A Catholic nun in Myanmar is talking out after pictures unfold world wide of her kneeling in entrance of safety officers in a determined bid to defend anti-coup protesters from violence.
Sister Ann Rosa Nu Tawng instructed the Union of Catholic Asian Information (UCA Information) final Tuesday that she was working in a church-run clinic within the northern metropolis of Myitkyina on Feb. 28 when she noticed army personnel chasing, beating, and arresting protesters on the road.
“I thought today is the day I will die. I decided to die,” she instructed the British information group Sky Information.
Nu Tawng, a member of the Sisters of St. Francis Xavier congregation in Myitkyina, mentioned she ran outdoors to confront the police. The 45-year-old instructed the UCA Information that she had ready herself to “give my life for the Church, for the people and for the nation.”
Pictures and video from the scene shared on social media present the Catholic sister standing alone in entrance of a row of police holding tactical shields, a few of whom seem like armed. She kneels, then rises, each arms raised and tears streaming down her face.
She instructed UCA Information she was begging the officers to not shoot on the unarmed civilians behind her, who have been protesting the nation’s army takeover earlier this yr following an election.
“Just shoot me if you want to,” she recalled saying to the officers.
“I was crying like a mad person. I was like a mother hen protecting the chicks,” she instructed Sky Information. “My intention was to help people escape and be free to protest and to stop the security forces.”
“I asked them not to continue arresting the people. I was begging them. At that time I was not afraid,” she added.
She instructed Sky Information that one of many officers came to visit to her and tried to calm her down, pledging to not shoot the protesters. However Nu Tawng mentioned she didn’t consider him.
“I feel like they [the military] are not the guardians of the people,” she instructed Sky Information. “They are supposed to protect us but our people have to defend themselves. It’s not safe.”
A minimum of 18 protesters have been fatally shot in Myanmar on the day that Nu Tawng made her stand, based on the U.N. Human Rights Workplace.
The American Catholic journal Crux has likened Nu Tawng’s actions to Myanmar’s “Tiananmen moment,” referring to the 1989 pro-democracy protests in Beijing, China.
To this point, greater than 50 protesters have died through the Myanmar army’s crackdown on dissent after its Feb. 1 army coup, which overthrew the elected authorities of the politician Aung San Suu Kyi, The Related Press reviews.
Hundreds have taken to the streets to hitch every day anti-coup protests in cities throughout Myanmar, previously referred to as Burma. The army has imposed a nighttime curfew and, together with deadly power, used tear gasoline and mass arrests to disperse the crowds. Safety forces have additionally detained journalists and suspended the licenses of media retailers protecting the protests.
Nu Tawng’s spiritual congregation relies in Myanmar’s Kachin state, which has a sizable minority Christian inhabitants. Total, Christians make up about 6% of the majority-Buddhist nation, based on the Catholic Information Company.
Nu Tawng instructed UCA Information that she has participated in marches with different Catholic monks, nuns, and lay individuals to wish for peace and present assist for democracy after the army takeover.
Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, the Catholic archbishop of Yangon and president of Myanmar’s bishops’ convention, has been making robust, public appeals for peace ― whereas criticizing the army’s actions. He’s known as for the discharge of detained elected leaders and protestors.
Bo tweeted photos of Nu Tawng’s protest on Twitter on Feb. 28 and claimed the sister’s actions allowed 100 individuals to flee from the police, based on Crux. He wrote in a separate tweet that younger protesters are “fighting against the most brutal military dictatorship,” Crux reported. Bo’s Twitter account has been suspended.
“Peace is possible. Peace is the only way. Democracy is the only light to that path,” Bo wrote in a Feb. 3 letter.
Pope Francis, in addition to U.S. Catholic bishops, have condemned the army coup. Final week, Francis urged the worldwide neighborhood “to ensure that the aspirations of the people of Myanmar are not stifled by violence.”
“May the young people of that beloved land be granted the hope of a future where hatred and injustice make way for encounter and reconciliation,” the pope mentioned.
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