Myanmar junta faces calls to halt bloodshed but more die in anti-coup protests

Myanmar junta faces calls to halt bloodshed but more die in anti-coup protests

Riot cops detain a demonstrator throughout a protest in opposition to the navy coup in Yangon, Myanmar, March 19, 2021. REUTERS/Stringer

International strain on Myanmar’s navy junta to halt its repression of pro-democracy protests following final month’s coup elevated on Friday but on the streets, safety forces shot lifeless not less than 9 demonstrators in an unrelenting crackdown.

Calls for dialogue and the tip to the bloodshed got here from a number of of Myanmar’s Southeast Asian neighbours led by Indonesia – an uncommon stance in regional diplomacy.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned what he denounced because the navy’s persevering with brutal violence. A “firm, unified international response” was urgently wanted, he mentioned, quoted by his spokesman.

The U.S. House of Representatives authorized laws condemning the coup and lawmakers decried the more and more harsh ways used to suppress the demonstrations which have swept over Myanmar for the reason that overthrow of the elected authorities of Aung San Suu Kyi on Feb. 1.

The complete variety of folks killed in weeks of unrest has risen to not less than 234, primarily based on a tally by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners activist group.

But crowds of protesters turned out once more on Friday.

Security forces opened fireplace in the central city of Aungban as they tried to clear a protesters’ barricade, media and a witness reported.

“Security forces came to remove barriers but the people resisted and they fired,” the witness, who declined to be recognized, mentioned by phone.

An official with Aungban’s funeral service informed Reuters eight folks have been killed, seven on the spot and one wounded one who died after being taken to hospital.

The spokesman for the junta was not accessible for remark but has beforehand mentioned safety forces have used power solely when mandatory.

One protester was killed in the northeastern city of Loikaw, the Myanmar Now information portal mentioned. One individual was shot and killed in Myanmar’s important metropolis Yangon, social media posts confirmed. Reuters couldn’t affirm that demise.

Police ordered folks in some Yangon neighbourhoods to dismantle barricades and have been trying to find protest leaders, residents mentioned. Parts of Yangon are beneath martial regulation.

Demonstrators have been additionally out in the second metropolis of Mandalay, the central cities of Myingyan and Katha, and Myawaddy in the east, witnesses and media reported.

The navy has proven no signal of being swayed and has defended its takeover, which derailed a gradual transition to democracy in a rustic that has been dominated by the military for many of its post-independence historical past.

It says a Nov. 8 election received by Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy was fraudulent and its claims have been ignored by the electoral fee. It has promised a brand new election but not set a date and has positioned Myanmar beneath a state of democracy.

Suu Kyi, 75, faces accusations of bribery and different crimes that would see her banned from politics and jailed if convicted.

Her lawyer says the costs are trumped up. The Nobel peace laureate, who has campaigned for democracy in Myanmar for 3 many years, is being held at an undisclosed location.

Authorities have tightened restricted on web companies, making information more and more troublesome to confirm, and in addition clamped down on non-public media.


Ambassadors of Western international locations condemned the violence as “immoral and indefensible”, in specific in Yangon’s Hlaing Tharyar industrial district, the place dozens have been killed over a number of days after Chinese-owned garment factories have been torched final weekend.

“Internet blackouts and suppression of the media will not hide the military’s abhorrent actions,” they mentioned in an announcement on Friday.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo referred to as for an finish to the bloodshed.

In among the strongest feedback but by a regional chief on the crackdown, he mentioned he would ask Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, the present chairman of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), to name an pressing assembly.

“Indonesia urges that the use of violence in Myanmar be stopped immediately so that there are no more victims,” Jokowi mentioned in a digital handle.

“The safety and welfare of the people must be the top priority. Indonesia also urges dialogue, that reconciliation is carried out immediately to restore democracy, to restore peace and to restore stability in Myanmar.”

Backing Indonesia’s name for a gathering, Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin mentioned he was appalled by the persistent use of deadly violence in opposition to unarmed civilians.

Philippine international minister Teodoro Locsin mentioned that ASEAN had to act.

The 10 ASEAN international locations have lengthy held to the precept of not commenting on one another’s inside affairs so the phrases have been notable.

The coup chief, General Min Aung Hlaing, took half in a video convention with regional defence chiefs on Thursday, his first worldwide engagement since seizing energy.

At the assembly, the pinnacle of Indonesia’s armed forces, Hadi Tjahjanto, expressed concern over the Myanmar state of affairs, the Indonesian navy mentioned.

Singapore’s navy chief, Lieutenant-General Melvyn Ong, additionally expressed “grave concern” and urged Myanmar to keep away from deadly power, the Singapore defence ministry mentioned.

The U.S. decision condemned the coup and the detention of Myanmar’s civilian leaders, referred to as for the discharge of all these detained, and for these elected to serve in parliament to resume their duties.

And in an indication of uneasiness in the enterprise world concerning the state of affairs, French energy group EDF confirmed it had suspended the event of a hydropower mission in Myanmar over human rights issues.

“It is official,” a spokesman for EDF informed Reuters.

The European Union is predicted to impose sanctions on navy leaders and army-run companies subsequent week, following comparable motion by Washington.

Three worldwide assist companies criticised the navy for occupying instructional services and hospitals. More than 60 colleges and universities had been taken over, a critical violation of kids’s rights, Save the Children, UNESCO and UNICEF mentioned in a joint assertion.

Teachers have been crushed in not less than one incident, they mentioned.


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