The Burmese junta has toughened its tone after a weekend of bloody violence. She warned protesters they risked death. The junta’s warning on Sunday came the day after the deadliest day since the coup: two people died in Mandalay on Saturday when police fired on the crowd and a third in Yangon.
“The protesters are urging people, especially exalted adolescents and young people, to embark on the path of confrontation where they will perish,” said a statement read on the public channel MRTV, and of which an English translation appeared. on the screen. The text warned the demonstrators against the temptation to incite the population to “riot and anarchy”.
The UN special rapporteur for human rights in Burma, Tom Andrews, said he was deeply concerned by these threats. “Warning to the junta: unlike 1988, the actions of the security forces are recorded and you will have to be held accountable,” he said on Twitter.
Deeply concerned w an ominous public warning by the junta that protesters are “inciting the people” to “a confrontation path where they will suffer the loss of life”. Warning to the junta: Unlike 1988, actions by security forces are being recorded & you will be held accountable. pic.twitter.com/1VGa3lWvqS
– A Special Rapporteur Tom Andrews (@RporterUn) February 22, 2021
Reinforced security devices
The power’s warning did not deter protesters from taking to the streets of Yangon, where thousands of people gathered in two neighborhoods on Monday. In the Bahan district, for example, demonstrators were seated on the roadway holding up numerous banners in support of the former head of the civilian government, Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been held incommunicado since his arrest on February 1.
“We are here today to participate in the protest, to fight until we win,” said Kyaw Kyaw, a 23-year-old student. “We are worried about the repression but we will continue. We are so angry. ”
The residents of Yangon have seen a strengthening of security arrangements, with many police and army trucks in the streets, while streets near the neighborhood had been barricaded by the security forces.
Markets and stores should remain closed in solidarity with the pro-democracy movement. Demonstrations also took place in the towns of Myitkyina (north) and Dawei (south).
International condemnations qualified as “flagrant interference”
To the massive protests against their coup, the Burmese military responded by gradually stepping up the deployment of security forces, and increasingly using force to disperse the protesters. Rubber bullets, tear gas, water cannons … The security services even sometimes resorted to live ammunition. According to the Association for Aid to Political Prisoners, 640 people have been arrested since the putsch.
The junta also drastically restricted access to the internet, for the eighth night in a row, according to the UK-based specialist observatory NetBlocks. Connections are usually reestablished at 9 am. But the cut on Monday is expected to last three hours longer.
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The escalation of tensions provoked new international condemnations, denounced Sunday evening by the Burmese Ministry of Foreign Affairs as “flagrant interference” in the internal affairs of the country. “Despite the illegal demonstrations, incitement to unrest and violence, the (Burmese) authorities are showing the utmost restraint by using as little force as possible to deal with the disturbances.”
European Union foreign ministers are due to meet on Monday to discuss possible sanctions.
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