News report | | 17-06-2022 | ±2 minutes reading time

Since 17 April 2022, tourists with a Myanmar visa are welcome in the country again, but authorities warn tourists not to fall for this. In February 2021, a military coup took place and since then the country has been continuously plagued by violence against peaceful protest. The country has collapsed economically.

What is happening in Myanmar?

The situation in Myanmar is critical for its inhabitants. They are heavily oppressed by the military junta and human rights are violated. There are abductions and murders by the army itself, and not enough food or electricity is available.

Myanmar has, in fact, been in the hands of the army, or junta, for decades. There was no democracy and the citizens were treated with an iron fist. During the first uprisings in which the Burmese pleaded for democracy, over 3,000 people were killed and even more disappeared. Whenever there were political elections with a negative result for the junta, the result was not recognised and nothing changed in the country. An important person during the demonstration in 1988 was Aung San Suu Kyi. Her party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), won the 1990 elections, after which Aung San Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest by the junta. In 2010, after her acquittal, she and her party finally entered the government, but the junta was still in control in the background.

It is obvious that the Burmese people want to live in a democracy. Even in the 2020 elections, the majority of the people voted for the NLD, after which they were accused of electoral fraud by the junta. In fear of losing power as a result, the junta staged a coup in 2021. Myanmar was suddenly back to square one.

The new generation

In the last 10 years before the coup, a new generation flourished in a more free, more democratic Myanmar. These young people are all but ready to give up their freedom and are fighting back hard against the military. They hold peaceful demonstrations all the time, but unfortunately the junta is cracking down. According to Amnesty International, since February 2021 nearly 2,000 people have been killed and over 13,000 imprisoned.

No positive outlook

There is currently no improvement in sight for the people of Myanmar. The five-point plan drawn up by ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) for Myanmar after the coup failed to stop the violence against civilians. The plan included an agreement that all violence in Myanmar must cease immediately and that a peaceful solution must be sought in the interests of the people.

Despite all the danger to their lives, the young people continue to demonstrate peacefully. Because of the violence and inhumane actions of the junta, Myanmar is definetely not a safe country for tourists. According to the authorities, tourists do not contribute to the economy. The only ones who would profit from it are the rulers. It remains to be seen when tourists will be able to travel safely to Myanmar again.