It’s been just over a month since the Myanmar military (Tatmadaw) seized power, upending political calculations across spectrums ideologically and geographically. Here DMG has compiled a timeline of the coup and its aftermath as seen from Arakan State’s perspective, for those both in the region and beyond.  

1 February 

 The Tatmadaw seizes power in the pre-dawn hours, detaining Arakan State Chief Minister U Nyi Pu, Arakan State Minister for Social Affairs Dr. Chan Tha and Arakan State Minister for Electricity, Industry and Road Transport U Aung Kyaw Zan. 

  • The military also takes into its custody the Speaker of the Arakan State Parliament, U San Kyaw Hla, and Lower House MP Daw Khin Saw Wai, releasing the latter the same day. 

2 February  

  • The Office of the Commander-in-Chief announces that Dr. Aung Kyaw Min, a former Arakan State social affairs minister under ex-President Thein Sein’s government, has been appointed chair of the Arakan State Administration Council. The national-level State Administration Council (SAC) is also formed, with the junta citing Article 419 of the 2008 Constitution as granting it authority to do so.
  • The Tatmadaw releases Arakan State Chief Minister U Nyi Pu, Arakan State Minister for Social Affairs Dr. Chan Tha and Arakan State Minister for Electricity, Industry and Road Transport U Aung Kyaw Zan. 

3 February 

 

  • Daw Aye Nu Sein, a senior member of the Arakan National Party (ANP) and the party spokeswoman, is appointed a member of the State Administration Council.
  • 4G mobile internet connections are restored in Buthidaung, Rathedaung, Ponnagyun, Kyauktaw, Mrauk-U, Minbya and Myebon townships, where only 2G internet access had been available for months. 

4 February 

 

  • An explosion takes place in Pyin Shay village, some 3 miles from Buthidaung town, Arakan State, at around 2 p.m., killing one child and seriously injuring two others.
  • In a letter to the Arakanese people, the Arakan National Party (ANP) says the ANP will work with the current military government “in order to ensure the ANP’s representation in the unique Arakan crisis in the Union and other Arakanese national interests.” 

5 February 

  • Two major Arakan State-based political parties, the Arakan National Party (ANP) and the Arakan Front Party (AFP), say they would contest fresh elections that the junta has promised to hold in future. The military government maintains that it was election fraud in the November 2020 general election that prompted its putsch. (Election observers have not been without critiques of the poll, but they largely called it free and fair on balance.)   

6 February  

  • The Arakan Front Party (AFP) rejects an offer to join the current cabinet of the State Administration Council after the party’s senior leadership reviewed the request.
  • A curfew that was in place since December 17 to control the spread of coronavirus is lifted in Thandwe, Gwa, Kyaukphyu, Manaung, Taungup, Ramree, Pauktaw and Sittwe townships.
  • The Arakan League for Democracy (ALD) announces that it will not accept a military dictatorship or democratic despotism in Myanmar, saying it is committed to continuing to work for the establishment of a genuine federal Union. 

7 February  

  • U Maung Maung Ohn, a former Arakan State chief minister, is appointed Union minister for the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, the State Administration Council announces.
  • Forty-seven Arakan-based civil society groups issue a statement urging the Arakan National Party (ANP) to reconsider its membership in the State Administration Council.
  • Three young people identified as Ma Khin Hteik Htar Hlaing, Ko Han Min Soe and Ma Aye Mi Mi Khaing from the National League for Democracy (NLD), who protested against the military dictatorship in Manaung Township, are taken to the local police station to sign a bond stating that they will not take to streets without the permission of authorities in future. The trio refuse to sign. 

9 February  

  • Police arrest people involved in protests against the military coup in Taungup and Manaung townships, demanding that some sign pledges stating they will not engage in demonstrations without the permission of local authorities in future.
  • U Min Aung, a former state development minister and National League for Democracy (NLD) member, and Ko Thant Zin Phyo, a resident of Taungup Township, are taken away by police and charged under the Natural Disaster Management Law for allegedly leading a rally against the military takeover. 

10 February  

  • Four anti-coup protesters — Ma Ei Saw Mon, Ko Khant Wai Lin, Ko Myo Lin Zaw and Ko Aung Mya Oo — from Manaung Township are forced by the township administrator to sign a bond stating that they will not take to streets without the permission of authorities in future.
  • Ann Township police open a case against seven locals who took part in a protest against the military dictatorship under Section 25 of the Natural Disaster Management Law and Section 19 of the Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession Law.
  • Former Arakan State Chief Minister U Nyi Pu is again taken into custody by military personnel at around 10 p.m. and charged under Section 505(b) of the Penal Code. 

11 February 

  • Mass protests against the military dictatorship that began in Manaung Township on February 6 lead to charges against two of the demonstrators, U Win Naing and U Kyaw Swe, under Section 19 of the Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession Law. They are detained at the local police station.
  • U Ye Khaung Nyunt, a Lower House MP from Gwa Township who won a seat in the 2020 election, is taken away by the Tatmadaw and a case is filed under Section 19 of the Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession Law.
  • U Than Tun and U San Shwe Maung, town elders from Sittwe, are appointed members of the Arakan State Administration Council. 

12 February 

  • A total of 646 prisoners are released from four prisons in Arakan State in a SAC amnesty to mark the 74th anniversary of Union Day.
  • Government employees from the Ministry of Education join hands with local people in a mass demonstration against the military coup in Taungup Township. Teachers and departmental staff take part.
  • Aye Maung and the writer Wai Hun Aung, who had been serving long prison terms, are released from Insein Prison. They were among thousands of prisoners granted amnesty nationwide by order of the SAC.
  • The Myanmar Indigenous Peoples/Ethnic Nationalities Network, a 28-member alliance working on indigenous rights issues across the country’s states and regions, releases a statement expressing their opposition to the coup and support for nationwide protests against authoritarianism. 

17 February 

  • Ko Chit Maung Maung, U Khin Thet and Ko Zaw Win Aung — members of the NLD’s township youth committee in Natmaw village — are arrested on their way to join a demonstration against the Tatmadaw’s seizure of power at around 9:30 a.m.
  • U Nga Htay of Thayetpin Chaung village in Ann Township loses one of his legs after stepping on a landmine while foraging for wild vegetables along mountainous terrain outside his village.

 22 February 

  • At least 48 local people from Mrauk-U Township are held in police custody and released the following day. They were arrested by security personnel at the Ngwe Taung Pauk checkpoint at about 9 p.m. on February 21 while returning home from a stage show in Bu Ywet Ma Nyo village.
  • Charged with incitement under Section 505(b) of the Penal Code, the detained former Arakan State Chief Minister U Nyi Pu appears via video link for a court hearing. The case was filed by U Kyaw Thein, the deputy administrator of Sittwe Township, according to a lawyer representing U Nyi Pu.
  • Workers repairing a border fence in northern Maungdaw Township encounter a landmine and are injured.  

24 February 

  • A court in Ann Township levies fines of K80,000 ($57) each for seven locals accused of participating in a protest against the military coup earlier this month.
  • Ø Four members of the Arakan National Party (ANP) submit resignation letters after a top party official took a seat on the State Administrative Council (SAC), the governing body set up by Myanmar’s military following its February 1 coup. 

26 February 

  • A court in Taungup Township officially charges the vice chairman of the Arakan National Party in Taungup Township, U Wai Thaung, as well as former township development committee chairman U Zeya Kyaw and his brother U Sithu Kyaw Zan, and U San Ngwe, under Section 52(a) of the Counter-Terrorism Law over their alleged ties to the Arakan Army (AA).
  • Representatives from the Arakan National Party (ANP) and Arakan Front Party (AFP) attend a meeting of several political parties and the reconstituted Union Election Commission formed by the junta’s State Administration Council (SAC), but the Arakan League for Democracy (ALD) notably declines the invitation

27 February

28 February 

  • By month’s end, authorities have detained at least 21 people from Gwa, Thandwe, Taungup, Manaung, and Ann townships for allegedly participating in anti-coup protests.
  • The State Administration Council announces a relaxation of stay-at-home orders imposed in Arakan State to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Arakan State was the epicentre of a COVID-19 outbreak in mid-August.
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