Detained Aung San Suu Kyi remanded to Wednesday

  • Detained Aung San Suu Kyi remanded to Wednesday

Detained Aung San Suu Kyi remanded to Wednesday

The military's justification of its February 1 seizure of powerand arrest of government leader Aung San Suu Kyi and others cameas protesters again took to the streets and after a United Nations envoywarned the army of "severe consequences" for any harsh responseto the demonstrations. Her lawyer says she will be remanded in detention until Wednesday, two days longer than initially expected.

Small crowds gathered in two places in the main city of Yangon on Tuesday - at a traditional protest site near the main university campus and at the central bank, where protesters hoped to press staff to join a civil disobedience movement.

They chanted "End military dictatorship" as the officers stood guard.

As well as mass protests, the military rulers face a strike by government workers, part of a civil disobedience movement that is crippling numerous functions of government.

Armoured vehicles were deployed on Sunday in Yangon, the northern town of Myitkyina and Sittwe in the west, the first large-scale use of such vehicles since the coup. "We want to establish a real federal union where all citizens, all ethnicities are treated equally". Police were cracking down on the demonstrators against Myanmar's military takeover who took to the streets in defiance of new protest bans.

The unrest has revived memories of bloody outbreaks of opposition to nearly half a century of direct army rule, which ended when the military began a process of withdrawing from civilian politics in 2011.

Despite the deployment of armoured vehicles and soldiers insome major cities on the weekend, protesters have kept up theircampaign to oppose military rule demand Suu Kyi's release.

At the bank, several hundred protesters held up signs urging their colleagues to join the CDM - the civil disobedience movement - and stating their refusal to accept the coup. An armoured vehicle and about six trucks carrying soldiers were parked nearby, a witness said.

According to Reuters, police in Naypyitaw have detained about 20 high school students who were protesting.

The judge in the capital, Naypyitaw, had spoken to Suu Kyi by video conferencing and she had asked if she could hire a lawyer, Khin Maung Zaw told Reuters.

The former leader is now under house arrest. "We haven't heard or received bad news". The U.N., USA and other governments have urged it to return power to the elected government and release Suu Kyi and other detainees.

The government and army could not be reached for comment.

An activist group, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, said it had recorded 426 arrests between the coup and Monday and it feared the military was using internet blackouts to arrest more opponents, particularly after it suspended legal constraints on search and detention powers.

The military also blocked the internet overnight between 1 am and 9 am.

"It's as if the generals have declared war on the people", UN Special Rapporteur Tom Andrews said on Twitter.

The military has justified the coup as a response to alleged massive irregularities in last November's general election that saw Suu Kyi's NLD win another resounding victory against a military-backed opposition party. The electoral commission had dismissed the army's complaints.

Hindering the security forces carrying out their duties is punishable by seven years in prison, while spreading fear, fake news or agitating against government employees gets three years, according to the amendments posted on a military website.

Foreign embassies in Myanmar, including those of the USA and European Union member states, issued a joint statement Sunday saying they "unequivocally condemn the detention of political leaders, social activists and civil servants" and called for an end to violence against protesters.