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Sorry, not sorry: Myanmar’s military says it’s sad about killings, but won’t stop crackdown

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Sorry, not sorry: Myanmar’s military says it’s sad about killings, but won’t stop crackdown | Thaiger

Myanmar’s military says it’s sad about those killed during the anti-coup protests, but is not stopping its crackdown. The military says it will continue to stamp out, what it says, is anarchy, despite international condemnation and sanctions.

Over 260 people have been killed since the February 1 coup, with the UN saying that number includes women and children. But, junta spokesman Zaw Min Tun, disputes that number, saying only 164 people have died in a sorry, but not sorry statement.

“I am sad because these violent terrorist people who died are our nationals.”

The “violent terrorists” that he is referring to, include those anti-coup protesters, who are demanding the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the National League for Democracy. Suu Kyi’s party won in a landslide victory last November when Myanmar held democratic elections. But the junta claims the results were fraudulent and staged a coup leading to a militarial takeover of the country that has struggled with democracy for decades.

Violent crackdowns, media censorship, and arrests have sparked the UN to claim that the junta is likely committing crimes against humanity. But the military seems unfazed as top leaders say they are willing to be isolated to obtain their goal.

Just this week, the EU and US have issued sanctions against 11 Myanmar officials, which include freezing assets and imposing travel bans. But Zaw Min Tun is continuing to defend security forces by saying they were up against “insurgents holding weapons” which have killed 5 police and 4 soldiers.

“We have to crack down on the anarchy. Which countries in the world accept anarchy?”

Last week, the junta imposed martial law in 6 of Yangon’s townships, putting 2 million people under the direct control of military commanders. Now, the Australian embassy has warned its citizens to prepare to “shelter in place” with essential supplies, while Britain has advised its citizens to flee.

Locally, Thailand is bracing for a possible flooding of immigrants seeking refuge, with the Royal Thai Police saying they are temporarily setting up camps to deal with the upcoming situation.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Avatar

    B.T.

    Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at 7:59 pm

    The army and police become terrorist organizations.Same history like before.The people need weapons to fight for the future no more terrorist and corruptions.The military like parasite….

  2. Avatar

    J West

    Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at 10:29 pm

    Really well organized and financed protest….matching costumes, matching shoes, matching hats, high end communication gear. Tactics and PR are coordinated and first rate. Is there an invisible hand behind the manufacture of glossy signs and banners in English? I’ve seen a few color revolutions, this looks like one of those.

  3. Avatar

    toby andrews

    Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at 10:46 pm

    “Insurgents holding weapons.”
    What do they expect. They have abolished democracy and established a dictatorship.
    There are plenty of insurgents in Burma, and this is their time to wipe out the tyrants.
    Killed 5 police and 4 soldiers.
    How many protesters have the tyrants killed?
    I hope the Thai protestors are watching . . .

  4. Avatar

    James R

    Wednesday, March 24, 2021 at 1:13 am

    Yet Thailand, ASIEN sit by and do nothing.

  5. Avatar

    Ben

    Wednesday, March 24, 2021 at 7:05 am

    This is really a terrible position for the people of Myanmar. For 10 years they started to taste a bit of freedom and now it’s being taken away.

    And the military dictatorship’s plan is to go back to pre-2012 which means misery for the people. If only they had some way to uplift the people and give them a chance for a better life. China, Vietnam and even Cambodia are dictatorships but with economic benefits or possibilities. This is more like a North Korea.

  6. Avatar

    Ian v5.00121

    Wednesday, March 24, 2021 at 7:29 am

    Army kills loads of Rohingya people, Burmese people said nothing.

    Army kills a few protesters, Burmese people expect a global outcry.

    You are the architects of your own destiny.

    “If you don’t take action now, then you’ll settle for nothing later” – Rage Against the Machine

  7. Avatar

    funny coz its true

    Wednesday, March 24, 2021 at 9:10 am

    Ben, was that bit of freedom when they watched the army kill loads of the Rohingya people and stood back and did…. fu*k all?

  8. Avatar

    J West

    Wednesday, March 24, 2021 at 9:19 am

    The military action comes at a time when external forces were successfully pushing a Muslim dominated UN globalist media agenda on Myanmar to allow the partitioning of the country into an expansionist settlement area for the exploding Bangladeshi Muslim population disguised as refugees . No one should be surprised that Myanmar is desperately fighting back to maintain its sovereignty. Question why Malaysia and Indonesia will not accept responsibility either. No coincidence that Bangladesh is now relocating its citizens to islands within its authority. The same external forces are at work in Thailand’s southern provinces, remain vigilant.

  9. Avatar

    Issan John

    Wednesday, March 24, 2021 at 12:57 pm

    I’m not doubting the protesters’ sincerity at all but as you say, J West, it’s all a bit staged and co-ordinated.

    I don’t agree that there’s an “invisible hand” “behind” it, but I think there’s one which is undoubtedly taking advantage of it, hijacking a genuine protest, and that’s not going to do the Burmese any favours at all.

  10. Avatar

    toby andrews

    Wednesday, March 24, 2021 at 1:36 pm

    They really made a mistake becoming independent from the British after the war.
    They would have had council flats, family allowance, social security, they would never had to work again.
    Instead they have tear gas and rubber bullets.
    Tragic.

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Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

Myanmar

$85 to retrieve the dead after bloody Burmese military clash

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$85 to retrieve the dead after bloody Burmese military clash | Thaiger
PHOTO: Bago was the site of a bloody crackdown yesterday.

Activists say the Burmese military is charging $85 to families to recover the bodies that security forces killed in Friday’s violent clash. The city of Bago, about 90 km northeast of Yangon, was raided by military forces with 82 people killed according to Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a local advocacy group. Since the February 1 coup, the military has been systematically cracking down against peaceful protesters, detaining 3,000 people and killing over 700 more.

Eyewitnesses in Bago say the Burmese military used grenades, RPGs, and assault rifles to quell anti-coup protestors, forcing many villagers and activists to flee and go into hiding. Military security forces are going through the neighbourhoods now and have cut off internet access. Burmese forces claimed they were attacked by protestors while removing road barriers, alleging that demonstrators used homemade guns, shields, grenades, arrows and fire bottles.

In the aftermath of the bloody clash, the military charged families 120,000 Burmese Kyat (about $85) to collect the bodies of lost relatives. This was reported by Bago University Students’ Union’s Facebook page as well as Radio Free Asia’s Burmese service.

NGO Human Rights Watch had published a call for the European Union to take action and implement strict sanctions on the Burmese military on Thursday. And yesterday the US Embassy in Myanmar joined the call, posting on Twitter, urging peace.

“We mourn the senseless loss of life in Bago and around the country where regime forces have reportedly used weapons of war against civilians. The regime has the ability to resolve the crisis and needs to start by ending violence and attacks.”

A volunteer doctor who chairs the Red Cross in Bago had been detained by the Burmese military police on April 2, and yesterday a second volunteer doctor was taken after administering free medical aid to protestors, according to his family.

Meanwhile, the military’s commander-in-chief and another spokesman maintain that the Burmese military are peacekeepers, trying to strengthen the democratic system of Myanmar by safeguarding the country and investigating a fraudulent election. They deny that they seized power and blame the violence and death in the country on protestors rioting.

SOURCE: CNN

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Myanmar

More bitter clashes yesterday in Myanmar with the toll rising to 618

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More bitter clashes yesterday in Myanmar with the toll rising to 618 | Thaiger
PHOTO: Burmese troops attack residents in Bago - Kadeshan

“618 Burmese civilians, including 48 children, have been killed by the army and their security forces since the February 1 coup.”

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners reports that Burmese soldiers have killed 80 civilian protesters near Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city. Myanmar Now reports the number as 82…

“The junta’s armed forces crushed a key protest stronghold in Bago’s Ma Ga Dit road in a pre-dawn attack…. Soldiers have been stationed at the Zeyar Muni pagoda compound in the town and have taken dead bodies inside…. “There could be at least 57 dead bodies inside the pagoda compound as well as three bodies at a local morgue and one that was cremated immediately”.

Witnesses say troops used rifle grenades against protesters in Bago.

“A leader of the protest column in Bago said no one could go outside as soldiers were shooting at anybody they saw on the streets,” according to Myanmar Now.

The reporting of numbers of civilian deaths has become more complicated since the Army chiefs ordered a switch off of communications and internet, throttling the communications between people and groups inside the country. The story of the 82 people massacred in Bago took more than 24 hours to emerge.

Another Bago resident told AFP that Army officials wouldn’t allow rescue workers near the bodies.

“They piled up all the dead bodies, loaded them into their army truck and drove it away,” he told AFP.

Footage from Al Jazeera here…

 

Yesterday, in Tamu, Sagaing Region, in far northwest Myanmar, locals ambushed Burmese security forces with home-made rifles as they tried to enter the town to confront protesters. At least 3 soldiers and one local resident were killed in that clash.

Meanwhile, forces calling themselves the ‘Three Brotherhood Alliance’ of ethnic armed organisations attacked a police station yesterday, 25 kilometres outside of Lashio, deep in the northern Shan State near the Chinese border, resulting in the death of many police. Myanmar Now reports that 8 police were killed in the attack, including the police chief.

Troops from the Arakan Army , the ethnic Kokang Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army, and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army were involved in the strike, according to local residents.

The Brotherhood Alliance is also a part of the Federal Political Negotiation and Consultative Committee led by the United Wa State Army, an organisation trying to unite Myanmar’s disparate ethnic groups against the Burmese army.

In another update, according to AFP, 19 people were reported to have been sentenced to death for killing an associate of an army captain near Yangon, the first sentences of that nature announced on military-owned TV outlets. Only 2 of the sentenced are currently in custody, the others were sentenced in absentia.

SOURCES: AFP | Myanmar Now

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Thailand

UN special envoy in Thailand to meet Foreign Minister about Myanmar crisis

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UN special envoy in Thailand to meet Foreign Minister about Myanmar crisis | Thaiger
PHOTO: Special Envoy Christine Schraner Burgener - The MM Times

The UN’s special envoy on Myanmar is meeting with Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai in ongoing diplomatic efforts to find a peaceful solution for the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar.

But Thai officials have put her quarantine ahead of the needs of the Burmese people with Christine Schraner Burgener, who arrived in Bangkok yesterday, having to spend 7 days in ASQ before meeting in person with FM Don. The special envoy received 2 doses of Covid vaccine before her departure to Thailand.

She is visiting Thailand as part of a quick (well, not so quick with the imposed 7 day delay) diplomatic tour around ASEAN nations to “explore possible solutions” to the continuing carnage in Myanmar brought about by the Tatmadaw following a military coup on February 1. Nearly 600 civilians have been killed by gangs of soldiers under orders to crackdown on protesters who insist on a return of the civilian Aung San Suu Kyi government.

In the November general election in Myanmar, the military backed parties only gained 17% of the total vote. Military chiefs say that there was “voting irregularities” despite Myanmar’s independent election commission claiming the vote was “free and fair”.

Christine Schraner Burgener, a former Swiss ambassador to Thailand, has served as the special envoy on Myanmar for 3 years. Her specific mandate from the UN is to “support the reform, reconciliation and democratisation processes in Myanmar, as well as to address violence in Rakhine State and Rohingya displaced persons”.

Thailand’s government whilst calling for a peaceful resolution has held back from more forceful language over the violence in the neighbouring country. The government has also come under fire from NGOs stationed on the border, monitoring the flow of refugees crossing from Myanmar, who claim the government has been doing little to help and, in some cases, just turning the refugees back and refusing them entry.

According to Thai PBS World, Thailand’s Foreign Ministry says that Thailand is “deeply concerned”.

“We are committed to cooperating and engaging constructively with the international community, including through the UN and ASEAN, in order to find a peaceful solution for Myanmar and its people. We hope that this visit to the region by the Special Envoy can contribute towards possible solutions.”

AFP quoted UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric as saying that the junta in Myanmar has not yet given Burgener a “green light” to visit the country..

With the backing of the UN Security Council, Christine Schraner Burgener says she wants to visit detained civilian leaders, mostly from the NLD ruling party (before February 1, including the Myanmar President Wint Myint and Aung San Suu Kyi.

SOURCES: Thai PBS World | AFP

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