UN says 38 dead in Myanmar

At least 38 people died Wednesday, the United Nations said, as the military defied growing international condemnation with a violent crackdown that the US said left it “appalled and revulsed.”

International pressure is mounting: Western powers have repeatedly hit the generals with sanctions, Britain has called for a United Nations Security Council meeting on Friday, and after Wednesday’s deaths, the United States said it was considering further action.

“Only today, 38 people died,” UN envoy to Myanmar Christine Schraner Burgener told reporters on Wednesday, adding that more than 50 people had died in total since the military takeover, with many more wounded.

The violence left the United States “appalled and revulsed,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said, telling reporters: “We call on all countries to speak with one voice to condemn the brutal violence by the Burmese military against its own people.”

He singled out China, a frequent US adversary that Myanmar’s military has historically considered its main ally.

“China does have influence in the region. It does have influence with the military junta. We have called upon the Chinese to use that influence in a constructive way, in a way that advances the interests of the people of Burma,” Price said, using another name for Myanmar.

And he said the United States, which has imposed sanctions on junta leaders, was looking at further actions.

– ‘Democracy is our cause’ –

Earlier, AFP recorded at least 17 deaths across Myanmar on Wednesday, with Monywa in the central Sagaing region registering at least seven, according to a doctor.

Medics also said they saw two other individuals being dragged away by security forces but could not confirm if they had died.

On the outskirts of commercial hub Yangon, at least six demonstrators died, according to a rescue worker and local journalist, as protesters blocked major roads.

Near the famed Sule pagoda intersection, protesters pasted print-outs of Min Aung Hlaing’s face on the ground — a tactic aimed at slowing down security forces who will avoid standing on the portraits.

In Mandalay, Myanmar’s second-largest city, two demonstrators were killed, a doctor confirmed to AFP, adding that one of the victims aged 19 was shot in the head.

Another 19-year-old protester died after being shot in Salin.

“They shouldn’t have used such lethal force against the peaceful protesters,” said his friend Min Pyae Phyo, through tears. “I won’t forget and forgive them the rest of my life.”

And a demonstration in Myingyan turned deadly when security forces fired against protesters carrying red home-made shields emblazoned with the three-finger salute — a symbol of resistance.

Several medics confirmed a young man was gunned down.

Local media in northern Kachin state also reported similar scenes of violence.

In Dawei Wednesday, one gunshot victim from Sunday, when 18 people were killed across the country, was cremated.

Mourners held floral wreaths and portraits of Lwin Lwin Oo, 33, as coffin bearers were flanked by hundreds chanting: “We are united… Democracy is our cause.”

© AFP

MIZZIMA News

February: A Month in Review Amid the Military Coup

ND-Burma has created a visual breakdown of the events since the Myanmar military coup on 1 February. Available in Burmese & English. Subscribe on our website to receive weekly & monthly updates through Mailchimp. We are deeply concerned about the situation inside and are following closely

3 March 2021 Daily Briefing in Relation to the Military Coup

Updated 3 March 2021

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) pays respect to the heroes who sacrificed their lives and liberty to fight for democracy and human rights.

As of March 3, a total of (1498) people have been arrested, charged or sentenced in relation to the military coup on February 1. Of them, (4) were convicted; (2) to two years imprisonment, (1) to three months and (1) to seven days. (61) have been charged with a warrant and are evading arrest, (306) were released. A total of (1192) are still under detention or have outstanding charges/evading arrest, including the (4) sentenced. Up until now, more than (50) people have been killed due to the violent and arbitrary crackdowns.

In today’s detainee list, we received and documented the names of (183) people. However, in Yangon alone, over 400 protestors were arrested during the crackdown and were detained in Kyaikkasan Stadium, in total 800 people detained across the country. We will continue to investigate these and make appropriate announcements when.

Despite the junta sponsored terrorism against peaceful protestors in the day and night, the people continue with their peaceful protests against the military coup across the country. The junta regime’s  brutal crackdown has increased against peaceful protests since 1 March.

Today, the coup regime violently assaulted peaceful protestors in Yangon, Mandalay, Pyin Oo Lwin, Myingyan, Monywa, Mawlamyine, Loikaw, Yay, Myitkyina, Hpakant, Pyay, Pathein, Taung Twin Gyi, Shwebo, Myan Aung and Salin Township. During the crackdown, people were met with stun grenades, smoke bombs, tear-gas, rubber bullets, and live ammunition. In particular in Yangon, Mandalay, Myingyan, Monywa, Mawlamyine, Pyin Oo Lwin, and Hpakant where live ammunition was fired.

Per the consequences of these crackdowns, a 20-year-old boy was shot dead in the head and 18 others were injured in Myingyan Township, a 19-year-old girl was shot dead in the head and a 39-year-old man was shot dead in the chest, 8 others were seriously injured in Mandalay, 6 people including 2 women and one 17-year-old boy were shot dead in the head, chest and back and at least 10 others were injured in Monywa Township, another youth was shot dead and at least 8 others were injured in Salin Township. Two people were shot dead and some people were injured in Pyin Oo Lwin Township. Around seven 20-year-old youths were shot dead and 20 others seriously injured in North Okkalapa Township, in one video, junta forces were captured leading one away and shooting in the back of his head, detained and unarmed. Another man was seriously injured in Hlaing Thar Yar Township, one was injured in Tamwe Township, three were injured in Insein Township, 10 were injured in Tharkayta Township, Yangon. 1 was injured in Pathein. At least three young protesters were injured and two are in critical condition in Hpakant Township. One person was shot dead and another one was injured in critical condition in Mawlamyine Township. The number of injured persons is likely much higher than currently accounted, it is estimated to be around 100.

In North Okkalapa Township today, so-called police and military soldiers set fire to tires across the road and four volunteers from the MonMyatSeikHtar Ederly Care Charity vehicle were viciously beaten with guns to the heads. Among them, one of them passed away due to serious injuries.

The military and so-called police are making an enemy of the peaceful protestors, terrorising and directing their guns towards peoples face, chest, head, back and abdomen. The armed personnel directed random shots towards the crowd of peaceful protests in an intentional manner. They dragged dead bodies and forcibly detained injured people, neglecting any medical care, violently beating and arresting people, shooting randomly into people’s houses with no reason, looting and arsoning public property. The junta regime commits these acts every day against peaceful protestors and the general public. Nowadays, the public areas turn into battle fields as well as killing fields.

Much evidence clearly shows that police and military act as terrorists, they have no respect for human dignity or humanity, only brutality. They do not comply with domestic or international laws and morals. They violate every standard, the junta coup terrorist must be held  accountable for every crime they commit.  Strong and effective action against the juntas violations must be taken as soon as possible, until then Burma’s people will continue to be victims.

In Taungdwingyi township last evening, Magway Region, Ko Thiha Zaw (a.k.a Naung Naung), a 16-year-old, was killed because the military shot live ammunition at the youths. Some youths were injured and arrested and their motorbikes seized.

AAPP will continue to keep you informed of verified daily arrests, charges and sentences in relation to coup, and update our lists to the details of these alleged offences. If you receive any information about detentions of, or charges against CSO leaders, activists, journalists, CDM workers and other civilians in relation to the military and police crackdown on dissent. Please submit to the following addresses:

Email :   info@aappb.org

Facebook : https://web.facebook.com/burmapoliticalprisoners/

Twitter : https://twitter.com/aapp_burma

In Solidarity,

AAPP

Download link for Fatality list

Download link for Recent Arrest list Updated on 3 March 2021

Row over who represents coup-hit Myanmar at UN

The junta sacked the country’s envoy after he spectacularly broke ranks by calling for the regime’s downfall on February 26, but on March 1, U Kyaw Moe Tun sent a letter to the president of the UN General Assembly saying he still holds the post.

By AFP

Myanmar’s military junta and the envoy sent by its toppled civilian government have launched contradictory claims over who represents the country at the United Nations, officials said Tuesday.

Ambassador U Kyaw Moe Tun spectacularly broke with the junta before the General Assembly on Friday in an emotional plea for help to restore ousted civilian leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

The next day the junta said the envoy had been sacked, but on Monday Kyaw Moe Tun sent a letter to the president of the UN General Assembly to say that he still holds the post.

“The perpetrators of the unlawful coup … have no authority to countermand the legitimate authority of the president of my country,” said the letter obtained by AFP, referring to Aung San Suu Kyi.

“I wish therefore to confirm to you that I remain Myanmar’s permanent representative to the United Nations,” he added.

On Tuesday, Myanmar’s foreign ministry sent a note verbale to the UN, also obtained by AFP, claiming Kyaw Moe Tun had been removed.

“The ministry of foreign affairs … has the honour to inform that the state administration council of the republic of the Union of Myanmar terminated the duties and responsibilities of ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun”, the note said.

“At present, Tin Maung Naing, deputy permanent representative ambassador, has been assigned as the charge d’affaires ad interim of the permanent mission,” the note added.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told a press briefing that the body had received the two “contradictory” letters.

“We are taking a look at those letters, where they came from and what we will do,” he said.

The United States backed Kyaw Moe Tun and hailed his “bravery,” with a State Department spokesman saying “we understand that the permanent representative remains in his position.”

“We will continue to oppose the military coup and we will continue to support the restoration of Burma’s democratically elected civilian government,” the US spokesman said.

US envoy to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield also met virtually with Kyaw Moe Tun on Tuesday to express her support.

UN accreditation and protocol committees will look into the issue and then refer it to the General Assembly.

Dujarric said that the UN envoy to Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener, who is currently in Switzerland, “continues her conversations with various parties regarding the current situation.”

On Friday, Burgener said that “it is important the international community does not lend legitimacy or recognition to this regime,” and called for the international community to press for a return to democracy.

Frontier Myanmar

Police and protesters resume running battles in Yangon for fourth day

Security forces have deployed tear gas, rubber bullets and stun grenades to dislodge protesters from their home-made barricades, with only limited success.

By FRONTIER

Yangon is today again a battle zone, with police and soldiers attempting to disperse thousands of peaceful protesters from sites across the city including Sanchaung, Insein Road in Hlaing Township and near Yuzana Plaza in Tarmwe Township.

There were also reports of crackdowns elsewhere in the country, including Kalay in Sagaing Region, where medics told AFP that three protesters had been critically injured when security forces fired live rounds at anti-coup protesters.

For a fourth straight day police used tear gas, rubber bullets and stun grenades to dislodge protesters from their home-made barricades. Although it often sent protesters running, and led to small numbers of arrests, they were usually able to find safe haven and then regroup as soon as the security forces left the area.

In Sanchaung, police moved in shortly after 9am to disperse protesters on Padonmar Street, and at 10:45am police and soldiers fired tear gas and rubber bullets on nearby Kyun Taw Road. A Frontier reporter who was close to the confrontation managed to take shelter in a nearby shop. At least three people were arrested, while a soldier was seen cursing as he destroyed a National League for Democracy flag.

A Frontier reporter hides from soldiers inside a store in Sanchaung. (Frontier)

On Mingalar Street in Sanchaung, rumours of snipers on rooftops created a tense atmosphere this morning. Police eventually moved in to disperse protesters, deploying smoke bombs and what appeared to be tear gas. Protesters took cover in nearby apartments. During this time a police officer was seen firing directly into a ground-floor room on Mingalar Street. Once the police left and a scout had given the all-clear, the protesters emerged to resume their demonstration.

A police officer is seen firing directly into a ground floor apartment on Mingalar Street in Sanchaung. (Frontier)

Later in the morning, security forces broke up a protest near Yuzana Plaza, with a heavy military presence seen on nearby Ma U Kone Street, a Frontier reporter said.

Insein Road has been one of the key battlegrounds again, with police employing more ruthless tactics to disrupt protests.

Yesterday protesters set up roadblocks and staged sit-ins at several points along the road north of Hledan junction, bringing traffic to a standstill. They were eventually forced to flee in the afternoon under police fire and sought shelter in nearby apartments.

In a now familiar scene, protesters wielding home-made shields had this morning erected makeshift barricades using rubbish bins near the Butaryone bus stop on Insein Road.

They were forced to disperse after 11am when police unleashed tear gas and rubber bullets. Residents told Frontier the police crackdown came sooner today than yesterday. A Frontier reporter and photographer both narrowly escaped arrest by hiding in nearby apartments.

Frontier saw five people being arrested, while police were also seen releasing another nine people who had been detained in the same area.

Police have also been breaking the windows of cars that had been stopped on Insein Road to hinder their advance.

“The crackdown today is fast,” one demonstrator told Frontier. “They have even been going into the wards to arrest people.”Police have now reportedly blocked Than Lan and Butaryone streets, and Frontier also saw police and military near the Kan Lan bus stop on Insein Road.

One person in a densely populated ward in Hlaing Township near Insein Road told Frontier it was “basically a war zone”, with community leaders setting up temporary roadblocks around the entire ward. Security forces are said to have blocked off roads in all directions, and warned that anyone who tries to leave will be shot.

Meanwhile, at the end of some streets within the ward residents have also set up temporary barricades with rebar, bamboo, or PVC tubing to stop and search any cars that try to enter, forcing all the passengers to get out of the vehicle.

In Mandalay, rallies in Maha Aung Myay Township drew thousands of protesters this morning despite previously deadly crackdowns in the city.

“No matter how they crack down on us, we will fight … We will find any way to get back on the streets,” one defiant protester told Frontier. “This is the only way to show that we don’t want dictatorship.”

There was a lighter than normal police presence, but more plain-clothes officers were spotted in the vicinity, our reporter said.

Elsewhere in Myanmar’s second-largest city, motorcyclists have been riding in convoys in protest against the junta.

Meanwhile, people across the country have been coating their streets in X-ed out photos of junta chief Min Aung Hlaing’s face, then stomping on the images or using them as betel-juice bullseyes. Today our reporter caught protesters in Chan Aye Thar Zan Township joining in the fun. In some areas they’ve also been pasting the entire street with photos of Min Aung Hlaing, in an apparent attempt to dissuade security forces from entering, because it would require them to walk on his face.

There have been no protests in Nay Pyi Taw today, but at Naung Pin Gyi stupa a ceremony was held for those killed in anti-coup demonstrations.

“We will forever respect and be proud of them … I pray they’ll never face such terror in the next life,” an event leader said.

After the ceremony, participants painted pro-democracy slogans on nearby streets.

“Let [the authorities] erase [these phrases] as much as they like,” a young participant told Frontier. “We are not afraid of their weapons – they’re afraid of our words.”

While police and army crackdowns in Myanmar’s major cities have grabbed the most attention this week, protests have been violently dispersed and activists hunted down in smaller provincial hubs.

In Lashio, northern Shan State, the Kachin Youth Solidarity Network reported that 13 people were arrested on Monday from inside the town’s Kachin Baptist Church, after a morning demonstration was broken up with water cannons and teargas. The network said protesters were pursued down side streets by plain clothes officers, with some arriving at the Baptist church.

Eyewitnesses said the church was surrounded by about 50 police officers and soldiers. At 1pm the security forces broke down the gate, questioned those inside about the presence of an “ethnic youth group”, and forced themselves into a study room where the 13 were arrested. The network said theological students were among those arrested, and that they are believed to be being held at Lashio’s No 1 police station.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly said the 13 arrests in Lashio took place today.

Latest visual situation update from 23 to 28 Feb

on ramped up state sponsored violence and disregard of protester rights to peaceful assembly. “Three Cs” pose challenges ahead as the people’s movement surges forward.