A protester was killed Friday (5) in Myanmar, on another day of protests against the military coup that ended the democratic transition in the country.
The death comes the day the UN Security Council (United Nations) must meet behind closed doors in New York to try to find a solution to the growing crisis in the Asian country.
Hundreds of protesters marched in the streets of Mandalay, the country’s second largest city, and a 26-year-old man who helped build barricades erected to slow the advance of security forces died after receiving a bullet in the neck, medical teams told security. AFP agency.
In Rangoon, the economic capital of the country, the district of San Chaung was, as in the previous days, the scene of clashes, with the police firing rubber bullets and bombs with moral effect, and the demonstrators protecting themselves behind improvised barricades built with tires. old, sandbags and barbed wire.
Crowds also gathered in towns like Pathein and Bago and in central Myingyan. The groups walked out with three fingers raised – an allusion to the “Hunger Games” saga – with signs saying “we will not accept the military coup.”
Also on Friday, Indian security forces stepped up border patrols with Myanmar to prevent refugees from entering.
“At the moment, we are not allowing anyone to enter,” Maria Zuali, a member of the Indian government in Champhai district, told Reuters news agencies.
In Serchhip district, another government official said eight people, including a woman and a child, had crossed the border and were being served. Authorities were preparing to house between 30 and 40 people, he said.
About 30 low-ranking Myanmar police officers have also crossed the border in recent days, according to an Indian policeman who refused to be identified. “They claimed that there were human rights violations and that they had been asked to shoot civilians,” the official said.
The agents are trying to escape because they do not want to obey the orders of the new military government to suppress the protests against the coup.
India’s foreign ministry said it was investigating the police situation.
New Delhi has close ties to the neighboring country’s military – Myanmars set up border operations to expel insurgents at the behest of the Indians, who in turn gave Myanmar their first submarine last year .
On Wednesday (3), the country recorded the bloodiest day of crackdown on the streets, with at least 38 dead and dozens injured after police opened fire on protesters.
Since taking power on February 1, at least 55 people have been killed.
The military junta has tried to avoid publishing information about the crackdown and, to that end, has stepped up internet shutdowns and banned Facebook, the country’s most popular network.
But videos and images are leaking daily, and the government itself was banned on Friday, when YouTube announced it had shut down several military channels.
Many parts of the country also suffered power cuts on Friday, although it is not clear whether this was a deliberate move as the country has unreliable infrastructure. Several government agencies attributed the interruptions to “system failure”.
UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet demanded that security forces end what she called “the cruel crackdown on peaceful protesters.” Bachelet said more than 1,700 people were arrested, including 29 journalists.
The agency’s human rights investigator in Myanmar, Thomas Andrews, has called on the Security Council to impose a global arms embargo and direct economic sanctions on the junta.
The United States has told China it expects the Asian country to play a constructive role – Beijing has refused to condemn the coup and has said regional stability is a priority. Another traditional ally of the Burmese army, Russia has also not condemned the coup and the repression and is treating the affair as an “internal affair” of the country.
The military junta sacked the country’s ambassador to the UN Kyaw Moe Tun, who a day earlier had defended an end to the military coup and called for “vigorous action by the international community to end the oppression of the innocent population and restore power. to the people “.
The military, which ruled directly for nearly 50 years before embarking on an interim transition to democracy ten years ago, is struggling to assert its authority.
They seized power in February under the leadership of General Min Aung Hlaing and for fraud in the November elections.
The party of civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, state councilor and Nobel Peace Prize winner, won the election by a large majority. Upon taking office, the military declared a state of emergency for a period of one year.
Hlaing himself, however, said he could stay in power after this period to coordinate the holding of a new election. The council promised to hold new elections on an unspecified date, but activists rejected it and demanded Suu Kyi’s release.
Suu Kyi was arrested during the seizure of power with the main leaders of his party, the National League for Democracy (LND). She now faces four criminal charges. The first two, presented in the week of the coup, were the illegal importation of six walkie-talkies and an alleged violation of protocols to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
This week, the adviser received two more charges: one for allegedly violating a telecommunications law which stipulates licenses for the equipment, and another for publishing information that could “scare or alarm. », A practice opposed by the penal code dating from the colonial period.
The LND won 83% of the vote and won 396 of the 476 seats in parliament in Myanmar’s latest elections, held in November last year. The legend, however, was prevented from taking over when the coup was implemented on the day the new legislature was inaugurated. The military-backed Union for Solidarity and Development party won only 33 seats.
CHRONOLOGY OF THE POLITICAL HISTORY OF MYANMAR
1948: Former British colony, Myanmar becomes an independent country 1962: General Ne Win abolishes the 1947 Constitution and establishes a military regime 1974: Beginning of the first post-independence Constitution 1988: The violent repression of demonstrations against the military regime generates international critics 1990: National League for Democracy (LND), in opposition to the regime, wins the first multiparty election in 30 years and is prevented from taking power 1991: Aung San Suu Kyi, of the LND, wins the Nobel Prize of the peace 1997: US and EU impose sanctions on Myanmar for human rights violations and failure to respect 2008 election results: Assembly approves new Constitution 2011: Thein Sein, general retired, is elected president and the military regime is dissolved 2015: The LND obtains the majority in both houses of Parliament 2016: Htin Kyaw is elected the first civilian president since the co up of State of 1962 and Suu Kyi assumes the post of State Councilor, equivalent to that of Prime Minister 2018: Kyaw resigns and Win Myi nt assumes the 2020 presidency: during the legislative elections, the LND receives 83% of the votes and defeats pro-military party 2021: army alleges election fraud, arrests LND leaders, seizes power with new coup