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Myanmar Military Coup's impact on Burmese in Central Indiana

Many Hoosiers still have family, friends there
Posted at 11:36 PM, Feb 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-02 23:36:41-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Members of the Burmese Community are planning to protest at Monument Circle Wednesday at noon. The protest is to draw attention to the injustice happening in their home country of Myanmar.

Over the last several days, the military retook control of the country, arrested elected leaders and declared a year-long state of emergency. A thorough explanation of what happened and why can be read here. For those who know the history of the country, what has happened isn't surprising.

"They're above the law. They are the law. They can do everything want to," Elaisa Vahnie, Burmese Community Institute Inc.'s Executive Director, said. Vahnie says the military staged this coup because they disagreed with the results of the country's November Election, demanding a recount and claiming there was wide spread voter fraud without evidence.

"It's strikingly similar with what we've seen these last several months in the United States," Vahnie said.

Thousands of people like Vahnie have come to the United States to escape the social unrest and mass killings of ethnic minorities the Myanmar Military has committed. Human rights groups estimate around 24,000 people have been killed in recent years, but believe that number could be higher.

"That systematically implementation of ethnic cleansing... has forced millions of people, specifically ethnic minorities, such as Chin and seven main ethnic minorities to seek safe haven," Vahnie said. "There was no opportunity. There's no right to defy or defend ourselves, so we had to leave."

News that President Joe Biden is turning away from the last administrations hard line stance on immigration gives people from around world that they can one day make the United States their home.

"We are very fortunate to be resettled and to have country such as here in Indianapolis our new home," Vahnie said. "This military takeover is unacceptable. They must consider to reverse their actions and allow the democratic process to move forward."

Vahnie tells WRTV he hopes international efforts will help bring an end to this coup.