The Ensemble seeks to connect and inform all people who are committed to ensemble music education for youth empowerment and social change.
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A Letter from Myanmar to Our International Community
I am a pianist from Myanmar. Please let me tell you about the current situation here in my country.
Before February 2021, some of you might not have been familiar with the country called Myanmar. Because of the military coup and the spring revolution, the world now knows where Myanmar is. Since the coup on February 1, the junta has killed 863 people and detained 6,046 people (AAPP Burma, June 14).
Many people, including monks and nuns, have marched in protest against the military regime in various parts of the country. Many government workers are in the civil disobedience movement; some of them have been arrested and sentenced to years in prison. The government builds cases against them upon lies; these lies are repeated on national television channels.
There are explosions around Yangon almost every day. The situation in remote areas is even worse: entire villages burned down, churches and monasteries plundered and destroyed. There are many instances of rape. These things continue to happen in Chin State, Kayah State, and other areas.
In many places, it’s not safe even in your home; the soldiers can break in and enter without warrant. If you are young and wear all black, you might be arrested, because they suspect that you might be in the People’s Defense Force. They might check your phone and your social media account, and, if they see something against the junta, they might arrest you. Many people must flee their homes and stay in the forests to avoid the military.
The economy and banking system are at risk, a lot of people have lost their jobs, and the public transport system is in bad shape. Our public health system is failing, even as Myanmar is struggling with its third wave of COVID-19.
The school where I work had to close due to security problems and internet failures. Some of my colleagues are in their hometowns near borders and are experiencing the military’s brutal attacks in those areas; they can’t teach or play instruments, for security reasons. I am still teaching some students online who have better internet, but when we have very low internet connection, we need to reschedule lessons. My students and I talk, play, and improvise a lot. These private lessons are very precious to me. Seeing my students playing with curiosity—this gives me hope.
Every night at 8 p.m., people still bang pots and pans to show the junta that we want justice and democracy restored. We’ve been doing this for nearly five months now. This is a very dark era for all of us, and we don’t know how long it will continue. Please pray for Myanmar and support our National Unity Government, the only official government elected by the people. Please remember us and promote global awareness of what’s really happening in Myanmar.
Thank you, everyone, and God Bless.