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Internet Memes Protest Killing of Anti-Mining Villager in Myanmar

Students in Yangon condemned the killing of a villager who was protesting the operation of a China-backed copper mine project. Photo from the Facebook page of DVB TV News

Students in Yangon condemned the killing of a villager who was protesting the operation of a China-backed copper mine project. Photo from the Facebook page of DVB TV News

A protester was shot dead in a China-backed copper mine project in the Letpadaung area in Myanmar. The woman, identified as Khin Win, was part of a local group that was resisting the attempt of the Wanbao mining company to build a fence around the project site. The villagers claimed that Wanbao was assisted by the police in the operation. However, it is not clear whether the woman was killed by the armed security personnel of Wanbao or the police.

The copper mine project in Sagain Division, which started in February 2012, was opposed by villagers and many Myanmar groups. Some landowners refused to take any compensation from Wanbao and instead they chose to struggle against the project. In one of the protests, police dispersed a group of protesting monks by using tear gas, a water cannon and other weapons, injuring 50.

News of the woman's death infuriated many in Myanmar. Students in Yangon, the country's former capital, quickly organized an assembly to express their indignation. Meanwhile, netizens responded with witty memes targeting the government and the People's Republic of China.

Somael Celestial asked President Thein Sein a sarcastic question via a “Condescending Wonka” meme:

Top Text : The Big guy who wish to be re-elected if the public would agree Bottom Text : Tell me more about how the woman shot dead at head could vote for you

Top text: The big guy who wants to be reelected if the public would only agree
Bottom text: Tell us more how a woman shot dead in the head could vote for you

Nga Paing wondered about the initial report that said police shot at the woman's leg, but accidentally hit her head instead.

Top Text : The very first country that invented "shot-leg-hit-head" gun Bottom Text : Myanamr

Top text: The very first country to invent the “shoot-leg-hit-head” gun
Bottom text: Myanmar

Using “Sheltered Suburban Kid”, Min Sat Paing created a meme about those who look down upon those struggling in rural areas.

Top Text : In order to get shot Bottom Text : She would have done something stupid

Top text: In order to get shot
Bottom text: She must have done something stupid

 အင်ဘရန် လတောင် also made a meme about the life of villagers who lost the right to keep their land when the government steps in to claim it:

Top Text  (The lady said): I guess it's alright not to sell our farms if we don't wish to? Middle Text (The guy said) : What? Your farms? Bottom Text (The guy said) : Even Nay Pyi Daw [Capital of Myanmar] must be sold if China wants it!

Top text (The woman says): I guess it's alright not to sell our farms if we don't wish to?
Middle text (The guy says): What? Your farms?
Bottom text (The guy says): Even Nay Pyi Daw [Capital of Myanmar] must be sold if China wants it!

စက္ကန်း ကမ္မင်း has advice on how to avoid being killed by a bullet that targets the leg but hits the head instead. Using a locally famous meme template known as “Bad Advice Thein Sein”, the advice is quite simple but hilarious:  

Top Text : If you are thinking to protest in future Bottom Text : Please come in handstand position

Top text: If you are thinking about protesting in the future
Bottom text: Please come in a handstand position

As there are unconfirmed news reports that Chinese armed personnel were also involved in the clash, Somael Celestial wondered about the status of his country. 

Top Text : Not sure if it was Republic of Union of Myanmar  Bottom Text : Or Republic of China's Myan Dian [Myanmar in Chinese]

Top text: Not sure if it's the Republic of the Union of Myanmar
Bottom text: Or the Republic of China's Myan Dian [Myanmar in Chinese]

Wanbao mining company described the death of the protester as “senseless” and has asked the police to investigate the issue. Meanwhile, protests are continuing against the copper mine project.

  • tocharian

    These greedy Chinese invaders and exploiters are “senselessly” destroying Burma’s pristine natural habitat and the traditional way of life. Where is Suu Kyi when the poor people need her? Oh hang on, didn’t she fully endorse this Chinese copper mine a while ago and now she is planning on a pilgrimage to China. Upper-class Burmese, such as the junta guys, their corrupt cronies (and now their new “bff” Suu Kyi) are all bribed by the Chinese with big fat bank accounts in Singapore. People like Naw Ohn Hla and Ma Khin Win are the new freedom fighters of Burma.
    As my late Burmese grandmother taught me: “if you give Chinese your little finger today, tomorrow they will own your land, your hills, your rivers, your woman and finally scrape away the gold from your pagodas”

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