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Myanmar police open fire, kill one; U.N. Security Council due to meet on crisis

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Myanmar police open fire, kill one; U.N. Security Council due to meet on crisis



People carry a casket with a body of a victim who was shot dead during the anti-coup protest, in a cemetery at the outskirts of Yangon, Myanmar, March 5, 2021. REUTERS/Stringer


(Reuters) - Police in Myanmar on Friday opened fired on protesters against last month's military coup, killing one man, as international condemnation rained down on the junta, with the U.N. Security Council set to discuss the crisis.


The violence came as the junta lost a tug of war over leadership of its U.N. mission in New York and the United States unveiled new sanctions targeting military conglomerates after the deaths of dozens of civilian protesters.


Activists demanding the restoration of the elected government of veteran democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi held more demonstrations in several towns and cities on Friday, with a crowd of thousands marching peacefully through the second city of Mandalay.


"The stone age is over, we're not scared because you threaten us," the crowd chanted.


Later, police opened fire to break up the crowd, and one man was hit in the throat, witnesses said.


"I think he's around 25 but we're still waiting for family members," a doctor who had examined the victim told Reuters by telephone.


In the main city of Yangon, police fired rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse protesters who had been joined by about 100 doctors in white coats, witnesses said.


A crowd also gathered in the town of Pathein, to the west of Yangon, a witness said.


On Thursday, police broke up rallies with tear gas and gunfire in several cities but their crackdown was more restrained than on Wednesday, when the United Nations said 38 people were killed in the bloodiest day of protests.


U.N. human rights chief Michelle Bachelet demanded the security forces halt what she called their "vicious crackdown on peaceful protesters." Bachelet said more than 1,700 people had been arrested, including 29 journalists.


Singapore has been the most outspoken of Myanmar's neighbours and its foreign minister, Vivian Balakrishnan, said it was a "national shame" for armed forces to use weapons against their people.


He called on the military to seek a peaceful solution but acknowledged external pressure would have only a limited impact on the situation.


A spokesman for the ruling military council did not answer telephone calls seeking comment.


Adding to a sense of unease, electricity supplies were cut in many parts of the country on Friday. A utility official later said it was due to a system failure.




A clash over who represents Myanmar at the United Nations in New York was averted - for now - after the junta's replacement quit and the Myanmar U.N. mission confirmed that Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun remained in the job.The junta fired Kyaw Moe Tun on Saturday after he urged countries at the U.N. General Assembly to use "any means necessary" to reverse the Feb. 1 coup.In Washington, it was unclear whether Myanmar's embassy was still representing the junta, after it issued a statement decrying the deaths of civilian protesters and called on authorities to "fully exercise utmost restraint".One diplomat in the embassy resigned and at least three said in social media posts they were joining the civil disobedience movement of strikes against the military.


At least 19 Myanmar police officers have crossed into India fearing persecution for disobeying orders, an Indian police official told Reuters on Thursday.


Myanmar activists are calling for the release of Suu Kyi, 75, who was detained on the morning of the coup, and recognition of her Nov. 8 election victory. They also reject the junta's promise to hold new elections at an unspecified date.


Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) party won the election in a landslide but the military has refused to accept the result citing fraud. The election commission said the vote was fair.


Sources told Reuters that Myanmar's military rulers attempted to move about $1 billion held at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York days after seizing power. U.S. officials froze those funds indefinitely, they said.


The U.S. Commerce Department designated trading curbs on Myanmar's defence and interior ministries and two military conglomerates that control swathes of the economy, with interests ranging from beer to real estate.


But the measures are expected to have limited impact as the entities are not major importers.


The U.N. human rights investigator on Myanmar, Thomas Andrews, urged the Security Council - which meets to discuss the situation later on Friday - to impose a global arms embargo and targeted economic sanctions on the junta.


The United States has told China, which has declined to condemn the coup, that it expects it to play a constructive role. China has said stability is a top priority in its strategic neighbour.



-- © Copyright Reuters 2021-03-05
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3 hours ago, chilli42 said:

... and of course China sits on the Security Council so rest assured, noting will come of it.  Useless bunch of <<deleted>> indeed

China and Russia would likely veto any proposed actions.

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7 minutes ago, Iron Tongue said:

China and Russia would likely veto any proposed actions.

You are of right.  China though has a significant vested interest that requires continued and unfettered ownership of all assets by the military.  Russia, with no meaningful vested interest in Burma, will of course vote against any action that the US is in favor of.  

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23 hours ago, snoop1130 said:

with the U.N. Security Council set to discuss the crisis.

Yes, thats all what they do. I know a song , it's called "bla bla bla "

A crying, money spending shame, the UN. They are only every time "shocked" and start  bla bla bla, nothing else.

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When the military shoots and kills peaceful protesters, the two choices that remain are either armed struggle or resignation.

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1 hour ago, Victornoir said:

When the military shoots and kills peaceful protesters, the two choices that remain are either armed struggle or resignation.

sort of like Kent state and the aftermath?

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There is a democracy movement in Asia, called the "Milk Tea Alliance", where young people are standing against autocrats in the hope for freedom.


It is ironic that as young people in Asia fight for democracy, many in the West, especially the US, are fighting for autocracy and against democracy, even if motivated by an outright lie.


There is no unified international opposition to what is happening in Myanmar, as even the UN will never agree on a useful course of action. China, as a permanent Security Council rep, will always vote against any meaningful action. China prefers an autocratic neighbor, both for financial and philosophical reasons.


As brave as the Myanmar people are in the face of a merciless, miscreant, psychopathic Tatmadaw, they have absolutely no chance of winning. This will never be "Gandhi vs a post-war bankrupt British Empire", so the lovely concept of non-violence is an impotent weapon against an entity incapable of decency, especially when it has the full backing of a powerful neighbor.


There is one way to stand up against the Tatmadaw, and perhaps it will happen. I noted it in another post, but will refrain here, save to say one bit of advice: Go watch "Charlie Wilson's War". The end of this line: "Tell me, Gust, what do do I need to ..........."


The Tatmadaw leadership, ultimately, are a bunch of self-serving cowards. They can be scared off to Singapore, but it will take public covert action or else private acts by sympathetic outsiders.

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