Attacks have been carried out on Thingyan pavilions on the eve of the Burmese New Year. Residents of Hpa-An, Karen State reported that three different pavilions were attacked on April 12. The previous day, residents of Pathein, Ayeyarwady Region reported one pavilion attacked. There were no reported casualties.
Resistance groups and student activists have called on the public to boycott Thingyan. “We blew the pavilion up as a warning as it is a spot where they have increased security in order to make Thingyan more active,” an anti-coup activist in Pathein told DVB. Flash mob protests have taken place across the country to urge locals not to participate in any regime-sponsored Thingyan festivity. A group calling itself “Anti-junta Forces Coordination Committee – Mandalay” staged a protest on April 11. They held aloft banners that read: “Boycott military businesses,” and “Revolutionary Thingyan is the voice of the people.”
Other protests were reported in Kalay, Yinmabin and Salingyi townships of Sagaing Region, and as far away as Hpakant Township in Kachin State. Staff at ministries in Naypyidaw have reported that the regime is forcing them, along with locals in some areas, to join its Thingyan events to portray an image of normalcy across the country. Thingyan, otherwise known as the Burmese New Year, is Burma’s most important holiday. Many people have been unable or unwilling to celebrate the festival since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2021 military coup.