Thousands of people attended the funeral of a grocer killed in the crackdown on protests against the military coup on Sunday.
Burma paid tribute on Sunday to the first victim of military repression, a young grocer who became an icon of the anti-junta resistance, while the crowds were still numerous to demonstrate against the coup d’état despite the deadly violence of the Eve.
The funeral of Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing, shot in the head and died on Friday, took place on the outskirts of the capital Naypyidaw, attended by several thousand people.
The mobilization persists
Three fingers raised in sign of resistance to the passage of the coffin, the crowd chanted: “Down with dictatorship”, “We will fight until victory”, before dispersing in silence.
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,” the ministry said in a statement. .
Almost three weeks after the putsch of February 1, pro-democracy mobilization is not weakening with tens of thousands of people in the streets this Sunday in the major cities of the country, but also in remote villages.
“We are ready to lose our lives. We will fight to the end, ”assured a 26-year-old protester in Rangoon, the economic capital. “If we are afraid, we will not succeed” in overthrowing the junta.
Protesters also gathered in Mandalay, the scene the day before the deadliest violence since the coup.
In this city in the center of the country, the police shot at demonstrators who came to support striking workers at a shipyard to protest against the putsch.
“Two people died, including a minor who was shot in the head” and around 30 were injured, said Hlaing Min Oo, head of a volunteer rescue team.
According to him, “half of the victims were targeted by live ammunition”, and the rest were injured by rubber ammunition and slingshot fire.
The live ammunition was confirmed by doctors working in the field, on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.
No mention of the two victims was made in the state-controlled Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper, which, however, blamed the protesters for their “aggressive” behavior and said three soldiers and eight police officers were injured.
In addition, a 30-year-old man died on Saturday in Rangoon while patrolling near his home as part of a citizens’ initiative aimed at preventing night arrests of opponents of the regime. “He was killed by the police,” assured his sister-in-law.
State television confirmed his death, assuring that 20 people attacked a police vehicle which fired warning shots to disperse them.
Nearly 640 arrests
The country was in shock. “Where is the justice?”, “Stop terrorism”, “How many lives must be taken before the world reacts?”, Could we read on social networks.
“The use of lethal force, intimidation and harassment against peaceful protesters is unacceptable,” UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres tweeted overnight from Saturday to Sunday.
The head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, called on the army to “immediately put an end to violence against civilians”, indicating that the European Union would “take the appropriate decisions”.
EU foreign ministers are due to meet on Monday to discuss possible sanctions.
Coercive measures targeting only certain generals – as is the case with those announced by the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom – will not suffice, several NGOs have warned, urging to also target powerful conglomerates controlled by the United States. military.
Beijing and Moscow, traditional allies of the Burmese army at the United Nations, consider the crisis to be “an internal affair” in the country.
Waves of arrests of politicians, activists and strikers continue. Nearly 640 people have been arrested since February 1, and only about 40 released, according to an NGO providing assistance to political prisoners.
Actor Lu Min, headliner of protests in Yangon, was arrested overnight from Saturday to Sunday, his wife announced in tears on social media.
Internet connections were cut for the seventh consecutive night, before being restored in the morning. The U.S. embassy reported that the blackout could last until noon in Yangon on Monday, longer than usual.
Facebook, for its part, announced that it had blocked the army’s “Tatmadaw True News Information Team” page for inciting violence. The generals have justified on this page their putsch and alleged fraud during the November elections, won overwhelmingly by the party of Aung San Suu Kyi, the former head of the civilian government.
Aung San Suu Kyi, 75, held incommunicado since her arrest, is indicted on non-political grounds, accused of “illegally” importing walkie-talkies and violating a law on the management of natural disasters. A hearing is scheduled for March 1.
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