Insights: Reflecting on Nearly 3 Years Since the Coup

Myanmar Spring Chronicle – January 28 By MoeMaKa Media:

Insights: Reflecting on Nearly 3 Years Since the Coup

As Myanmar approaches the somber milestone of almost three years since the military coup on February 1, 2021, a retrospective examination reveals a complex tapestry of inspiration and unprecedented damage. The toll extends beyond tangible losses of human lives, homes, and properties, encompassing intangible casualties like morals, skills, educational resources, and trust among people—complicating the very fabric of society.

In terms of losses and gains, a dichotomy emerges: material objects versus emotional values, including trust and feelings. Undeniably, the losses far outweigh any perceived gains, with the human cost alone reaching staggering proportions. In the span of three years, tens of thousands of lives have been lost, not only among armed forces but also non-combatant civilians. These figures, however, fail to account for those whose lives were claimed by the socio-economic fallout of the conflict, lack of healthcare, or enduring psychological trauma.

Reports from groups monitoring the revolution’s supporters indicate that over 4,400 civilians have lost their lives since the coup. However, alternate data sources, associated with the military and the USDP, estimate civilian casualties at a minimum of 6,000. While these figures may seem comparatively low on a global scale, Myanmar is grappling with its most severe armed conflict and civil strife in over seven decades.

Beyond the staggering loss of lives, the nation faces a crisis of disunity. Political differences, once confined to debates, have escalated into physical attacks and killings. Relationships between friends, colleagues, and family members have frayed, echoing historical instances of dissent among teachers during the British colonial era.

Material destruction compounds the humanitarian crisis, with data recording groups indicating that over 80,000 houses have been incinerated in the past three years. This alarming statistic is linked to the military council’s scorched-earth tactics—collective punishment meted out by torching villages suspected of supporting armed resistance fighters. While Sagaing and Magway divisions bore the brunt, destruction spread to Karenni State, Chin State, Northern Shan State, and Karen State.

Beyond the visible losses, the last three years have inflicted immeasurable suffering in education, social structures, and morality. Countless children and young people now face limited educational opportunities, a gap exacerbated by the concurrent challenges of the military coup and the Covid-19 pandemic. The adverse effects on healthcare accessibility are equally profound, with tens or even hundreds of thousands unable to reach medical care due to armed conflicts, wars, and the ongoing Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM).

The pervasive trauma experienced by the population holds the potential to cast a long shadow over family life, community, and nation-building efforts. Traumatized children and youths may become carriers of negativity, suspicion, and even future conflicts for their communities. Amid the devastation, both quantifiable and intangible, a positive perspective emerges—the emergence of a collective will to defeat and eliminate a central military force that has held sway for decades. The revolutionary forces harbor hope that this struggle will herald an end to military dominance in politics and alleviate the curtailment of rights for various ethnic groups.

As Myanmar navigates the complex aftermath of the past three years, the search for common consensus amidst destruction, loss, and hope becomes a defining feature. The coming years will unveil the contours of a society seeking to rebuild and redefine its future.