• Sat. Oct 22nd, 2022

YANGON: At least six protesters were killed on Thursday (Mar 11) as people took to the streets in several parts of Myanmar to protest the military coup against Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government.

Mar 11, 2021

YANGON: At least six protesters were killed on Thursday (Mar 11) as people took to the streets in several parts of Myanmar to protest the military coup against Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government.
According to a witness and local media, one protester was killed in the North Dagon district of Yangon, while five other protesters were killed in the central town of Myaing. 
The witness, who was in Myaing hospital, said doctors had declared five people dead. One person was unconscious and it was not clear if he was alive, the witness said.
More than 60 protesters have been killed and about 2,000 people have been detained by security forces since the coup against Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government, an advocacy group said.
Social media posts showed protesters marching in the town of Tamu in Chin State on Thursday chanting: “Will we revolt or will we serve them? We will revolt.”
A Reuters witness said there was also a small rally in the Sanchaung area of Yangon, a district where security forces this week fired guns and used stun grenades as they checked houses to hunt down protesters.
Overnight people defied a curfew to hold several more candlelit vigils in parts of Yangon and also in Myingyan, southwest of the second city of Mandalay.
The UN Security Council on Wednesday condemned violence against protesters and urged the army to show restraint, but failed to denounce the military takeover as a coup or threaten further action due to opposition from China and Russia.
Amnesty International accused the army of using lethal force against protesters and said many killings documented amounted to extrajudicial executions.
“These are not the actions of overwhelmed, individual officers making poor decisions,” said Joanne Mariner, Director of Crisis Response at Amnesty International.
“These are unrepentant commanders already implicated in crimes against humanity, deploying their troops and murderous methods in the open.”
A junta spokesman declined to give an immediate comment but said there would be a news conference held by the military’s council in the capital Naypyitaw at 2pm local time on Thursday.
The junta has previously said it is acting with utmost restraint in handling what it describes as demonstrations by “riotous protesters” whom it accuses of attacking police and harming national security and stability.
State media said the junta had removed Arakan Army (AA) insurgents from its list of terrorist groups because the faction has stopped attacks and in order to help establish peace across the country.
The move comes at a time the army is struggling to contain daily protests against the coup.
The AA is fighting for greater autonomy in the western Rakhine state and had become one of the most formidable forces in challenging an army that has been fighting various ethnic wars for seven decades.
On Wednesday, security forces firing teargas and rubber bullets trapped hundreds of anti-junta protesters late into the night in two districts of Yangon.
Some protesters who managed to evade blockades set up by police in surrounding streets told of scores of arrests and said that some of those who got caught were beaten.
In a bid to increase pressure on the military as it continues its crackdown, the US Treasury Department on Wednesday imposed sanctions on two children of military leader Min Aung Hlaing and six companies they control.
In New York, the United Nations Security Council condemned violence against peaceful protesters and called for the military to “exercise utmost restraint”.
But language that would have condemned the coup and threatened possible further action was removed from the British-drafted text, due to opposition by China, Russia, India and Vietnam.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he hoped the Security Council statement would push the military to realize it “is absolutely essential” that all prisoners are released and that the results of a November election are respected.
The army has justified the coup by saying that the election, won by Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy, was marred by fraud – an assertion rejected by the electoral commission. The junta has promised a new election within a year, but has not set a date.