Tuesday, 02 March, 2021

Myanmar protesters take to the streets again after worst day of violence

Burmese activists share stories of civil disobedience At least 2 protesters killed in Myanmar as police open fire
Cary Erickson | 21 February, 2021, 21:10

Saturday's deaths follow the death Friday of a young woman who was shot in the head during protests last week.

The more than two weeks of protests had been largely peaceful, unlike previous episodes of opposition during almost half a century of direct military rule to 2011.

The report said the 33rd Light Infantry Division led military operations in the village of Inn Din, where Reuters exposed a massacre of 10 Rohingya men and boys by soldiers and Buddhist villagers.

Saturday's deadly shooting saw Myanmar's second and third protest-related fatalities since people across the country took to the streets on February 6 to oppose the military regime.

Saturday marked the deadliest day yet in more than two weeks of nationwide street demonstrations when security forces fired upon a rally in Mandalay, sending the crowd fleeing in fear.

A man was killed in Myanmar on Saturday when police fired to disperse protesting opponents of a 1 February military coup in the second city of Mandalay, media and an ambulance service said.

Military spokesman Zaw Min Tun, who is also the spokesman for the new military council, has not responded to media attempts to contact him.

The trouble in Mandalay began with confrontations between the security forces and striking shipyard workers. Witness accounts and photos of bullet casings indicated that the security forces used live ammunition, in addition to conventional riot control equipment and slingshots, a traditional hunting weapon in Myanmar.

"I am horrified at more loss of life, including a teenage boy in Mandalay, as the ruling junta escalates its brutality in Myanmar", Tom Andrews, the UN's independent investigator for human rights in the Southeast Asian country, said on Twitter.

Police dispersed the protest with rubber bullets. "This madness must end, now!" She was shot in the head on February 9 in the capital, Naypyitaw.

"The sadness from her death is one thing, but we've also got courage to continue for her sake", said student protester Khin Maw Maw Oo in Naypyitaw. The army says one policeman has died of injuries sustained in a protest.

On February 12, the United Nations adopts a resolution demanding the immediate release of Suu Kyi and deems the use of violence against protesters "unacceptable".

A police truck uses a water cannon to disperse protesters in Mandalay on Saturday
Myanmar coup: Woman, 20, dies after being shot in the head

The generals justify the coup by claiming fraud in November's elections, which the Suu Kyi's party won in a landslide.

Facebook said it deleted the military's main page, Tatmadaw True News Information, for repeated violations of its standards "prohibiting incitement of violence and co-ordinating harm".

A live Saturday night broadcast on Facebook showed the wife of actor Lu Min describing to neighbours how her husband was arrested and taken away from their home shortly after midnight. He was one of six celebrities who authorities previously said were wanted for encouraging civil servants to join the protest movement.

Western countries that earlier condemned the coup spoke out against the violence.

"We stand with the people of Burma", Price added.

HRW also urged that countries should call on Russian Federation and China to cut their sales and assistance to Myanmar, as well as Ukraine, Turkey, and Israel.

"We will consider further action, with our worldwide partners, against those crushing democracy & choking dissent".

Suu Kyi has been detained since her arrest and been charged with illegally importing walkie-talkies - a charge widely viewed as politically motivated - and violating Article 25 of the National Disaster Management Law.

"Lethal force, intimidation and harassment against peaceful demonstrators is unacceptable", UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Twitter.

Governments in Canada, the US and Britain have imposed sanctions on the new military leaders, and they and other nations have called for Suu Kyi's administration to be restored.

On Friday, residents in Yangon left flowers and messages outside a high court in tribute to her, with a black-and-white portrait of the young woman surrounded by Ms Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy flags.

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