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New anti-coup protests in Myanmar

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New anti-coup protests in Myanmar

Pro-democracy protesters took to the streets again today in Myanmar, the day after a new UN Security Council meeting, where disagreements remain over the response to the “desperate calls” of the population.

The deadly crackdown continues: at least 55 people have been killed since the start of the peaceful uprising against the February 1 coup that toppled the political government of Aung San Suu Kyi.

But the mobilization does not lose its pulse. In Loikaou (center) hundreds of people, including teachers in green and white uniforms, held banners calling for political disobedience.

“Our revolution must win.” “If you go to work, you help the dictatorship,” the crowd shouted.

Calls for a strike have had a significant impact on some sectors of the country's already fragile economy, with banks unable to operate, hospitals closed and ministry offices vacated.

The state media called on the civil servants to return to work, otherwise “they will be fired from March 8”.

In the district San Tsaoungk economic capital Rangoon, police destroyed makeshift barricades erected by protesters and used tear gas and stun grenades to disperse small concentrations.

“In our previous revolutions, we never won (…). This time, we must fight with the new generation for victory,” activist Maung Saunga told AFP.

Internet crashes, arrests, resort to deadly violence: coup generals are more determined than ever to stop the winds of insurgency in the country.

Yesterday, Friday, a 26-year-old man was shot in the neck during a rally in Mandalay (center) and a non-governmental organization recorded raids on apartment buildings and a hospital on the border with Thailand.

Two days earlier, at least 38 protesters had been killed, with shots showing security forces firing on crowds and bloody protesters being shot in the head.

Two 18-year-olds were buried today. “There will be no forgiveness for you until the end of the world,” the crowd shouted.

According to local media, authorities exhumed the body of another victim, Kial Sin, who became a symbol of bloody repression as he wore a T-shirt reading “Everything will be fine” when he was shot – which they examined before burying her again, causing outcry on social media.

The state media disputed the fact that the teenage girl was killed by the police or the army, even going so far as to say that in general the security forces “had nothing to do” with the deaths of protesters.

Nothing bends the military, which exploits the disagreements of the international community.

The UN Security Council, meeting yesterday, failed to agree on a joint statement. Negotiations on a text are expected to continue next week, according to diplomatic sources.

“We are ready to provide for international sanctions under the Charter of the United Nations if the situation continues to deteriorate,” said British Ambassador Barbara Woodward after the body's request.

Coercive measures have been announced by the United States and the European Union, but observers are calling for further steps with an international arms embargo, a decision that requires the agreement of all members of the Security Council.

But Beijing and Moscow, traditional military allies and arms exporters to the country, refuse to refer to a “coup”, with the Chinese news agency calling for a “ministerial reshuffle” in early February.

“Our country wants to be a 'friendly neighbor,'” said Chinese Ambassador Xiang Joon yesterday, warning that what the sanctions would do was “aggravate tensions or further complicate the situation.”

The other peripheral neighbors do not do much to make their voices heard.

Singapore, the first in the country to invest, was the only one to raise the bar, speaking through Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan of “national shame”. But the foreign minister also estimated that any external pressure on the generals would have little effect.

In this context, the call for “unity” made by the UN envoy to Myanmar, Christine Schranner Burgener, does not seem to have much chance to be heard.

“The hope that [the people of Myanmar] have placed in the United Nations and its members is diminishing,” he said, adding that he receives “desperate calls” daily from mothers, students and the elderly.

More than 1,700 people have been arrested since the February 1st coup, including about 30 journalists.

In the face of the deteriorating situation, civilians began fleeing the country to neighboring India, including three police officers who refused to take part in the crackdown, according to the Indian military.

The junta, which is challenging the outcome of the November election in which Aung San Suu Kyi's party claimed a landslide victory, has refused to respond to repeated requests from Agence France-Presse.

Source: politis.com.cy

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