Myanmar’s mixed martial arts star Aung La N Sang – known as the ‘Burmese Python’ – spoke out in favor of a fellow combatant injured in a bomb blast in their homeland stricken by the Rebellion.
Myanmar has been in turmoil since February 1, when the military ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi from power, sparking a massive uprising as locals demanded a return to democracy.
Protesters are taking to the streets every day, officials boycotting labor have left government operations paralyzed, and the junta has started blaming the “instigators” for the periodic bombings across the country.
An explosion at a gymnasium in Yangon last week left MMA fighter Phoe Thaw with injuries, state media said blamed him and said he was arrested.
But Aung La N Sang, Myanmar’s most famous athlete, known for his powerful suffocation that earned him the nickname “Burmese Python,” defended Phoe Thaw on Instagram.
“As long as I know him he’s a gentleman and a kind-hearted human being… try not to spread false news and hate,” said the former ONE Championship middleweight and lightweight champion, currently based. in the US.
“The fighting we are waging in the circle is nothing compared to what is happening now with the people of Myanmar. Stay strong and stay united. “
Prior to his arrest, Phoe Thaw was among hundreds of celebrities and influencers wanted by the junta for disseminating information harming military personnel.
Vocal on social media, he regularly posted photos of himself leading protests in Yangon.
After his arrest, a photo was posted to Phoe Thaw’s Instagram feed on Friday showing him entering a ring, caption “I’m strong” and the hashtag “Never give up.”
In response, Aung La N Sang commented, “I pray for you and think of you, brother. “
Despite his remoteness from Myanmar, Aung La N Sang posted updates on the situation in his country, highlighting the arrests of civilians, violence against protesters and the lives lost.
“Every day I wake up to darker news of all the killings happening in Myanmar,” the ethnic Kachin fighter wrote in a March 27 article.
“We will never give up and we will continue to fight as long as we breathe. Pray for all the tribes and people of Myanmar. “
Since the coup, at least 780 civilians have been killed by security forces, according to a local watch group.
The junta has a much lower number and attributes the violence to “rioters”.
© 2021 AFP