I amIn Myanmar, military violence temporarily culminated in nationwide protests with more than 100 people killed. The United Nations described Saturday as the “bloodiest day” since the military coup on February 1.
And killed more than 114 people in the “Armed Forces Day,” according to the news portal “Myanmar Now”, citing figures from 44 cities. The Irrawaddy also reported that more than 100 people were killed on Sunday, among them many children and youth between the ages of 5 and 15. The United Nations said that “violence is totally unacceptable and must stop immediately.” The UN special envoy for human rights in Myanmar accused the army of committing “mass killing” of its people.
On the Army’s official memorial day, protests erupted against the capture of large parts of the country, such as the commercial city of Yangon, the northern Mandalay region, and southern Pago. Military and police officers were said to have used live ammunition and targeted live bullets against unarmed civilians.
‘The bloodshed is terrible’
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas announced Sunday that the pictures and news from the country were “absolutely horrific”. The European Union made it clear that it would not accept the brutal repression of the people of Myanmar and impose sanctions on the junta.
US President Joe Biden condemned the atrocities of the security forces. “It’s horrible,” Biden said on Sunday in his hometown of Delaware. “It’s very scandalous and according to the information available to me, a lot of people have been killed unnecessarily at all.”
Military leaders of about a dozen countries, including the United States, Great Britain, Japan and South Korea, condemned the junta’s violence. “The professional army follows international standards of behavior and is responsible for protecting – not harming – the people they serve,” said the unusual joint statement released on Sunday. Military leaders called on the Myanmar army to “stop the violence.”
The diplomatic representatives responded with horror. The European Union spoke on social media of the Day of Horror and Shame. The killing of defenseless civilians and children is unforgivable. The US ambassador condemned the actions of the army, and Thomas Fajda wrote on Twitter: “The bloodshed is horrific.” British Ambassador Dan Chogg wrote on Twitter that the Myanmar military had brought itself to shame by shooting “unarmed civilians”. “The killing of defenseless civilians today, including children, represents a new decline,” British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab wrote on Twitter.
According to the state agency TASS, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin also took part in the parade. Accordingly, Russia and Myanmar want to strengthen their relations. Tass said the two countries wanted to develop military-technical and military cooperation. Fomin described Myanmar as “a reliable ally and strategic partner in Southeast Asia and the Pacific.” According to the BBC, Myanmar Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing said that Russia was a “true friend.”
Russian media reported that in addition to Russia, countries such as China, India, Pakistan, Vietnam and Thailand sent representatives. Russia’s call came in response to Myanmar’s participation in the military parade in Russia last summer. Russia is said to be the second largest supplier of weapons to Myanmar, after China. The United States, the European Union, and the United Kingdom imposed sanctions after the February 1 military coup.
Commander-in-chief of the armed forces defends control
A 21-year-old civilian named Chit Bo Nien is believed to be among the victims in Yangon. A member of the German news agency DPA said that Nien helped out at his family’s café when he was shot. AAPP estimates that around 3,070 people have been arrested so far. At least 328 were killed, according to the association.
The military had carried out a coup against de facto Prime Minister Aung San Suu Kyi in early February. The 75-year-old has been under house arrest since then and has been accused of various crimes by the judiciary. Protesters are calling for the reinstatement of Suu Kyi’s civilian government.
In a speech in the capital, Naypyidaw, Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing defended the army’s takeover as “inevitable” because the government of Suu Kyi and his party were involved in “illegal actions”. He said he wanted to protect democracy and promised again to hold elections, but without specifying a date.
New protests on Sunday
People also took to the streets on Sunday. Pictures circulated on social media stating that the security forces continued to suppress resistance. According to media reports, there were deaths again.
According to the media, police officers and soldiers reportedly shot mourners attending the funeral of a student who was killed in South Pago. In Yangon, the military was said to have fired on residential buildings in areas with frequent protests. “Now people are afraid to go out and some get injured,” said a 24-year-old resident of the German news agency (dpa). In Mandalay, dozens of homes were reported to have burned that morning.
AAPP estimates that around 3,070 people have been arrested so far. At least 423 were killed, according to the association.