YANGON: Kneeling earlier than them within the mud of a northern Myanmar metropolis, Sister Ann Rose Nu Tawng begged a gaggle of closely armed cops to spare “the youngsters” and take her life as an alternative.
The picture of the Catholic nun in a easy white behavior, her palms unfold, pleading with the forces of the nation’s new junta as they ready to crack down on a protest, has gone viral and gained her reward within the majority-Buddhist nation.
“I knelt down… begging them to not shoot and torture the youngsters, however to shoot me and kill me as an alternative,” she informed AFP on Tuesday.
Her act of bravery within the metropolis of Myitkyina on Monday got here as Myanmar struggles with the chaotic aftermath of the army´s February 1 ouster of civilian chief Aung San Suu Kyi.
As protests demanding the return of democracy have rolled on, the junta has steadily escalated its use of drive, utilizing tear fuel, water cannon, rubber bullets, and dwell rounds.
Protesters took to the streets of Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin state, on Monday sporting exhausting hats and carrying selfmade shields.
As police began massing round them, Sister Ann Rose Nu Tawng and two different nuns pleaded with them to depart.
“The police had been chasing to arrest them and I used to be anxious for the youngsters,” she mentioned.
It was at that time that the 45-year-old nun fell to her knees.
Moments later, as she was begging for restraint, the police began firing into the group of protesters behind her.
“The kids panicked and ran to the entrance… I could not do something however I used to be praying for God to save lots of and assist the youngsters,” she mentioned.
First she noticed a person shot within the head fall useless in entrance of her — then she felt the sting of tear fuel.
“I felt just like the world was crashing,” she mentioned.
“I am very unhappy it occurred as I used to be begging them.”
An area rescue workforce confirmed to AFP that two males had been shot useless on the spot throughout Monday´s conflict, although it didn’t verify whether or not dwell rounds or rubber bullets had been used.
On Tuesday, one of many deceased, Zin Min Htet, was laid in a glass casket and transported on a golden hearse coated in white and pink flowers.
Mourners raised three fingers in a logo of resistance, as a musical ensemble of brass instrument gamers, drummers and a bagpiper in crisp white uniforms led the funeral procession.
‘All Myanmar is grieving’
Kachin, Myanmar’s northernmost state, is residence to the Kachin ethnic group, and the positioning of a years-long battle between ethnic armed teams and the army.
Tens of 1000’s have fled their houses to displacement camps throughout the state — and among the many organisations aiding them have been Christian teams.
Monday was not Sister Ann Rose Nu Tawng’s first encounter with the safety forces — on February 28 she made an identical plea for mercy, strolling slowly in direction of police in riot gear, getting on her knees and pleading for them to cease.
“I’ve thought myself useless already since February 28,” she mentioned of the day she made the choice to face as much as the armed police.
On Monday, she was joined by her fellow sisters and the native bishop, who surrounded her as she pleaded for mercy for the protesters.
“We had been there to guard our sister and our folks as a result of she had her life in danger,” Sister Mary John Paul informed AFP.
The town has seen frequent crackdowns from authorities because the coup, together with a violent dispersal of peaceable lecturers final month that despatched a number of into hiding.
Up to now, greater than 60 folks have been killed in anti-coup demonstrations across the nation, in accordance with the Help Affiliation for Political Prisoners monitoring group.
Worry runs deep for Sister Ann Rose Nu Tawng, however she mentioned she have to be courageous and can proceed to face up for “the youngsters”.
“I can´t stand and watch with out doing something, seeing what´s taking place in entrance of my eyes whereas all Myanmar is grieving,” she mentioned.