen that the family members of the military council’s security forces and members of the militia, who are identified by the revolutionary side as the junta informants and Pyuu Saw Htee, are being targeted and killed.


Both in the cities and in the countryside, family members of supporters of the USDP Party and supporters of the army are being killed. Gradually, the targeted groups are expanding, and some of the targets are civilians, not members of the armed forces, so they are selectively targeted as they can be easily assassinated. The expansion of these targeted groups, including civilians, family members, women, and even minor children in some cases, makes it urgent to prevent and take action against the perpetrators from the perspective of military ethics, international law, and human rights. Currently, there may be many people who support such issues with the idea that it is important for the revolution to succeed, human rights and military ethics are not important and it is not possible to divide with each other. However, the killings of civilians, women and minor children that are recorded will eventually demand justice at some point. In order to succeed in the revolution, assassinations are not the main part of the revolutionary forces, instead, it depends on the leadership of the armed forces, military strategy, political strategy, compliance with the rules, the ability to meet the weapons, and the degree of cooperation that can be achieved between the allied organizations. It is also important to understand that assassinations only have the effect of instilling fear and have no impact on capturing territories by force and decisive battles.


The crimes committed mainly by the military council, which are related to the killing of civilians, must be recorded and taken action to get justice one day. I think it is important for revolutionary forces and guerrilla forces not to make the same mistakes even though they are small in number. The concept of the dead bone speaking implies that justice is demanded on the day when it is allowed to speak and fear ceases.