Wednesday, February 21

Pope: I Also Kneel on the Streets of Myanmar

Pope Francis has called for an end to the bloodshed in Myanmar. He referred to a nun who fell to her knees there to beg the police to show mercy to protesters. “I too kneel in the states of Myanmar and say stop the violence,” said Francis.

 

In Myanmar, great unrest arose when the army seized power last month and arrested government leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Citizens have since taken to the streets en masse to demand the restoration of democracy. At least 180 people were killed when security forces tried to quell protests.

The photo of kneeling nun Ann Rose Nu Tawng recently went viral on social media. She was in the town of Myitkyina, facing a group of police officers, some of whom had also fallen to their knees. “I said they could kill me, but I wouldn’t get up until they promised not to use violence against protesters,” the woman said later in an interview.

Officers would have assured the nun that they only wanted to clear the road, but a little later would have been shot at demonstrating civilians again. When Ann Rose Nu Tawng tried to help victims, she has been blinded by tear gas herself.

The pope, who visited the country in 2017, made it clear once again on Wednesday that the violence causes him a lot of grief. “I feel the urgent need to speak again about the dramatic situation in Myanmar,” said the 84-year-old prelate. “There, many people, especially young people, are losing their lives trying to bring hope to their country.”

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