A bloody and horrific weekend of violence in the country of Myanmar is having a chilling effect on thousands of residents in Jacksonville. The violence has killed at least 114 people, including many children
An estimated 10,000 of the greater Jacksonville area have emigrated from the southeast Asian country. They said this has been hard to watch.
Many images too graphic to see as Myanmar security forces are said to have killed well over 100 during nationwide protests against a military coup.
The images have been haunting to Daniel Hliang and Dr. Win Aung, who is president of the Florida Myanmar Democratic Movement. They both live in Jacksonville, along with thousands of residents originally from the country formerly called Burma.
“I can’t even express the pain and suffering, even from here for our people in Myanmar,” said Hliang.
“It’s a unilateral slaughtering of people at random with a peaceful demonstration,” said Aung. “Most importantly, and disturbingly, lately what we’ve been seeing is they are killing the kids. 5-year-olds, 2-year-olds. Why? Why are they killing their own innocent?”
While the images we’ve seen on the news are hard to see, they said that’s just a small portion of some of the images being circulated.
“You know, we get these video streams from almost on a real time basis of what’s going on there by these kids that are very tech savvy. We’ve been bombarded by all these horrible scenes almost everyday and we can’t sleep sometimes,” said Hliang.
This is spawned from a military takeover in early February, and massive pro-democracy protests that have broken out. Sadly, this weekend’s violence is not likely to stem anytime soon as these locals look back with sadness at their home country.
One estimate shows around 459 people killed since the military takeover on Feb. 1. U.N. Human Rights experts are accusing the military forces of committing mass murder and they’re calling on the international community to step in and stop the violence.