Kneeling earlier than them within the mud of a northern Myanmar metropolis, Sister Ann Rose Nu Tawng begged a bunch of closely armed cops to spare “the kids” and take her life as an alternative.
The picture of the Catholic nun in a easy white behavior, her arms 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 kids, however to shoot me and kill me as an alternative,” she mentioned 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 overthrow of the civilian chief, Aung San Suu Kyi, on 1 February. As protests demanding the return of democracy have rolled on, the junta has steadily escalated its use of pressure, utilizing teargas, water cannon, rubber bullets and stay 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 go away.
“The police had been chasing to arrest them and I used to be nervous for the kids,” 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 couldn’t do something however I used to be praying for God to save lots of and assist the kids,” she mentioned.
First she noticed a person shot within the head fall lifeless in entrance of her – then she felt the sting of teargas. “I felt just like the world was crashing,” she mentioned. “I’m very unhappy it occurred as I used to be begging them.”
A neighborhood rescue group confirmed to AFP that two males had been shot lifeless on the spot throughout Monday’s protest, although it didn’t affirm whether or not stay 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 an emblem of resistance, as a musical ensemble of brass instrument gamers, drummers and a bagpiper in crisp white uniforms led the funeral procession.
Kachin, Myanmar’s northernmost state, is dwelling to the Kachin ethnic group and is the location of a years-long battle between armed teams and the army. Tens of hundreds 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 28 February she made the same plea for mercy, strolling slowly in the direction of police in riot gear, getting on her knees and pleading for them to cease.
“I’ve thought myself lifeless already since 28 February,” 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 advised AFP.
Sister Ann Rose Nu Tawng mentioned she would proceed to face up for “the kids”.
“I can’t stand and watch with out doing something, seeing what’s occurring in entrance of my eyes whereas all Myanmar is grieving,” she mentioned.