It is estimated that millions of people from cities across Myanmar are in the streets protesting against the military coup that took place on 1 February.
The slogan ‘Free Aung San Suu Kyi’ has drawn out many of those demonstrating. But it is a different demand being made by many ethnic youth in the movement, whose calls are for ‘Federal Democracy’.
Regardless of who sits in Naypyitaw, the lives of ethnic minorities largely remain the same as long as the Myanmar state continues to employ a centralized political system that fuels displacement, inequality and human rights abuses against their communities.
Ethnic minorities feel that consecutive national governments—from the military regime to the NLD’s administration—have treated them as the ‘governed’ rather than recognizing their right to self-determination in their own lands.