#WhatsHappeningInMyanmar - The devil wears a general’s uniform

“Regime’s forces kill two, loot donations from mosque”

“Husband and wife shot dead on motorbike by junta’s armed forces”

“Locals flee as soldiers raid more than 1,000 homes”

These are just some of the headlines from the news website Myanmar Now over this Songkran holiday.

Since the military coup on 1 February, the ruthless crackdown on pro-democracy protestors in Myanmar has resulted in more than 700 civilian deaths, last reported on 11 April.

Many questions have arisen about the crisis in Myanmar, one of which is this:

“Never mind the generals sitting in their comfortable homes, how could the soldiers do this to their own people?”

There are soldiers who are appalled at what’s happening in Myanmar. Some have defected. But most still continue to serve General Min Aung Hlaing, whether willingly or by force.

One reason is this.

On 13 April, Myanmar Now published an article with the headline:

“Junta uses control over military families to prevent defections, say army insiders”

The article quoted Capt. Lin Htet Aung, who recently joined the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM):

“That is the situation right now. Those living in military compounds have basically been kidnapped. They use soldiers’ family members to control them so they can’t act freely. If a soldier wants to run, he has to take his family with him.”

The article also stated:

“Many more would be willing to disobey the dictatorship if their families weren’t effectively held hostage by the junta—or ‘kidnapped by a gang,’ as one of the recent defectors put it.”

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