Do Not Allow Myanmar Police to Use Phosphorus on Protesters

Target: President Thein Sein

Goal: Stop police from using deadly phosphorus chemical on protesters

Recent investigations surrounding the incidents of a protest back in November have raised serious questions about how the new government in Myanmar, more commonly known as Burma, operates. According to the new research gathered by lawyers, the wounds inflicted on protesters and villagers by the police appeared to be caused by white phosphorus, a chemical that can severely burn human flesh.

White phosphorus is more commonly used as a deadly weapon during wartime, and has not been used on protesters. The fact that the police chose to use such a harmful chemical is frightening and dangerous. The government must not allow the police force to continue using this weapon against its own people.

The investigations started after images of injured monks, who were protesting near a controversial copper mine, were dispersed throughout the country. The images revealed monks with serious burn injuries. Ashin Tikhanyana, a 64-year-old monk had roughly 40% of his body burned from the attack. He was flown to a hospital in Bangkok because Myanmar could not treat such a severe burn case. Tikhanyana is still in recovery and has not left the intensive care unit.

Burmese and American lawyers decided to collect the canisters from the site and send them to labs for further research. The canisters had the word “smoke” labeled, leading all to assume that they were filled with tear gas or that they were smoke bombs. However, lab results show that there were high levels of phosphorus in the cans. According to the New York Times, U Thein Than Oo, the head of the Upper Burma Lawyers Network legal committee, said, “We are confident that they used a munition that contained phosphorus…they wanted to warn the entire population not to protest. They wanted to intimidate the people.”

These violent actions by the police cannot be acceptable under a civilian government. The police cannot use warfare ammunition on civilians, especially those that are not being aggressive. The government must do something about the brutal force taken by the police and ensure that it will not happen again.


Dear President Thein Sein,

The way the police acted during the copper mine protest back in November was unacceptable and incredibly brutal. The police used smoke labeled canisters that were actually filled with white phosphorus chemical on the monks. The phosphorus burned several of the protesters, one of which had to be flown to Bangkok for intensive care.

Your government is supposedly operating as a civilian government and such brutal use of a warfare weapon should be intolerable. Phosphorus can and did hurt a lot of the civilians that day, and you must ensure that the police will not go to such dramatic and dangerous measures in stopping protests.

Do not let the police use harmful chemicals on innocent civilians.


[Your Name Here]

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