Monday, March 1

United States, EU, G7: in Burma, pressure against the military junta is mounting

For three weeks, the Burmese authorities have not stopped stepping up the use of force in order to weaken the pro-democracy mobilization.

So far, three protesters have been killed as a man patrolling to avoid mass arrests in his neighborhood in Yangon was shot dead.

The use of live ammunition against unarmed persons is unacceptable“, said Tuesday in a statement the foreign ministers of the G7, the seven largest powers on the planet, also signed by the European Union.

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Anyone responding to peaceful protests with violence must be held accountable“they said, calling on Myanmar security forces to”exercise the utmost restraint and respect human rights and international law“.

On the night of Monday to Tuesday, the United States announced sanctions against two other leaders of the Burmese military junta which overthrew the civilian government of Aung San Suu Kyi, General Maung Maung Kyaw, at the head of the Air Force, and Lieutenant General Moe Myint Tun.

A round of similar measures had already been announced by Washington ten days ago, targeting several leaders of the ruling junta, including its leader, General Min Aung Hlaing.

We will not hesitate to take further action against those who commit acts of violence and suppress the will of the people. We will not waver in our support for the Burmese people“, warned the head of American diplomacy Antony Blinken.

The announcement came hours after the EU’s decision to take sanctions against the economic and financial interests of the military responsible for the coup.

All direct financial support (…) to government reform programs is suspended“, said the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell.

– “Pray for them” –

These sanctions come after the Burmese army used rubber bullets, tear gas, water cannons and sometimes even live ammunition against protesters.

It also deployed more security forces in the streets of Rangoon, the country’s largest city and its economic capital.

To prevent the demonstrators from gathering, barricades were set up around crossroads and arteries leading to embassies.

Nightly internet shutdowns ordered by the junta raise fears that the authorities will take advantage of them to carry out mass arrests of pro-democracy activists.

So far, the measures taken by the junta have not deter protesters from taking to the streets.

Among them are many civil servants, bank employees, caregivers and public works employees who have stopped working in solidarity.

On Tuesday, protests continued across the country, although the economic capital Rangoon experienced less mobilization than in previous days.

In the town of Myitkyina, in northern Kachin state – where violence erupted over the weekend – protesters raced through the town on motorcycles waving the Burmese flag and saluting with three fingers, a symbol resistance.

In Mandalay, the country’s second city, a gathered crowd attended the funeral of Thet Naing Win, a 37-year-old man who was shot and killed on Saturday when security forces opened fire on a crowd of anti-junta protesters.

I ask everyone to help ensure that my husband’s case is brought to justice“Said his widow Thidar Hnin, adding that she wished to see”the dictator dethroned“.

Calls to stop working have severely disrupted government, business and banking activities.

The authorities had brandished on Sunday the threat to use lethal force to put an end to “the anarchy“.


Since the putsch, more than 680 people have been arrested, charged or sentenced according to an NGO assisting political prisoners and almost all are still behind bars.


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Reference-www.lexpress.fr

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