Myanmar protesters undeterred by crackdown

Simon Coveney

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney. Credit Sam Boal

Security forces in Myanmar opened fire at a funeral on Sunday, a day after they killed more than 100 people, including children, in one of the bloodiest days of anti-coup protests in the country, Reuters reported.

Protesters were also on the streets of the second-largest city Mandalay, carrying the flag of Ms Suu Kyi's party and adopting the now traditional anti-authoritarian three-finger salute.

"We are told by the neighbours that Aye Ko was shot and thrown into the fire", a relative said.

The Myanmar Now news portal said at least 114 people were killed across the country in the crackdown on Saturday.

At least 40 people, including a 13-year-old girl, were killed in Mandalay, and at least 27 people were killed in Yangon, Myanmar Now said.

On February 1, Myanmar's military overthrew the civilian government and declared a year-long state of emergency while detaining civilian leaders including State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi. One Western defense analyst called it "an obscene, military hardware display with a North Korean overtone".

Among all the worldwide condemnations of the Myanmar military and its actions since the February 1 coup, a statement by the defense chiefs of Japan, South Korea and 10 other countries was one of the shortest but may have hurt junta chief Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing the most.

On Friday, state TV warned that people "should learn from the tragedy of earlier ugly deaths that you can be in danger of getting shot to the head and back".

The protesters refer to the holiday by its original name, Resistance Day, which marks the beginning of a revolt against Japanese occupation in World War II.

Funerals were held in many places.

Anti-coup protesters gesture with a three-fingers salute a symbol of resistance during a demonstration in Yangon Myanmar yesterday. Credit AP
Anti-coup protesters gesture with a three-fingers salute a symbol of resistance during a demonstration in Yangon Myanmar yesterday. Credit AP

The US, UK and European Union have all imposed sanctions in response to the military coup.

"Russia is a true friend", Min Aung Hlaing added. There were no signs of other diplomats at an event that is usually attended by scores of officials from foreign nations.

'Ireland continues to stand with the people of Myanmar and will continue to work with our partners in Europe, in the region and at the United Nations, both in the General Assembly and as a Member of the Security Council, to see an end to violence and to bring about a peaceful and democratic solution to this crisis.

Anti-coup protesters run around their makeshift barricade they burn to make defence line during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar, March 28, 2021.

Protests have been held across Myanmar since the military coup.

Activist group the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) counted at least 328 protesters who have been killed in the weeks of unrest.

The warning was widely taken as a threat because a great number of the fatalities among protesters have come from being shot in the head, suggesting they have been targeted for death.

U.S. Ambassador Thomas Vajda said on social media: "This bloodshed is horrifying", adding "Myanmar's people have spoken clearly: they do not want to live under military rule".

"It isn't for the protection of democracy as well, it's how they harm democracy ..."

The sanctions against the two companies and their holdings block access to any property they control in the United States and effectively bars any US person or company from conducting any sort of business with them, including supplying them with funds or providing goods or services.

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