At least one more life has been lost in Myanmar’s anti-coup protests.
Police and security forces fired live rounds into a crowd of protesters Sunday in the town of Bago, near Yangon, according to witnesses and domestic media accounts cited by the Reuters news agency.
Several hundred people gathered at a peaceful candle-lit rally in Yangon Saturday, defying the 8 p.m. curfew imposed by the junta.
In Insein township, protesters laid candles and sang songs to honor the people killed. They also chanted to release former de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and arrested leaders from her National League for Democracy party.
At least 11 demonstrators were killed Saturday in Mandalay, the country’s second-largest city, in Yangon, and in the central town of Pyay when police and security forces opened fire on protesters who took again to the streets against the Feb. 1 military coup.
Eight deaths in Mandalay were confirmed by VOA’s Burmese service, citing an emergency medical team worker.
One person was killed in Pyay, and two others in Yangon, according to domestic media reports.
Also Saturday, the acting head of the country’s parallel civilian government, who was appointed by deposed legislators after the Feb. 1 military coup, promised a “revolution” to oust the junta.
Mahn Win Khaing, who is in hiding along with most other top NLD officials, addressed the public for the first time, announcing on Facebook that the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw plans to establish a federal democracy.
He told supporters the CRPH would try to “legislate the required laws so that the people have the right to defend themselves,” and he added “this revolution is the chance we can put our efforts together.”
The military government did not immediately respond to Mahn Win Khaing’s remarks, but it has declared illegal the CRPH, formed by elected members of the ousted parliament on Feb. 5. The junta also has called the CRPH a terrorist organization and said anyone involved with it could face treason charges, which are punishable by death.
Amid the continued protests and violence in Myanmar, the United Nations human rights investigator on Myanmar has called for the international community to take a united stand against the military junta.
“It is heartbreaking to bear witness to the terror and lawlessness by those who have illegally grabbed power in Myanmar,” which is also known as Burma, Thomas Andrews told the U.N. Human Rights Council on Friday.
He added that the international community “must strip away the junta’s sense of impunity.”
A Myanmar official told the council that authorities in the country were using “utmost restraint” toward the protesters.
Andrews called that claim “absurd.”
Since Myanmar’s military seized power from the elected government, he said, security forces have killed at least 70 people and arbitrarily arrested more than 2,000.
Andrews also said there is video evidence of security forces viciously beating protesters, destroying property, looting shops, and firing indiscriminately into people’s homes, and that the junta has been systematically destroying legal protections and crushing freedom of expression and assembly.
Last month, the United States announced sanctions on the Burmese military regime.
Earlier this week, the U.S. placed sanctions on the two adult children of Burmese military commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing.
The United States has called for the immediate release of Suu Kyi, ousted President Win Myint, and protesters, journalists and human rights activists who have been unjustly detained since the takeover.
Voice of America – English