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Protests erupt in Myanmar despite bloody suppressions

Posted March. 02, 2021 07:19,   

Updated March. 02, 2021 07:19


Myanmar’s anti-government protests have been mushrooming across the country since a coup broke out a month ago. There is no sign of ebbing, however, despite the massacre on “Bloody Sunday” where at least 18 were shot dead by the security forces’ indiscriminate shootings. The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners announced that at least 30 were killed by oppressions and 1,132 were arrested last month alone.

According to Reuters on Monday, the protesters marched across major cities including the country’s biggest city Yangon, holding the pictures of Aung San Suu Kyi, the State Counsellor of Myanmar, and chanting “democracy.” On the main streets of Yangon, leaflets were scattered with the pictures of Myanmar Commander in Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing and messages saying, “We will never forgive you.” The military and the police mobilized water cannons and military vehicles to squash the protests.

On the other hand, State Counsellor Suu Kyi attended a virtual court hearing in Naypyidaw, the capital of Myanmar, on the day. More charges have been added on her including a criminal law prohibiting “the announcement of information that might cause fear or anxiety or harm public tranquility.”

News on the victims of violent suppressions streamed out on social media. A 23-year-old man named Nini Aung Tut Naing, who was killed after getting shot in the chest in Yangon, had left a posting on his social media, reading, “How many more bodies are needed for the United Nations to take action,” a day before his death. A woman who was just walking before getting shot and killed by a soldier in Mandalay, the second city of Myanmar, is reported to have been raising her young son by herself.

U.S. national security advisor Jake Sullivan issued a statement Sunday, expressing condolences to the victims’ families and warned additional sanctions against the military junta. Condemning the Burmese security forces’ “abhorrent violence” on twitter, State Secretary Antony Blinken vowed to hold the perpetrators accountable for the mayhem. Tom Andrews, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights in Myanmar, proposed a global arms embargo and more sanctions on military businesses. Josep Borrell, the High Representative of the European Union, also warned of imposing more sanctions, adding that the EU will “take measures in response to these developments.”

Jong-Yeob JO jjj@donga.com