News ID: 280960
Published: 0336 GMT February 21, 2021

Anti-coup protests continue in Myanmar

Anti-coup protests continue in Myanmar
REUTERS

Demonstrators protest against military coup in Myanmar’s largest city Yangon on February 21, 2021.

Many thousands of opponents of Myanmar’s Feb. 1 military coup marched on Sunday in towns from north to south, undeterred by the bloodiest episode of their campaign the previous day when security forces opened fire on protesters, killing two.

Early on Sunday, police arrested a famous actor wanted for supporting opposition to the coup, his wife said, while Facebook deleted the military’s main page under its standards prohibiting the incitement of violence, Reuters reported.

The military has been unable to quell the demonstrations and a civil disobedience campaign of strikes against the coup and the detention of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and others, even with a promise of a new election and warnings against dissent.

In the main city of Yangon, thousands gathered at two sites to chant slogans, while tens of thousands massed peacefully in the second city of Mandalay, where Saturday’s killings took place, witnesses said.

In Myitkyina, in the north, which has seen confrontations in recent days, people laid flowers for the dead protesters.

Big crowds marched in the central towns of Monywa and Bagan, in Dawei and Myeik, in the south, and Myawaddy, in the east, pictures showed.

“They aimed at the heads of unarmed civilians. They aimed at our future,” a young protester in Mandalay told the crowd.

Military spokesman Zaw Min Tun, who is also the spokesman for the new military council, has not responded to attempts by Reuters to contact him by telephone for comment.

He told a news conference on Tuesday the army’s actions were within the Constitution and supported by most people, and he blamed protesters for instigating violence.

The more than two weeks of protests had been largely peaceful, unlike previous episodes of opposition during nearly half a century of direct military rule to 2011.

UN Special Rapporteur for Myanmar Tom Andrews said he was horrified by the deaths of the two in Mandalay, one of them a teenaged boy.

Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) condemned the violence as a crime against humanity.

 

 

 

 

   
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