Top Buddhist organisation in Myanmar stops activities to protest military violence

Myanmar’s top Buddhist organisation is condemning the use of violence by the military against protesters by stopping its regular activities in an apparent protest. The association, named The State Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee, accused an “armed minority” of torture and killing innocent civilians in an apparent break with authorities.

According to Thai PBS World, Mahana members could not immediately be reached for comment, but their reported announcement indicates a significant break from authorities, in which the group historically worked closely with the government.

Myanmar’s military is reportedly unfazed by looming sanctions, with generals saying they are ready to withstand being isolated by the international world. UN special envoy on Myanmar Christine Schraner Burgener says at least 38 more people have been killed as of today with thousands fleeing an industrial suburb of Yangon after 40 people were killed there on last Sunday. Residents also report that several factories were set on fire. The junta responded when asked about the looming sanctions by saying:

“We are used to sanctions, and we survived. We have to learn to walk with only few friends.”

With over 100 people thought to be dead in Myanmar since the military took power last month, the Royal Thai Army is planning to set up temporary camps for Burmese nationals fleeing the neighbouring country to escape political violence. Refugee camps will be set up in Ranong and Chumphon which border Myanmar’s southern-most region.

Meanwhile, the UN says casualties are dramatically increasing with witnesses on the ground saying security forces are allegedly using tear gas, rubber bullets and live rounds against protesters in near-daily crackdowns across the country. The UN also has reported that women and children are among the victims who have been killed.

The news corroborates a statement made by the UN’s top expert on rights in Myanmar, Thomas Andrews, who says the Myanmar military is likely committing crimes against humanity.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

World News

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Ann Carter

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.

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