Thursday, February 25, 2021

Possibility of death … Myanmar revolutionaries warn “enthusiastic youth”


The military coup group in Myanmar tightened its tone after a weekend that witnessed bloody acts of violence, by warning the demonstrators that they are in danger of death, which did not prevent thousands of people, on Monday, from taking to the streets again.

Three weeks after the February 1 coup, the pro-democracy mobilization did not diminish with tens of thousands of demonstrators, on Sunday, and a civil disobedience campaign affecting the work of state institutions and the economy.

The military’s warning came, Sunday, the day after the largest number of deaths occurred, with two deaths, Saturday, in Mandalay when police shot in the crowd and a third person in Rangoon.

“The demonstrators are inciting people, especially teenagers and enthusiastic youth, to take the path of confrontation on which they will die,” a statement said.

The statement warned the demonstrators against any attempt to incite people “into rebellion and chaos.”

The UN Special Headquarters for Human Rights Tom Andrews expressed deep concern over these threats. He wrote in a tweet, “A warning to the military: unlike in 1988 the practices of the security forces are registered and you will be held responsible.”

“Very angry”
However, the warning did not discourage the demonstrators from taking to the streets of Rangoon, where thousands of people gathered, on Monday, in two areas.

In the district of Bahan, demonstrators sat on the road carrying several banners in support of the arrested Aung San Suu Kyi, without access to any party since the coup.

“We are here today to participate in the demonstration and to fight until we achieve victory,” said Kiwa Kiowa, a 23-year-old student. “We are worried about the repression but we will continue. We are very angry.”

An increase in security deployment was observed in Rangoon with the increase in military vehicles in the streets, while the security forces blocked the streets near Bahan district.

Markets and stores are expected to remain closed in solidarity with the pro-democracy movement.

The cities of Myitkyina (north) and Dawi (south) also witnessed demonstrations.

On Sunday, Burmese participated in a funeral ceremony for the first victim of military repression, a young shopkeeper who has become a symbol of the militia’s resistance. The burial ceremony of Mia Thwati Thawati Kaeng, who was shot in the head and died on Friday after ten days in intensive care, took place in the suburb of Naypyidaw in the presence of thousands of people.

European meeting
In response to the widespread demonstrations against the coup, the Burmese military gradually strengthened the deployment of security forces and increasingly resorted to force to disperse the demonstrators.

The security forces used rubber bullets, tear gas, and water cannons, and sometimes also used live ammunition.

According to the Association for the Support of Political Prisoners, 640 people have been arrested since the coup. Among those targeted were state employees and bank employees who stopped working in solidarity with the opposition.

The military coup group severely restricted access to the Internet on Sunday night for the eighth consecutive night, according to “Netblocks”, a specialist observatory based in the United Kingdom.

The ability to connect to the Internet usually returns around nine o’clock in the morning, but the blackout on Monday will continue for an additional three hours.

The escalation of tension in Myanmar sparked new international condemnations, which were criticized by the Burmese Foreign Ministry on Sunday evening, saying that it is “a flagrant interference” in the country’s internal affairs. “Despite the illegal demonstration and incitement to stir up unrest and violence, the (Burmese) authorities are showing utmost restraint while minimizing the use of force to confront the unrest,” the ministry statement added.

The foreign ministers of the European Union will meet, on Monday, to discuss the possibility of imposing sanctions.



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