(Reuters) – Hundreds of mourners gathered in Myanmar on Thursday for the funeral of a 19-year-old protester shot and killed at a demonstration against military rule.
Angel, also known as Kyal Sin, was shot in the head and killed in the city of Mandalay on Wednesday while wearing a shirt bearing the message “Everything will be OK”.
Mourners, many of them young like her, filed past her open coffin and sang protest songs, raised a three-fingered salute of defiance and chanted slogans against the Feb. 1 military coup that has plunged the country into turmoil.
Angel was one of 38 people killed on Wednesday, according to a United Nations tally. A spokesman for the junta did not respond to a request for comment on the killings.
Sai Tun, 32, who attended the funeral, said he could not come to terms with what had happened to her.
“We feel so angry about their inhuman behaviour and really sad at the same time,” he told Reuters by telephone.
“We’ll fight dictatorship until the end. We must prevail.”
Despite the slogan on her shirt, Angel was aware of the risk as she headed out to the protest, posting details of her blood group, a contact number and a request to donate her body in the event of her death.
The phrase on the shirt quickly went viral on social media among opponents of the coup.
More than 50 people have now been killed as the military struggles to impose its authority, in particular on a generation that has grown up in recent years under a government led by democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi.
The military, which ruled for nearly 50 years until it began stepping back from politics a decade ago, said an election Suu Kyi won in a landslide in November was marred by fraud. The election commission dismissed the complaint of fraud.
In the central town of Monywa, family and friends mourned the death of young poet T Z Win, who was also killed on Wednesday.
The day before he was killed he posted a poem on Facebook with the line: “The louder the song of the youth, The more the whole world will be cleansed”.
(Reporting by Reuters staff, Writing by Robert Birsel, Editing by Angus MacSwan)