Luther College students from Myanmar share fears related to the military coup

February 8, 2021

Four Luther College students who call Myanmar "home" are speaking out to help people understand what is happening in their country. This month, the military of Myanmar seized control of the country after a short and popular democratic experiment that began in 2011. The military has now regained full control and has shut off internet communications and flights, making it difficult for Nora Nyi Myint, Min San Thu (Eric San), Thawdar Zin and Myo Kaung to reach their family. Now, these four students are sharing their stories and the current fears they have for their country. 

            Sponsored by Luther's Center for Ethics and Public Engagement, the "Tell Me about Myanmar" panel discussion will take place at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 10. A link will be available under the event listing at Dr. Orçun Selçuk from the Political Science Department, will moderate the discussion

            "The coup is taking our hard-fought freedom away from us, the Myanmar people," said Min San Thu (Eric San). "In the panel, I will be elaborating about how the military tried to silence the people in these recent days, and how the people of Myanmar combated against this tyranny creatively and strategically.

            Prior to 2011, Thawdar Zin and his family fled their village and sought refuge in a dense forest for nearly five years of military rule. He says after 2011, his country got the chance to reunite and rebuild. 

"People were basically starting to come out of the dark and we started to see the consequences of years of the system imposed by the military and started to see the military's political manipulation that caused many socio-political issues," said Zin. "The military coup has taken away the little hope that we have for the peace of the county."

            Nora Nyi Myint says it is the dire state of her country that has inspired her to double major in International Studies and Women and Gender Studies at Luther. 

            "I want to understand international law and human rights with the hope that I can become a diplomat one day who can represent Myanmar properly for its rich history and culture," said Nyi Myint. "I am disheartened but am still burning to help bring the positive changes as needed."

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