Two people shot dead in Myanmar protests

  • Two people shot dead in Myanmar protests

Two people shot dead in Myanmar protests

Police arrested a famous Myanmar actor Sunday, hours after two people were killed by gunfire as security forces used live and rubber bullets, tear gas, water cannons and slingshots against protesters who were demonstrating against the military's February 1 coup.

The military has been unable to quell the demonstrations and a civil disobedience campaign of strikes against the coup and the detention of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and others, even with a promise of a new election and warnings against dissent.

Mourners lined the entrance to a cemetery in the city as the hearse carrying her body arrived and was taken to a crematorium where more people had gathered.

Demonstrators turned out in force in Mandalay, the country's second-biggest city, where security forces shot dead two people on Saturday near a dockyard where the authorities had been trying to force workers to load a boat.

Crowds marched in the central towns of Monywa and Bagan and in Dawei and Myeik in the south, posted pictures showed. The military has ordered civil servants back to work and threatened action against them.

There were also protests in Myawaddy, on the border with Thailand, and at Inle Lake, a popular scenic tourist attraction, where dozens of its famous longtailed wooden boats were moored near shore and those aboard chanted anti-coup slogans.

Myanmar has seen nationwide demonstrations since the military seized control of the country on Feb 1, with protesters ignoring a ban on public gatherings.

On Tuesday, an army spokesman told a news conference that sanctions had been expected.

The more than two weeks of protests had been largely peaceful, unlike previous episodes of opposition during almost half a century of direct military rule to 2011.

"The number of people will increase".

A protester has a wound on her head treated after being beaten by security forces during a demonstration against the military coup in Mandalay on February 20, 2021.

Condemnation of the military also increases with United Nations special rapporteur Tom Andrews saying the new junta "can't steal the hope and resolve of a determined people". Water cannon trucks spray protesters in multiple cities and tear gas is deployed in Mandalay. "This madness must end, now!"

The state-run Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper said the strikers sabotaged vessels and attacked police with sticks, knives and catapults. Eight policemen and several soldiers were injured, it said.

The newspaper did not mention the deaths but said: "Some of the aggressive protesters were also injured due to the security measures conducted by the security force in accordance with the law".

"There are some people who don't like NLD but we're not talking about the NLD", he said, referring to Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD).

The violence in Mandalay comes a day after a young woman became the first confirmed death from the protests.

Inside the crematorium hall, the lid on Mya Thwet Thwet Khine's coffin was partially removed to allow a last glimpse of her head resting on a bed of red and white roses before she was cremated.

Hundreds of people attended her funeral on Sunday.

Ko Aung said a second man was shot in the chest and died later of his injuries.

The junta took power after detaining Suu Kyi and preventing Parliament from convening, saying elections last November were tainted by voting irregularities. The electoral commission dismissed the fraud complaints.

A live Saturday night broadcast on Facebook showed the wife of actor Lu Min describing to neighbours how her husband was arrested and taken away from their home shortly after midnight.

Japan and India have joined Western countries in calling for democracy to be restored quickly.

"We stand with the people of Burma", Price added. "The use of lethal force, intimidation and harassment against peaceful demonstrators is unacceptable", he said on Twitter.

The United States, Britain, Canada and New Zealand have announced limited sanctions with a focus on military leaders but the generals have long brushed off foreign pressure.

Suu Kyi faces a charge of violating a Natural Disaster Management Law as well as charges of illegally importing six walkie talkie radios. Suu Kyi came to power after her party won a 2015 election, but the generals retained substantial power under the constitution, which had been adopted under a military regime.