Despite mounting tensions, the military junta in Myanmar shows no sign of relaxing its grip. Recent photos reveal an unsettling sight, multiple colleges and universities with their doors firmly closed. These institutions once thrived with creativity, knowledge, and critical thinking but now they lie silent, victims of the regime’s relentless crackdown on dissent.
In February 2021, the military authorities seized power, arresting civilian leaders. Undeterred, students and their allies nationwide launched a civil disobedience movement challenging the regime. The junta’s response was swift and brutal. Activists, protestors, and journalists alike were arrested and detained, their voices throttled.
Amid the turmoil, the military rulers shut down post-secondary institutions to stymy the spirited activism. Students, once owners of their future, now find themselves inhabiting ghost campuses.
The decision to close down educational institutions demonstrates the junta’s unmistakable intent: erasing all conceivable platforms of opposition. The students, many of whom had skipped exams to protest after the coup, were willing to sacrifice their studies for a free and democratic Myanmar. Pursuing higher education seems insignificant when the future of their country hangs uncertain.
As the students and reporters find themselves facing a formidable, unrelenting enemy, only time will reveal the outcome of this tragic struggle. Their courage and determination, evident in the face of such adversity, are bound to shape the future of Myanmar and hopefully, restore its lost democracy.