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Jakarta Post

Myanmar: Hope and solidarity in the midst of crisis

Myanmar: Hope and solidarity in the midst of crisis Protesters carry a wounded man shot with live rounds by security forces during a crackdown on demonstrations against the military coup in Yangon, Myanmar, on March 17, 2021. (AFP/Stringer)
Francesca Quinto
PREMIUM
Yangon, Myanmar   ●   Tue, March 23, 2021

The sweet fragrance of jasmine flowers strung across the rearview mirror of a taxi I was in offered the only sense of familiarity in a country that had changed dramatically overnight. That morning, Feb. 1, I had woken up stunned, like millions in Myanmar, to the news that the military had declared a state of emergency and seized power from the country’s civilian leadership. 

As we drove through the eerily quiet streets of Yangon, the city seemed to lie in a stupor. What the taxi driver asked me that day while dropping me off would become the defining challenge for me and for many others in the coming days, “Will the international community help us?”  

As the fierce and violent backlash against protesters over the last days shatters lives, as health care workers and others come under fire, as dreams and aspirations vanish, that quest...

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