CNN was granted access to Myanmar by its military. The trip was coordinated through the military’s consultant, Ari Ben-Menashe. The military escorted the team and controlled its access and movements throughout. A journalist from the Southeast Asia Globe, who was also reporting for Al Jazeera, was on the trip along with CNN.

Naypyidaw, Myanmar (CNN)”This is not a coup,” said Maj. Gen. Zaw Min Tun from a gilded hall in Myanmar’s purpose-built capital Naypyidaw, the city where his comrades recently ousted an elected government, detained the country’s leadership, and installed a military junta.

During an hour-long conversation with CNN, the military spokesperson was steadfast in upholding the junta’s official narrative: that the generals are merely “safeguarding” the country while they investigate a “fraudulent” election. The bloodshed on the streets that has killed at least 600 people is the fault of “riotous” protesters, he said. At one point, Zaw Min Tun said if civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s father — the assassinated independence hero Aung San, who founded the country’s modern military — could see the situation now, he would say: “You are such a fool, my daughter.”The interview took place during a week-long press tour of Myanmar’s biggest city, Yangon, and Naypyidaw from March 31 to April 6. Prior to the trip, the military assured CNN it would be able to report independently and be given freedom of movement, but the journalists’ request to stay in a Yangon hotel was denied and the team instead were housed in a walled military compound, given only intermittent and heavily controlled access to the public.Major General Zaw Min Tun, spokesperson for the Myanmar military, at the Defense Services Museum in Naypyidaw, Myanmar on April 4, 2021.Major General Zaw Min Tun, spokesperson for the Myanmar military, at the Defense Services Museum in Naypyidaw, Myanmar on April 4, 2021.Major General Zaw Min Tun, spokesperson for the Myanmar military, at the Defense Services Museum in Naypyidaw, Myanmar on April 4, 2021.The following interview with Zaw Min Tun offers an insight into how Myanmar’s military junta are trying to justify their bloody takeover to the world, while at the same time cocooning themselves in government buildings far from a populace fiercely resistant to their rule, as they order deadly crackdowns on their own citizens in villages, towns and cities across the country. Read MoreCNN was provided with military interpreters, but conducted its own translations afterward.The back storyHours after commander-in-chief of Myanmar’s armed forces Gen. Min Aung Hlaing ordered his troops to seize the capital before dawn on February 1, he announced on television that a state of emergency would be in place for one year, after which elections would be held. His takeover came as newly-elected lawmakers were due to take their places on the opening day of parliament. The state of emergency caused all legislative, executive, and judicial power to be transferred to Min Aung Hlaing.Zaw Min Tun said the state of emergency could be extended for an additional “six months or more” over “two terms” and “if the duties are not done yet.” He did not give a firm date for when elections would be held, but said that according to the 2008 military-drafted constitution, “we have to finish everything within two years. We have to hold a free and fair election within these two years.””We promise that we will make it happen,” he said. Myanmar's Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing on Armed Forces Day in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, on March 27.Myanmar's Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing on Armed Forces Day in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, on March 27.Myanmar’s Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing on Armed Forces Day in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, on March 27.Many observers have questioned whether the military, which ruled Myanmar for half a century between 1962 and 2011, would be willing to relinquish power again, whether elections would indeed be “free and fair” — and whether ousted leader Suu Kyi and her popular party the National League for Democracy (NLD) would be allowed to contest. Zaw Min Tun pointed to a string of reforms the quasi-civilian government embarked upon in 2011 after the military gave up direct rule, which paved the way for the 2015 elections, in which Suu Kyi won a resounding victory. “If we didn’t want her from the beginning there would be no process like this,” he said. However, the 2008 constitution was designed so the military would retain power despite a civilian government. It allocated the military a quarter of seats in parliament, giving it effective veto power over constitutional amendments, and the generals kept control of three powerful ministries — defense, border and home affairs.Myanmar's military is waging war on its citizens. Some say it's time to fight back Myanmar's military is waging war on its citizens. Some say it's time to fight back Myanmar's military is waging war on its citizens. Some say it's time to fight back Zaw Min Tun also highlighted that Suu Kyi, who is under house arrest and has not been seen in public since the coup, is facing five charges, including illegally importing walkie-talkie radios, and for breaking Covid-19 regulations. She has also been accused of corruption and bribery. The most serious charge, however, is violating violating the country’s Official Secrets Act, which carries a prison sentence of up to 14 years.”What happened is because of the corruptions on national level and errors on state level procedures and we are accusing on the facts,” Zaw Min Tun said. “Daw Aung San Su Kyi is a well-known person both in Myanmar and the world and we will not accuse that person without any reason.”But slapping perceived opponents with charges under vaguely-worded colonial-era laws has been a well-used tool by the military throughout its rule, and during the reform period. The charges against Suu Kyi have been described as “trumped up” by her lawyer, who called the bribery accusations a “complete fabrication.”To justify the coup, the junta has alleged widespread election fraud in the November vote that would have given the NLD a second term and a mandate to continue its reform agenda, which included attempts to amend the constitution to limit the military’s power. Zaw Min Tun said the military had tried to negotiate with the NLD government but “no action was taken.”Aung San Suu Kyi poses for a portrait in Yangon, Myanmar, in 2010. A month earlier, she had been released from house arrest.Aung San Suu Kyi poses for a portrait in Yangon, Myanmar, in 2010. A month earlier, she had been released from house arrest. Photos: Aung San Suu KyiAung San Suu Kyi poses for a portrait in Yangon, Myanmar, in 2010. A month earlier, she had been released from house arrest.Hide Caption 1 of 37Suu Kyi, front center, is seen with her parents and her two elder brothers in 1947. Her father, Aung San, was the commander of the Burma Independence Army and helped negotiate the country's independence from Britain. He was assassinated on July 19, 1947. Suu Kyi's mother, Ma Khin Kyi, was a diplomat who was once an ambassador to India.Suu Kyi, front center, is seen with her parents and her two elder brothers in 1947. Her father, Aung San, was the commander of the Burma Independence Army and helped negotiate the country's independence from Britain. He was assassinated on July 19, 1947. Suu Kyi's mother, Ma Khin Kyi, was a diplomat who was once an ambassador to India. Photos: Aung San Suu KyiSuu Kyi, front center, is seen with her parents and her two elder brothers in 1947. Her father, Aung San, was the commander of the Burma Independence Army and helped negotiate the country’s independence from Britain. He was assassinated on July 19, 1947. Suu Kyi’s mother, Ma Khin Kyi, was a diplomat who was once an ambassador to India.Hide Caption 2 of 37Suu Kyi poses with Burmese comedian Par Par Lay, who was part of the pro-democracy act "The Moustache Brothers." Suu Kyi grew up in Myanmar and India but moved to England in the 1960s, where she studied at Oxford University. She returned to Myanmar in 1988 and co-founded the National League for Democracy, a political party dedicated to nonviolence and civil disobedience.Suu Kyi poses with Burmese comedian Par Par Lay, who was part of the pro-democracy act "The Moustache Brothers." Suu Kyi grew up in Myanmar and India but moved to England in the 1960s, where she studied at Oxford University. She returned to Myanmar in 1988 and co-founded the National League for Democracy, a political party dedicated to nonviolence and civil disobedience. Photos: Aung San Suu KyiSuu Kyi poses with Burmese comedian Par Par Lay, who was part of the pro-democracy act “The Moustache Brothers.” Suu Kyi grew up in Myanmar and India but moved to England in the 1960s, where she studied at Oxford University. She returned to Myanmar in 1988 and co-founded the National League for Democracy, a political party dedicated to nonviolence and civil disobedience.Hide Caption 3 of 37Suu Kyi sprinkles water over the heads of her followers during a traditional new year ceremony in Yangon in 1989. Five days of celebrations were marked by anti-government protests closely watched by armed troops.Suu Kyi sprinkles water over the heads of her followers during a traditional new year ceremony in Yangon in 1989. Five days of celebrations were marked by anti-government protests closely watched by armed troops. Photos: Aung San Suu KyiSuu Kyi sprinkles water over the heads of her followers during a traditional new year ceremony in Yangon in 1989. Five days of celebrations were marked by anti-government protests closely watched by armed troops.Hide Caption 4 of 37Suu Kyi poses for a photo in June 1989.Suu Kyi poses for a photo in June 1989. Photos: Aung San Suu KyiSuu Kyi poses for a photo in June 1989.Hide Caption 5 of 37Suu Kyi addresses a crowd of supporters in Yangon in July 1989. About two weeks later, she was placed under house arrest and charged with trying to divide the military. She denied the charges.Suu Kyi addresses a crowd of supporters in Yangon in July 1989. About two weeks later, she was placed under house arrest and charged with trying to divide the military. She denied the charges. Photos: Aung San Suu KyiSuu Kyi addresses a crowd of supporters in Yangon in July 1989. About two weeks later, she was placed under house arrest and charged with trying to divide the military. She denied the charges.Hide Caption 6 of 37While under house arrest, Suu Kyi won the Nobel Peace Price in 1991. She was honored "for her non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights."While under house arrest, Suu Kyi won the Nobel Peace Price in 1991. She was honored "for her non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights." Photos: Aung San Suu KyiWhile under house arrest, Suu Kyi won the Nobel Peace Price in 1991. She was honored “for her non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights.”Hide Caption 7 of 37Suu Kyi speaks to hundreds of supporters from the gate at her residential compound in Yangon in 1995. She had just been released from house arrest, but her political activity was restricted.Suu Kyi speaks to hundreds of supporters from the gate at her residential compound in Yangon in 1995. She had just been released from house arrest, but her political activity was restricted. Photos: Aung San Suu KyiSuu Kyi speaks to hundreds of supporters from the gate at her residential compound in Yangon in 1995. She had just been released from house arrest, but her political activity was restricted.Hide Caption 8 of 37Suu Kyi addresses supporters in 1997, on the 49th anniversary of Myanmar's independence movement.Suu Kyi addresses supporters in 1997, on the 49th anniversary of Myanmar's independence movement. Photos: Aung San Suu KyiSuu Kyi addresses supporters in 1997, on the 49th anniversary of Myanmar’s independence movement.Hide Caption 9 of 37Suu Kyi, in a 1999 home video, gives her support to economic sanctions against her country as a means to affect the governing military.Suu Kyi, in a 1999 home video, gives her support to economic sanctions against her country as a means to affect the governing military. Photos: Aung San Suu KyiSuu Kyi, in a 1999 home video, gives her support to economic sanctions against her country as a means to affect the governing military.Hide Caption 10 of 37Suu Kyi poses in front of a portrait of her father in 1999. In 2000, she was once again placed under house arrest. Suu Kyi poses in front of a portrait of her father in 1999. In 2000, she was once again placed under house arrest. Photos: Aung San Suu KyiSuu Kyi poses in front of a portrait of her father in 1999. In 2000, she was once again placed under house arrest. Hide Caption 11 of 37An activist holds a Suu Kyi portrait during a protest at the Chinese Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand, in 2009. The protesters were calling on the Chinese government to impose sanctions on Myanmar's military government following a Suu Kyi trial.An activist holds a Suu Kyi portrait during a protest at the Chinese Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand, in 2009. The protesters were calling on the Chinese government to impose sanctions on Myanmar's military government following a Suu Kyi trial. Photos: Aung San Suu KyiAn activist holds a Suu Kyi portrait during a protest at the Chinese Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand, in 2009. The protesters were calling on the Chinese government to impose sanctions on Myanmar’s military government following a Suu Kyi trial.Hide Caption 12 of 37Suu Kyi speaks in Yangon in December 2010, a month after being released from house arrest. She had spent 15 of the previous 21 years under house arrest.Suu Kyi speaks in Yangon in December 2010, a month after being released from house arrest. She had spent 15 of the previous 21 years under house arrest. Photos: Aung San Suu KyiSuu Kyi speaks in Yangon in December 2010, a month after being released from house arrest. She had spent 15 of the previous 21 years under house arrest.Hide Caption 13 of 37Suu Kyi is held by her son Kim Aris as she is greeted by supporters during a visit to the ancient temple city of Bagan in 2011.Suu Kyi is held by her son Kim Aris as she is greeted by supporters during a visit to the ancient temple city of Bagan in 2011. Photos: Aung San Suu KyiSuu Kyi is held by her son Kim Aris as she is greeted by supporters during a visit to the ancient temple city of Bagan in 2011.Hide Caption 14 of 37Suu Kyi meets US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at Suu Kyi's residence in Yangon in 2011.Suu Kyi meets US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at Suu Kyi's residence in Yangon in 2011. Photos: Aung San Suu KyiSuu Kyi meets US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at Suu Kyi’s residence in Yangon in 2011.Hide Caption 15 of 37Suu Kyi greets crowds while campaigning in Pathein, Myanmar, in 2012. She was running for a seat in parliament.Suu Kyi greets crowds while campaigning in Pathein, Myanmar, in 2012. She was running for a seat in parliament. Photos: Aung San Suu KyiSuu Kyi greets crowds while campaigning in Pathein, Myanmar, in 2012. She was running for a seat in parliament.Hide Caption 16 of 37Suu Kyi makes her way through a crowd in 2012, a day after she won a seat in parliament. It was Myanmar's first multiparty elections since 1990.Suu Kyi makes her way through a crowd in 2012, a day after she won a seat in parliament. It was Myanmar's first multiparty elections since 1990. Photos: Aung San Suu KyiSuu Kyi makes her way through a crowd in 2012, a day after she won a seat in parliament. It was Myanmar’s first multiparty elections since 1990.Hide Caption 17 of 37Suu Kyi accepts the Ambassador of Conscience Award next to U2 singer Bono during a European tour in 2012.Suu Kyi accepts the Ambassador of Conscience Award next to U2 singer Bono during a European tour in 2012. Photos: Aung San Suu KyiSuu Kyi accepts the Ambassador of Conscience Award next to U2 singer Bono during a European tour in 2012.Hide Caption 18 of 37Suu Kyi is presented with the Congressional Gold Medal while visiting the US Capitol in 2012.Suu Kyi is presented with the Congressional Gold Medal while visiting the US Capitol in 2012. Photos: Aung San Suu KyiSuu Kyi is presented with the Congressional Gold Medal while visiting the US Capitol in 2012.Hide Caption 19 of 37Suu Kyi meets with US President Barack Obama in the White House Oval Office. Obama later visited her lakeside villa in Myanmar. It was the first visit to Myanmar by a sitting US president.Suu Kyi meets with US President Barack Obama in the White House Oval Office. Obama later visited her lakeside villa in Myanmar. It was the first visit to Myanmar by a sitting US president. Photos: Aung San Suu KyiSuu Kyi meets with US President Barack Obama in the White House Oval Office. Obama later visited her lakeside villa in Myanmar. It was the first visit to Myanmar by a sitting US president.Hide Caption 20 of 37Suu Kyi joins officer cadets for tea while visiting a military academy in Camberley, England, in 2013.Suu Kyi joins officer cadets for tea while visiting a military academy in Camberley, England, in 2013. Photos: Aung San Suu KyiSuu Kyi joins officer cadets for tea while visiting a military academy in Camberley, England, in 2013.Hide Caption 21 of 37Suu Kyi speaks during a Nobel lecture in Oslo, Norway, in 2015. She was finally able to receive the Nobel Peace Prize that she won while she was under house arrest in 1991.Suu Kyi speaks during a Nobel lecture in Oslo, Norway, in 2015. She was finally able to receive the Nobel Peace Prize that she won while she was under house arrest in 1991. Photos: Aung San Suu KyiSuu Kyi speaks during a Nobel lecture in Oslo, Norway, in 2015. She was finally able to receive the Nobel Peace Prize that she won while she was under house arrest in 1991.Hide Caption 22 of 37Suu Kyi descends from a stage decorated with a portrait of her late father during a campaign rally in 2015.Suu Kyi descends from a stage decorated with a portrait of her late father during a campaign rally in 2015. Photos: Aung San Suu KyiSuu Kyi descends from a stage decorated with a portrait of her late father during a campaign rally in 2015.Hide Caption 23 of 37Suu Kyi campaigns in Kawhmu, Myanmar, in 2015.Suu Kyi campaigns in Kawhmu, Myanmar, in 2015. Photos: Aung San Suu KyiSuu Kyi campaigns in Kawhmu, Myanmar, in 2015.Hide Caption 24 of 37Suu Kyi arrives at a polling station to cast her vote in 2015. Her party won a historic majority in the nation's first freely held parliamentary elections. Suu Kyi was not able to become president, however, because of a constitutional amendment that prohibits anyone with foreign relatives from becoming the nation's leader. She was later named state counselor, a role created especially for her.Suu Kyi arrives at a polling station to cast her vote in 2015. Her party won a historic majority in the nation's first freely held parliamentary elections. Suu Kyi was not able to become president, however, because of a constitutional amendment that prohibits anyone with foreign relatives from becoming the nation's leader. She was later named state counselor, a role created especially for her. Photos: Aung San Suu KyiSuu Kyi arrives at a polling station to cast her vote in 2015. Her party won a historic majority in the nation’s first freely held parliamentary elections. Suu Kyi was not able to become president, however, because of a constitutional amendment that prohibits anyone with foreign relatives from becoming the nation’s leader. She was later named state counselor, a role created especially for her.Hide Caption 25 of 37Suu Kyi and members of parliament take their positions during the presidential vote in Naypyidaw, Myanmar, in 2016. Htin Kyaw, Suu Kyi's longtime aide, was voted as president.Suu Kyi and members of parliament take their positions during the presidential vote in Naypyidaw, Myanmar, in 2016. Htin Kyaw, Suu Kyi's longtime aide, was voted as president. Photos: Aung San Suu KyiSuu Kyi and members of parliament take their positions during the presidential vote in Naypyidaw, Myanmar, in 2016. Htin Kyaw, Suu Kyi’s longtime aide, was voted as president.Hide Caption 26 of 37Suu Kyi walks with Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, the country's military leader, at the Naypyidaw city airport in 2016.Suu Kyi walks with Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, the country's military leader, at the Naypyidaw city airport in 2016. Photos: Aung San Suu KyiSuu Kyi walks with Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, the country’s military leader, at the Naypyidaw city airport in 2016.Hide Caption 27 of 37Suu Kyi and President Kyaw talk at a conference in Naypyidaw in 2016.Suu Kyi and President Kyaw talk at a conference in Naypyidaw in 2016. Photos: Aung San Suu KyiSuu Kyi and President Kyaw talk at a conference in Naypyidaw in 2016.Hide Caption 28 of 37Suu Kyi addresses the United Nations General Assembly in New York in 2016.Suu Kyi addresses the United Nations General Assembly in New York in 2016. Photos: Aung San Suu KyiSuu Kyi addresses the United Nations General Assembly in New York in 2016.Hide Caption 29 of 37Supporters rush to greet Suu Kyi in Washington, DC, after she met with US Secretary of State John Kerry in 2016.Supporters rush to greet Suu Kyi in Washington, DC, after she met with US Secretary of State John Kerry in 2016. Photos: Aung San Suu KyiSupporters rush to greet Suu Kyi in Washington, DC, after she met with US Secretary of State John Kerry in 2016.Hide Caption 30 of 37Suu Kyi is guided by National Park Service Ranger Heath Mitchell on her visit to Washington, DC, in 2016.Suu Kyi is guided by National Park Service Ranger Heath Mitchell on her visit to Washington, DC, in 2016. Photos: Aung San Suu KyiSuu Kyi is guided by National Park Service Ranger Heath Mitchell on her visit to Washington, DC, in 2016.Hide Caption 31 of 37Suu Kyi met with Pope Francis at the Vatican in 2017.Suu Kyi met with Pope Francis at the Vatican in 2017. Photos: Aung San Suu KyiSuu Kyi met with Pope Francis at the Vatican in 2017.Hide Caption 32 of 37Britain's Queen Elizabeth II greets Suu Kyi ahead of a private lunch at Buckingham Palace in 2017.Britain's Queen Elizabeth II greets Suu Kyi ahead of a private lunch at Buckingham Palace in 2017. Photos: Aung San Suu KyiBritain’s Queen Elizabeth II greets Suu Kyi ahead of a private lunch at Buckingham Palace in 2017.Hide Caption 33 of 37US Vice President Mike Pence meets with Suu Kyi on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit in Singapore in 2018.US Vice President Mike Pence meets with Suu Kyi on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit in Singapore in 2018. Photos: Aung San Suu KyiUS Vice President Mike Pence meets with Suu Kyi on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit in Singapore in 2018.Hide Caption 34 of 37Suu Kyi stands before the UN's International Court of Justice in 2019. The nation of Gambia filed a lawsuit in the world court <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/13/asia/rohingya-suu-kyi-myanmar-hague-intl-hnk/index.html" target="_blank">alleging that Myanmar committed "genocidal acts"</a> against Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims. Suu Kyi has repeatedly denied such charges, siding with the military and labeling the accusations as "misinformation."Suu Kyi stands before the UN's International Court of Justice in 2019. The nation of Gambia filed a lawsuit in the world court <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/13/asia/rohingya-suu-kyi-myanmar-hague-intl-hnk/index.html" target="_blank">alleging that Myanmar committed "genocidal acts"</a> against Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims. Suu Kyi has repeatedly denied such charges, siding with the military and labeling the accusations as "misinformation." Photos: Aung San Suu KyiSuu Kyi stands before the UN’s International Court of Justice in 2019. The nation of Gambia filed a lawsuit in the world court alleging that Myanmar committed “genocidal acts” against Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims. Suu Kyi has repeatedly denied such charges, siding with the military and labeling the accusations as “misinformation.”Hide Caption 35 of 37Suu Kyi casts her ballot during advance voting in 2020.Suu Kyi casts her ballot during advance voting in 2020. Photos: Aung San Suu KyiSuu Kyi casts her ballot during advance voting in 2020.Hide Caption 36 of 37Suu Kyi watches the vaccination of health workers at a hospital in Naypyidaw in January 2021. A few days later, the military detained her in a coup.Suu Kyi watches the vaccination of health workers at a hospital in Naypyidaw in January 2021. A few days later, the military detained her in a coup. Photos: Aung San Suu KyiSuu Kyi watches the vaccination of health workers at a hospital in Naypyidaw in January 2021. A few days later, the military detained her in a coup.Hide Caption 37 of 3702 Aung San Suu Kyi 201002 Aung San Suu Kyi GALLERY RESTRICTED03 Aung San Suu Kyi GALLERY04 Aung San Suu Kyi GALLERY05 Aung San Suu Kyi GALLERY RESTRICTED06 Aung San Suu Kyi GALLERY08 Aung San Suu Kyi GALLERY RESTRICTED07 Aung San Suu Kyi GALLERY10 Aung San Suu Kyi GALLERY11 Aung San Suu Kyi GALLERY12 Aung San Suu Kyi GALLERY RESTRICTED13 Aung San Suu Kyi GALLERYsuu kyi 1315 Aung San Suu Kyi GALLERY16 Aung San Suu Kyi GALLERY17 Aung San Suu Kyi GALLERY18 Aung San Suu Kyi GALLERY RESTRICTED19 Aung San Suu Kyi GALLERY20 Aung San Suu Kyi GALLERY21 Aung San Suu Kyi GALLERY22 Aung San Suu Kyi GALLERYsuu kyi 0723 Aung San Suu Kyi GALLERY24 Aung San Suu Kyi GALLERYsuu kyi election38 Aung San Suu Kyi GALLERY26 Aung San Suu Kyi GALLERY27 Aung San Suu Kyi GALLERY RESTRICTED29 Aung San Suu Kyi GALLERY30 Aung San Suu Kyi GALLERY31 Aung San Suu Kyi GALLERY32 Aung San Suu Kyi GALLERY RESTRICTED33 Aung San Suu Kyi GALLERY34 Aung San Suu Kyi GALLERY35 Aung San Suu Kyi GALLERY36 Aung San Suu Kyi GALLERY37 Aung San Suu Kyi GALLERYZaw Min Tun said the junta had “solid evidence” the elections were fraudulent, but did not show any to CNN. “The voting fraud we found in the election is 10.4 million, the number of eligible votes announced by the Election Commission was around 39.5 million and the voting fraud is a quarter of the vote,” he said. The election commission denied there was mass voter fraud and independent election monitors said there were no substantial problems that would be enough to overturn the result. Suu Kyi won with 83% of the vote. Bloodshed on the streetsIt is evident from the interview that Myanmar’s military leaders want the world to believe they are acting in line with the country’s laws and constitution, and say they are committed to building a “multi-party democratic county.” But the bloodshed on the streets, in which soldiers and police have shot dead protesters, bystanders and children, belies that claim. At least 600 civilians have been killed by security forces, according to advocacy group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners. The UN envoy has reported enforced disappearances, arbitrary detentions and torture in prisons. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said authorities have “increasingly resorted to heavy weaponry such as rocket-propelled and fragmentation grenades, heavy machine guns, and snipers to kill demonstrators in massive numbers.”A police officer aims a gun during clashes with protesters taking part in a demonstration against the military coup in Naypyidaw on February 9.A police officer aims a gun during clashes with protesters taking part in a demonstration against the military coup in Naypyidaw on February 9.A police officer aims a gun during clashes with protesters taking part in a demonstration against the military coup in Naypyidaw on February 9.Around 3,000 people have been detained, many kept out of contact from their families, their condition or whereabouts unknown. Meanwhile, protesters, activists, journalists and families of those killed by the junta, have been forced into hiding as they fear security forces will hunt them in nighttime raids. On Wednesday, a special envoy of Myanmar’s ousted civilian government to the UN warned of a civil war if the world fails to stop the junta from seizing power and killing pro-democracy protesters. “The bloodbath is real. It is coming, more people will die. I am afraid,” Dr. Sasa said on CNN. “It is the time for the world to prevent another genocide, another ethnic cleansing, another massacre, so the world has the power to stop it before it’s too late.”Myanmar's military is killing peaceful protesters. Here's what you need to knowMyanmar's military is killing peaceful protesters. Here's what you need to knowMyanmar's military is killing peaceful protesters. Here's what you need to knowZaw Min Tun blamed the violence on protesters “provoking” the crowd and said security forces cracked down because protesters “blocked the civil servants” from going to work. In reality, thousands of civil servants, as well as white- and blue-collar workers, including medics, bankers, lawyers, teachers, engineers and factory workers, left their jobs as a form of resistance against the coup. The strikes, called the Civil Disobedience Movement, have disrupted sectors of the economy. “The crowds were throwing stones and slingshots at them in the beginning but later the crowd are blocking with sand bags, shooting with handmade guns, throwing with fire, throwing with molotov (cocktails) and the security forces have to use the weapons for the riot,” Zaw Min Tun said. Asked whether he was seriously comparing slingshots to assault rifles, Zaw Min Tun said the security forces were using “minimum force.” “There will be deaths when they are cracking down (on) the riots, but we are not shooting around without discipline,” he said. Protesters gather to demonstrate against the February 1 military coup, in downtown in Yangon on February 8.Protesters gather to demonstrate against the February 1 military coup, in downtown in Yangon on February 8.Protesters gather to demonstrate against the February 1 military coup, in downtown in Yangon on February 8.According to the military, the death toll at the time of the interview was 248 people, including 10 police officers and six soldiers, he said — less than half the toll documented by multiple human rights groups, which have repeatedly said security forces are violating international humanitarian law by shooting indiscriminately into crowds of peaceful protesters. Bullet wounds in the heads and necks of many of those shot also suggest the soldiers are shooting to kill. Video and images captured by local journalists and eyewitnesses and verified by CNN show security forces shooting into crowds. In others, security forces are beating detainees with their rifles, or dragging bodies through the streets. The killing of childrenAccording to the UN Children’s Fund, 46 children have been killed since the coup. CNN has documented instances of children being shot in their homes or while playing outside. When asked about three teenagers who have died at the hands of security forces — Kyaw Min Latt, 17, Htoo Myat Win, 13, and Tun Tun Aung, 14, — the military spokesperson blamed protesters for “using” children on the front lines. “In some places they provoke the children to participate in violence riots … Because of that they may get hit when the security forces were cracking down (on) the crowds,” he said. “There is no reason we will shoot the children, this is only the terrorists are trying to make us look bad.”He said it was “not possible” that a child would be shot inside their house and an investigation would be carried out if that was the case. Videos posted on social media corroborate that security forces have shot at houses. Grieving family of young girl shot dead by Myanmar's military forced into hidingGrieving family of young girl shot dead by Myanmar's military forced into hidingGrieving family of young girl shot dead by Myanmar's military forced into hidingHtoo Myat Win’s father said his son was shot when several bullets smashed a glass window in his house in Shwebo city on March 27. “I dodged the bullet but my son was coming up to the glass window and got hit,” he said, adding that his son was hit in the chest. “I don’t understand why they have to shoot us when we were inside our house.””They were shooting at protesters before and the protesters were running and we hid some of them because we worried that they might get arrested. They (army) must have positioned themselves in this neighborhood,” he said. Video widely circulated online showed Htoo Myat Win’s distraught father screaming with grief in the back of a taxi as he rushed to his son’s lifeless body for help. Forced to go to a military hospital, Htoo Myat Win’s father said doctors there did an autopsy and told him to sign a document stating there was no bullet. “I asked them my son die with a bullet wound why you want to say it is not from a bullet?” he said. Perhaps keen to avoid creating martyrs, the military has sought to control the narrative over some high-profile deaths. Junta forces exhumed the body of one young protester and carried out an autopsy in which they determined the bullet that killed her did not come from a police gun. The wife of Phoe Chit, a protester who died during a demonstration against the military coup on March 3, cries over the coffin of her husband during his funeral in Yangon on March 5.The wife of Phoe Chit, a protester who died during a demonstration against the military coup on March 3, cries over the coffin of her husband during his funeral in Yangon on March 5.The wife of Phoe Chit, a protester who died during a demonstration against the military coup on March 3, cries over the coffin of her husband during his funeral in Yangon on March 5.In another incident, a military hospital claimed Kyaw Min Latt died after falling off his motorbike in Dawei city. CCTV footage, however, captured the moment a soldier standing on the back of a truck shot at the teenager as he rode with two others, who managed to run away. His mother verified the footage to CNN. “The doctor told us that my son is suffering from the injuries of fall from motorbike, we couldn’t say back anything except just kept say yes to everything,” his mother Daw Mon Mon Oo said. She said X-rays of her son’s body conducted at a second hospital were taken away by officials from the military-run hospital. His death certificate, seen by CNN, states Kyaw Min Latt died on March 30 because of “the primary brain injury due to the fall from cycle (motorcycle).”When his family were able to take his body home, his mother said “there was no injury from the fall of the bike but only when there the bullet went in and out, and bruised on his right eye.”sPressed by CNN about the allegations from families of soldiers shooting into houses and of the military attempting to cover up the causes of deaths, spokesperson Zaw Min Tun demanded CNN show him evidence. “If that kind of thing occurred, we will have investigation for it,” he said. “There may be some videos which look suspicious but for our forces, we don’t have any intention to shoot at innocent people.”It is unclear whether the military has launched any internal investigations into repeated claims of extrajudicial killings.She was shot dead, her body dug up and her grave filled with cement. But her fight is not overShe was shot dead, her body dug up and her grave filled with cement. But her fight is not overShe was shot dead, her body dug up and her grave filled with cement. But her fight is not overCNN also pressed Zaw Min Tun on why at least 11 people were detained shortly after speaking with the CNN team in Yangon. Some were detained merely for flashing the three-finger salute from the Hunger Games movies that has become a symbol of resistance. According to three sources close to those detained, who spoke on condition of anonymity over fears of reprisal, eight were later released. Zaw Min Tun confirmed security forces detained three people from the first market and eight others at a second after interacting with the team on the ground. When asked by CNN what crime they had committed, he said they hadn’t broken the law.”The security forces were worried they would provoke others and start the protest in the market, and that is why they got arrested,” he said, adding the military expressed “regret” over the arrests.CNN has since learned those eight are now in hiding, fearing rearrest. International reactionThe coup and subsequent deadly crackdown have been widely condemned internationally. The United States, United Kingdom and European Union have imposed sanctions on several generals in charge of the coup, as well as on military-owned companies. However, while Zaw Min Tun insisted elections would be held in the future, he warned the military’s version of democracy would perhaps not be a Western-style liberal system. “The democratic country we are building is the one suitable with our history and geography. The standard of democracy in Myanmar will not be the same as from Western counties,” he said. Despite the dangers, protesters from all walks of life in Myanmar continue to demand the military hand back power to civilian control and are held fully accountable. They continue to call for the release of Suu Kyi and other civilian leaders. Myanmar’s many ethnic minority groups, which have long fought for greater autonomy for their lands, are also demanding the military-written 2008 constitution be abolished and a federal democracy be established.Having grown up with a level of democracy, and political and economic freedoms their parents and grandparents didn’t have, Myanmar’s young people leading the resistance movement remain determined to fight for what they see as their future — and they say they will not give up.

Source Link:
https://www.cnn.com/2021/04/08/asia/myanmar-zaw-min-tun-interview-intl-hnk/index.html

400 Request Header Or Cookie Too Large

400 Bad Request

Request Header Or Cookie Too Large

Comments

comments

Advertisement