Manufacturing the Revolution: Weapons and Explosives Craft-Produced by Myanmar's Anti-Junta Fighters
On February 1, 2021, the Myanmar Army (Tatmadaw) announced that they had seized power by disposing of the ruling party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), which came to power through elections.
After the coup, protests and demonstrations broke out in many parts of the country. At first, these were mostly peaceful, but after the Tatmadaw's violent attacks, people who wanted to resist the coup turned to armed struggle.
The insurgents, on the other hand, united under the name of the People's Defense Forces (PDF) to re-establish the power of the NLD. Later on, PDF started to fight against Tatmadaw in alliance with various Ethnic Armed Organizations (EAOs) such as the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) and Kachin Independence Army (KIA) which had been active in the region for quite some time time.
The biggest problem faced by the groups was the lack of available weapons in many areas. Although the groups had various rifles such as the M16 and AK variants, the number of these weapons was insufficient for the number of fighters they had, which reduced their operational speed and defensive capabilities.
To solve this problem, PDF and its allies started to make their own weapons. Traditionally, single-shot rifles called "Tumi" were made in Myanmar (especially in Chin state).
However, since these weapons were not particularly useful, the resistance groups also started making various rifles that were more advanced than these weapons. Although these rifles are more effective and useful than the conventional "Tumi", many of the handcrafted rifles are still called "Tumi" by the fighters.