Myanmar nun pleads for police to spare protesters, asking for them to shoot her instead

Sister Ann Rose Nu Tawng (Image: Getty)

A nun in Myanmar city, begged a group of heavily armed police officers to spare "the children" and take her life instead.

Kneeling before them in the dust, Sister Ann Rose Nu Tawng said that she pleaded with them, and asked them not to shoot and torture the children, but to shoot and kill her instead on Tuesday.

“The police were chasing to arrest them and I was worried for the children,” she said.

“The children panicked and ran to the front … I couldn’t do anything but I was praying for God to save and help the children,” she added.

Her act of bravery in the city of Myitkyina on Monday came as Myanmar struggles with the chaotic aftermath of the military’s overthrow of the civilian leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, on 1 February.

As protests demanding the return of democracy have rolled on, the junta has escalated its use of force, using tear gas, water cannon, rubber bullets, and live rounds.

Protesters took to the streets of Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin state, on Monday wearing hard hats and carrying homemade shields.

Sister Nu Tawng said she saw a man shot in the head fall dead in front of her – then she felt the sting of teargas. “I felt like the world was crashing,” she said. “I’m very sad it happened as I was begging them.”

Monday was not Sister Ann Rose Nu Tawng’s first encounter with the security forces – on 28 February she made a similar plea for mercy, walking slowly towards police in riot gear, getting on her knees and pleading for them to stop.

“I have thought myself dead already since 28 February,” she said of the day she made the decision to stand up to the armed police.

Sister Ann Rose Nu Tawng said she would continue to stand up for “the children”.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, one of the deceased, Zin Min Htet, was laid in a glass casket and transported on a golden hearse covered in white and red flowers. Mourners raised three fingers in a symbol of resistance, as a musical ensemble of brass instrument players, drummers and a bagpiper in crisp white uniforms led the funeral procession.