On Tuesday, February 12, police forces used rubber bullets, tear gas, and water cannon to disperse thousands of people gathered in Loikaw (Kayah state) to protest over a controversial statue of General Aung San, which was unveiled few days ago. While many see him as an hero of the independence, other communities see him as a symbol of domination. Protesters gathered on the Union Day holiday despite being denied permission; some sustained injuries following clashes with the police. Further such protests are possible in the coming days.
Individuals in Kayah state (and Loikaw especially) are advised to monitor developments to the situation, follow all instructions issued by the local authorities (e.g. particularly curfews), and avoid protests or large gatherings due to the risk of associated violence.
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