The Disappearance of Democracy

Just over a month ago, I discussed the coup in Myanmar and what it means for democratisation around the globe. Sadly, when I wrote it, the story of the coup was already disappearing from the news cycle; now, it has all but vanished from the mainstream.

The disappearance of such a story from our news cycle is almost frighteningly routine. Since the advent of the 24-hour news cycle especially, popular opposition, such as that in the current case of Myanmar, needs the coverage to garner international support. When stories disappear, so does the support, save for a few retweets here and there.

As has been seen in the last month in Myanmar, this has devastating consequences.

Consolidating a Coup

Last month, I wrote about reports of state violence against protestors in Myanmar, when the movement was beginning. In the intervening time, coercion and violence against protestors has only increased.

From the 8th of February, police and military in Myanmar have been routinely using rubber bullets, water cannons and tear gas in order to disperse protestors. Two protestors were killed and many more injured in Mandalay on the 20th. The violence of the crackdown continues to escalate – according to Human Rights Groups in the country, at least 18 people were killed on the 28th of February, and 38 on the 3rd of March.

To speak only of the violence is to say nothing of the internet blackouts, the information war, the regional clampdowns and the institution of martial