Myanmar is in a deep political crisis. Over the past week -- reminiscent of the pro-democracy demonstrations of 1988 -- Myanmar’s citizens are openly and publicly challenging the country’s powerful military, whose coup earlier this month now threatens to stifle the country’s fledgling democracy.
Yangon resident Ni Ni Aye walked to her office yesterday morning. A couple of hours before, the army had staged a coup by seizing power and declaring a state of emergency in Myanmar. Ni Aye, an employee of one of Yangon’s largest technology firms, tried to call her colleagues and family, but phone services were down. So, she decided to walk to the office and see what was happening.
“There were no armoured vehicles or soldiers with heavy weapons, yet everything was extremely quiet. It was very confusing; nobody had a clue on what is really happening. Then we realised, the action is all happening in the capital,” Ni Aye told IPS.
After several tension-filled months, a majority of Nigerians swept in an opposition leader and former military man, Muhammadu Buhari, to succeed incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan, whose failure to contain a terrorist wave in the northern states doomed his re-election chances.
The United States, which has refused to cut off its hefty 1.3 billion dollars in annual military aid to Egypt, continues to argue that depriving arms to the 438,500-strong security forces will only "destabilise" the crisis-ridden country.
The revolutionary aspirations for justice, dignity and hope that Egypt’s young people brought to the world in January 2011 were crushed Wednesday by the military’s bloody crackdown.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who has refused to describe the Egyptian army's ouster of a democratically-elected government last month as a "military coup", lambasted the country's security forces for Wednesday's massacre of civilians in the streets of Cairo.
Ervand Abrahamian, a leading historian of modern Iran, has recently explored the 1953 Anglo/American-sponsored coup that overthrew Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq.
The ouster of Egypt's first freely elected president by the military has led some to warn of a possible Algeria-style civil war. Local analysts, however, dismiss the likelihood of the "Algeria scenario" occurring in Egypt.