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UN condemns violence in Myanmar as at least 18 killed in clashes with authorities

Maya Taylor

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UN condemns violence in Myanmar as at least 18 killed in clashes with authorities | Thaiger
PHOTO: Wikimedia

The UN human rights office (OHCHR) has called for an immediate end to the use of force in Myanmar, after at least 18 people were killed in violent clashes yesterday. Those opposed to the February 1 military coup have been taking to the streets, with police and military forces opening fire in what was the deadliest day so far.

A spokesperson for UN Secretary-General António Guterres says he condemned the use of force against protesters, which resulted in at least 30 people being injured and 18 killed.

“He is deeply disturbed by the increase in deaths and serious injuries. The use of lethal force against peaceful protestors and arbitrary arrests are unacceptable.”

The Burmese army claims that the parliamentary elections, in which State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi was elected, were fraudulent. She was arrested on February 1, along with several members of her administration. According to media reports, she is due to appear in court today.

The UN Ambassador to Myanmar also condemned the military coup in a General Assembly address in New York and called on the international community to act. He has since been fired.

OHCHR spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani has also condemned the violence, saying the Burmese people have the right to peacefully protest in the name of democracy.

“The people of Myanmar have the right to assemble peacefully and demand the restoration of democracy. These fundamental rights must be respected by the military and police, not met with violent and bloody repression.”

After clashes between protesters and the military and police, deaths have been reported in Yangon, Dawei, Mandalay, Myiek, Bago and Pokokku, with Shamdasani claiming tear gas and stun grenades were used against protesters. She has slammed the use of force and condemned the arrest and detention of activists.

“Use of lethal force against non-violent demonstrators is never justifiable under international human rights norms. Since the beginning of the coup d’état, the police and security forces have targeted an ever-increasing number of opposition voices and demonstrators by arresting political officials, activists, civil society members, journalists, and medical professionals.

“Today alone, police have detained at least 85 medical professionals and students, as well as 7 journalists, who were present at the demonstrations. Over 1,000 individuals have been arbitrarily arrested and detained in the last month – some of whom remain unaccounted for – mostly without any form of due process, simply for exercising their human rights to freedom of opinion, expression and peaceful assembly.”

The military coup of February 1 came as Myanmar was edging towards democracy after years of army rule. It has been condemned by countries around the world and brought hundreds of thousands of Burmese onto the streets to demand an end to military rule and the restoration of democracy.

SOURCE: UN News

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Fred glue

    Monday, March 1, 2021 at 10:52 am

    My day off work, woke up at the crack of dawn , lovely sunny day here in Sydney 29-degrees all day.
    Went for my walk & swim (just-nice) it is good too be on top of the ground. Come home cooked crispy bacon & eggs two slices of toast with a hot pot of tea. Turned wireless on (radio) . And the announcer said welcome to
    royal ascot races today I have a report on the weather rain & rain, track heavy & slow, I got no scratchings too
    report. He said there is a interesting runner today, in race (4) number (9) at 33-1, a horse named slugger.
    It is too be ridden by south-east Asian great jockey Toby Andrews. And it’s trained by Issan John, and sluggers
    owner is Donald ( big-Mac )trump. So off I went shower & shave got dressed walked down the street too get the bus. I had too my shopping first, b-4 I went too the betting shop, walked in & I put my $10:00 on slugger,at 33-1, so I get a return of $330 if it wins. On my home I called in the local pub for a meal & (2) icey cold beers.
    So it was time too get back on the bus too come home. Got home put the shopping away, and I looked at the time it was five minutes b-4 sluggers race, so I turned the radio back on too listen too the race. And you would not believe it flat batteries on my radio, (dead-batteries) so no sound at all. Could any one out there help me.
    Did slugger win the race, so I can collect my winnings of $330, or did he loose… thanks,?

  2. Avatar

    Michael

    Monday, March 1, 2021 at 11:55 am

    How is this relevant to the events in Myanmar?

    I thought the comments were moderated?

  3. Avatar

    Gosport

    Monday, March 1, 2021 at 1:03 pm

    Typical quarantine syndrome. It is well documented among literatures.

  4. Avatar

    Fred glue

    Monday, March 1, 2021 at 2:09 pm

    Have a laugh you sad sacks,,,, plum in the gobb, Yorkshire people. Gosport must have backed slugger too.
    So I take it , it lost…?

  5. Avatar

    Tasman

    Monday, March 1, 2021 at 2:25 pm

    Why is the UN so inneffectual? Is it that the majority of nations do not want to offend Russia and China….two nations whose governments think nothing of killing their own citizens! Somebody needs to step in now with deadly force against the Myanmar military. That will be the only way to save innocent lives.

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Protests

Red paint in Burmese streets mark 700+ deaths

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Red paint in Burmese streets mark 700+ deaths | Thaiger
A note from a protester on the streets of Yangon: “Dear UN, How are you? I hope you are well. As for Myanmar, we are dying.”

Marking over 700 deaths in the Burmese military crackdown, anti-coup protesters in Myanmar are splashing red paint across the streets of Yangon to represent the blood of those killed in the growing crisis. Myanmar has ground to a halt as the military junta attempt to silence opposition to their February 1 takeover with deadly force. 714 deaths have been verified by local monitoring groups, but they warn the actual number may be much higher.

The economy and daily functioning of the country is immobile, the internet has been cut off to many citizens, even Myanmar’s Thingyan New Year festival, similar to Thailand’s Songkran holiday, has been cancelled. Instead of water fights in the street, protesters explained they used the holiday to draw a parallel, splashing red paint “blood” instead to draw attention to the Burmese deaths at the hands of the military.

“The purpose of the “bleeding strike” is to remember the martyrs who died in the struggle for democracy. We should not be happy during this festival time. We have to feel sadness for the martyrs who are bleeding and we must continue to fight this battle in any way we can.”

Simple but powerful signs and notes were found amongst the blood protest with phrases like, “blood has not dried on the streets,” “overthrow the era of fear,” and “hope our military dictatorship fails.” Perhaps most poignant was a note found on red-painted streets reading, “Dear UN, How are you? I hope you are well. As for Myanmar, we are dying.”

The UN fears that a Syrian-style conflict is around the corner for Myanmar, calling on countries to take immediate steps against the military junta, citing possible crimes against humanity. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet draws the Syria comparison, worried a full-blown Burmese civil war could parallel the Syrian war that has led to 400,000 deaths and 6 million refugees. While some countries have enacted sanctions, infighting has delayed meaningful action with the EU claiming Russia and China are blocking possible UN arms embargos.

Meanwhile, the military added many more people to the list of over 260 people including doctors and celebrities they are seeking to arrest for crimes such as spreading dissent or treating injured protesters. 7 protesters in Yangon, 3 in absentia, were sentenced to death for the alleged murder of a suspected informant.

In the northwest of Myanmar, a milk delivery couple were killed by military storming the town of Tamu. And in the Mandalay region, protesters drove motorbikes with red flags supporting imprisoned leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

SOURCE: Channel News Asia

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Politics

Myanmar could descend into a civil war comparable to Syria- UN

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Myanmar could descend into a civil war comparable to Syria- UN | Thaiger
Stock photo of UN via Jurist.org

A top UN official is warning that Myanmar could follow that of Syria in terms of descending into a bloody civil war, unless the violence subsides. Michele Bachelet, the UN high commissioner for human rights is calling on all countries with influence to apply concerted pressure on the ruling military junta to end its campaign of repression and the slaughtering of its people. Bachelet says neighbouring countries are especially being called upon.

She says the military has committed, what amounts to, crimes against humanity, and the human rights violations must be stopped. Ravina Shamdasani, who is Bachelet’s spokeswoman, says the high commissioner feels that a continuation of such crimes could lead to a civil war.

“The high commissioner states that there are clear echoes of Syria in 2011. There too, we saw peaceful protests met with unnecessary and clearly disproportionate force. The state’s brutal, persistent repression of its own people led to some individuals taking up arms, followed by a downward and rapidly expanding spiral of violence all across the country.”

Shamdasani said the country’s armed forces, known as the Tatmadaw, attacked civilians last weekend with rocket-propelled grenades and mortar fire, killing at least 82 people. She said credible reports also indicate that people are fighting back by using makeshift or primitive weapons with clashes between the military and ethnic armed groups in Kayn, Shan, and Kachin states are picking up steam.

“As arrests continue, with at least 3,080 people currently detained, there are reports that 23 people have been sentenced to death following secret trials — including 4 protesters and 19 others who were accused of political and criminal offenses. The mass arrests have forced hundreds of people to go into hiding.”

She added that the country’s economic, education and health infrastructure are at the point of collapse, making the situation untenable. She said nations must cut off the supply of arms and finances to the military leadership that allow it to kill and seriously violate its people’s human rights.

Myanmar’s military took over in a coup on February 1, arresting the democratically-elected leader of National League for Democracy and Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. Since then, other top leaders have been arrested over what the junta says is fraudulent election results, without giving any evidence.

Suu Kyi has not been seen since her arrest, and is now facing even more charges that could see her barred from political office or worse. The junta military has been accused of killing innocent civilians and peaceful protesters since the coup began, censoring the media, and shutting down the internet.

The US, UK, and other nations have imposed sanctions against the military, but to no avail. Neighbouring countries, including Thailand, are expecting an influx of refugees to cross the border, but conflicting reports point towards Thailand turning away such asylum-seekers.

SOURCE: VOA News

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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 US$85 to families to recover the bodies that security forces killed in last Friday’s violent clash. The city of Bago, just 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 civilians 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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