Burma: hundreds of thousands of demonstrators, despite threats from the junta

The power had brandished Sunday this threat to use lethal force to put an end to “anarchy”, at the end of a weekend mourning the death of three demonstrators and marked by the funeral of a young woman who had succumbed to his injuries on Friday.

Despite this, three weeks after the February 1 putsch and the arrest of the former head of the civilian government, Aung San Suu Kyi, the mobilization in favor of democracy has not weakened, with, in addition to daily demonstrations, a campaign of disobedience. civil that disrupts the functioning of the State and the economy.

Internationally, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Monday called on the Burmese army to “immediately stop the repression”, while the European Union “stands ready” to impose sanctions on the military responsible for the coup. State.

“The protesters are urging people, especially teenagers and exalted young people, to embark on the path of confrontation where they will perish,” authorities warned on Sunday evening in a statement read on the channel. public television MRTV.

“Warning to the junta: unlike 1988, the actions of the security forces are recorded and you will have to account”, replied on Twitter the UN special rapporteur for human rights in Burma, Tom Andrews .

Calls for civil disobedience

Despite the risks, hundreds of thousands of people marched through the streets of Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, on Monday.

“We are here today to join in the protest, to fight until we win,” said Kyaw Kyaw, a 23-year-old student. “We are worried about the crackdown but we will continue. We are so angry.”

The residents of Yangon saw a strengthening of security arrangements on Monday, with the deployment of many police and army trucks while roadblocks were erected near the embassy district.

“The military unjustly seized power in the elected civilian government,” a 29-year-old protester said on condition of anonymity. “We will fight until we get our freedom, democracy and justice.”

Other large gatherings also took place in the capital Naypyidaw as well as in Mandalay, the second city of Burma, Myitkyina (north) and Dawei (south).

Many markets and shops have remained closed in Rangoon and other cities, after calls for a general strike to amplify the movement of civil disobedience.

On Sunday, the Burmese paid tribute to the first person who lost her life in direct connection with the military repression, a young grocer who became an icon of the resistance against the junta.

The funeral of Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing, who was shot to the head and died on Friday after 10 days in intensive care, took place on the outskirts of Naypyidaw, in the presence of several thousand people.

On Saturday, there were two deaths in Mandalay when police fired on the crowd and a 30-year-old man was killed in Yangon.

To the massive protests against their coup, the Burmese military responded by gradually deploying more security forces, which further resorted to rubber bullets, tear gas, water cannons and sometimes even gunfire. real.

According to the Association for Aid to Political Prisoners, a total of 684 people have been arrested since the putsch.

The new power has in particular in its sights the railway workers, civil servants and bank employees who have stopped working in solidarity with the opposition to the junta.

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