Protesters hold homemade shields during a demonstration against the military coup in Yangon. AFP
Gulf Today Report
Myanmar security forces killed at least 12 people, witnesses and media reported, as the acting leader of a civilian parallel government vowed in a first public address on Saturday to pursue a "revolution" to overturn the Feb. 1 military coup.
Five people were shot dead and several injured when police opened fire on a sit-in protest in Mandalay, Myanmar's second-biggest city, witnesses told Reuters.
Another person was killed in the central town of Pyay and two died in police firing in the commercial capital Yangon, where three were also killed overnight, domestic media reported.
Saturday's calls for protests came as the leaders of the United States, India, Australia and Japan vowed to work together to restore democracy in Myanmar where violence has escalated as authorities crack down on protests and civil disobedience, according to Reuters.
Earlier, Aung San Suu Kyi's lawyer on Friday rejected junta allegations of corruption against Myanmar's deposed civilian leader as "groundless", calling it "illegal mudslinging" by the generals who seized power from her.
Women cry near a portrait of Lin Htet, who was killed in an anti-coup protest and his body was taken by military. Reuters
The country has been in uproar since a February 1 putsch that saw Suu Kyi ousted, detained and accused of several criminal charges including owning unlicensed walkie-talkies and violating coronavirus restrictions.
Domestic media reported two protesters were killed in police firing in the Tharketa district of Myanmar's commercial capital Yangon overnight. DVB News said police opened fire on a crowd that gathered outside the Tharketa police station demanding the release of people arrested.
Posters spread on social media calling on people to come out on the streets to protest against the junta and to mark the death anniversary of Phone Maw, who was shot and killed by security forces in 1988 inside what was then known as the Rangoon Institute of Technology campus.
His shooting and that of another student who died a few weeks later sparked widespread protests against the military government known as the 8-8-88 campaign, because they peaked in August that year. An estimated 3,000 people were killed when the army crushed the uprising.
Aung San Suu Kyi emerged as a democracy icon during the movement and was kept under house arrest for nearly two decades. She was released in 2008 as the military began democratic reforms and her National League for Democracy won elections in 2015 and again in November last year.
On Feb.1 this year, the generals overthrew her government and detained Suu Kyi and many of her cabinet colleagues, claiming fraud in the November elections.
More than 70 people have been killed in the Southeast Asian nation in widespread protests since then, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) advocacy group said.
The coup in Myanmar, where the military has close ties to China, is a major early test for new US President Joe Biden.
His administration flagged a virtual meeting with the Indian, Japanese and Australian leaders on Friday, the first official summit of a group known as the Quad, as part of a push to demonstrate a renewed US commitment to regional security.
“As long-standing supporters of Myanmar and its people, we emphasise the urgent need to restore democracy and the priority of strengthening democratic resilience,” the four leaders said in a statement released by the White House.
A spokesman for the junta did not answer phone calls from Reuters seeking comment.
SOUTH KOREA SNAPS DEFENCE TIES
UN human rights investigator Thomas Andrews on Friday dismissed as “absurd” comments by a senior Myanmar official that authorities were exercising “utmost restraint.”
Addressing the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, he called for a united approach to “strip away the junta's sense of impunity.”
Former colonial power Britain warned its citizens in Myanmar to leave on Friday, saying “political tension and unrest are widespread since the military takeover and levels of violence are rising.”
South Korea said it would suspend defence exchanges and reconsider development aid to Myanmar because of the violence.
The Kremlin said Russia, which has close ties to Myanmar’s military, was concerned over the mounting violence and was “analysing” whether to suspend military-technical cooperation.
“We evaluate the situation as alarming, and we are concerned about the information about the growing number of civilian casualties coming from there,” Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted by the TASS news agency as saying.
Earlier this week, the UN Security Council dropped language from a statement that condemned the army takeover as a coup due to opposition by China, Russia, India and Vietnam.
Poland's foreign ministry said a Polish journalist was arrested this week in Myanmar, the second foreign reporter to be detained. A Japanese journalist was briefly held while covering a protest.
Riot police and armed soldiers entered the general hospital in Hakha, in the western Chin state, forcing all 30 patients to leave and evicting staff from on-site housing, said local activist Salai Lian.
Soldiers have been occupying hospitals and universities across Myanmar as they try to quash a civil disobedience movement that started with government employees such as doctors and teachers but has expanded into a general strike that has paralysed many sectors of the economy.
On Friday evening, large crowds gathered for evening vigils. In Yangon, the commercial capital, they lit candles in the shape of a three-finger salute, the symbol of the movement, while saffron-robed monks gathered outside a pagoda in the northern Sagaing region
Saturday's calls for protests came as the leaders of the United States, India, Australia and Japan vowed to work together to restore democracy in Myanmar where violence has escalated as authorities crack down on protests and civil disobedience.
Big article about the power of the smartphone in reporting the world’s issues, the highlight of the article being the coup in Myanmar (“Chilling smartphone imagery stuns a watching world,” Mar.20, Gulf Today). But the article, while it extols the power
At least 261 people have been killed by security forces attempting to quell weeks of pro-democracy protests in towns and cities across the country, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) activist group.
Witnesses reported the sound of gunfire and stun grenades in different parts of the commercial capital Yangon during the night, while state media on Monday said security forces were keeping a presence at hospitals and universities as part of efforts to enforce the law.
At least 3,419 people have died in Turkey and 1,602 in government- and rebel-controlled parts of Syria, bringing the total to at least 5,021, officials and medical sources said.
The AFP cameraman captured a poignant picture of a Turkish father, Masoud Hanser, refusing to leave his dead daughter's hand under the rubble.
The two leaders engaged in friendly conversation and reviewed several topics of concern to UAE citizens, including the potential for maximising state gains.