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April 5, 2021 25 min

Two months ago, Myanmar’s military carried out a coup, deposing the country’s elected civilian leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and closing the curtains on a five-year experiment with democracy. 

Since then, the Burmese people have expressed their discontent through protest and mass civil disobedience. The military has responded with brutal violence. 

We look at the crackdown and how Myanmar’s unique military culture encourages officers to see civilians as the enemy. 

Guest: Hannah Beech, the Southeast Asia bureau chief for The New York Times. 

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Background reading: 

  • Four officers speak about life in the Tatmadaw, Myanmar’s feared army, which has turned its guns on civilians again. “The Tatmadaw is the only world” for most soldiers, one said.
  • Myanmar’s security forces have killed more than 40 children since February. Here is the story of one, Aye Myat Thu. She was 10.
  • As the nation’s military kills, assaults and terrorizes unarmed civilians each day, some protesters say there is no choice but to fight the army on its own terms.
  • For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday. 

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