CNN team confronts Myanmar’s military on deadly coup
In an exclusive report from Chief International Correspondent Clarissa Ward, CNN shows a new look at life inside Myanmar’s coup and confronts the military junta about the violent suppression of protests taking place in the country.
CNN was the first international media organisation permitted to enter the Southeast Asian nation since the military unseated the civilian government in a coup on February 1. Since then, the military has waged a brutal clampdown on pro-democracy protesters, which has led to more than 500 deaths.
Ward confronted Major General Zaw Min Tun, a senior member of the military junta, about the intensifying violence taking place against civilians and peaceful protesters.
CNN showed the Major General video footage including that of the brutal killing of a 17-year-old activist and asked why the armed forces were using firearms against children. According to the United Nations, as of March 31st, at least 44 children had been killed in Myanmar.
“14-year-old Tun Tun Aung who was killed by your forces, what do you say to his mother? That he was a violent protester? Or what would you say to the father of 13-year-old Tun Ma Win, also shot dead by your forces?” Ward asks.
Zaw Min Tun responds: “We have heard about the deaths of children too. There is no reason we would shoot children. This is only the terrorists that are trying to make us look bad.”
CNN visited an open market where the team was approached by residents who wanted to speak to them, despite the presence of security officials. Locals also displayed the three-finger salute, which has become a symbol of the protest movement against the military junta, as well as banging pots and pans in a show of defiance.
“We don’t want to back to the dark age, we lost our voice and we had democracy only for ten years.” A young female teacher tells Ward “We don’t have weapons, we don’t have guns, just only we have a voice.”
Throughout its time in Myanmar, the CNN team was reporting with the permission of the military and was escorted by the military, which sent six trucks carrying soldiers to monitor the crew.
Ellana Lee, SVP & Managing Editor, Asia Pacific, at CNN said: “This assignment was a key part of our broader reporting on Myanmar, which has drawn extensively on the work of brave local reporters, information and material from activists, and our own reporting from in and around the country. It was an opportunity to confront the military junta in person and draw further international attention to this important story.”
See full report: Myanmar military denies responsibility for child deaths and says elections could be pushed back
Notes to editors:
CNN has reported extensively on the situation in Myanmar in recent weeks. Links to recent reporting below:
- Myanmar special envoy: It is time for the world to stop another genocide (7th April)
- Amnesty Int’l: China is preventing global action in Myanmar (7th April)
- Myanmar’s junta releases 8 of 11 people arrested after communicating with CNN (6th April)
- Myanmar’s military is waging war on its citizens. Some say it’s time to fight back (6th April)
- Anguish in Myanmar after weekend of ‘outrageous’ bloodshed (30th March)
- Thailand pushes back thousands fleeing Myanmar as death toll surpasses 500 (30th March)
- CNN investigates conglomerate behind Myanmar’s junta (29th March)
- Family buries 6-year-old girl shot by Myanmar military (26th March)
- Myanmar’s military is killing peaceful protesters. Here’s what you need to know (25th March)
- Terrified and uncertain, these families crossed mountains to escape Myanmar’s deadly junta (24th March)
- She was shot dead, her body dug up and her grave filled with cement. But her fight is not over (13th March)
- Myanmar’s ethnic groups have long suffered from military brutality. The junta gave them a common foe (6th March)
- Sasa: ‘Crimes against humanity’ in Myanmar (5th March)
- Increasing evidence that Myanmar’s military forces are shooting to kill as country mourns young victims (5th March)
- A fight is brewing over Myanmar’s seat at the United Nations (3rd March)