Facebook removes Myanmar military page over incitement of violence

Paola Ditto
Febbraio 21, 2021

Security forces ratcheted up their pressure against anti-coup protesters, using water cannons, tear gas, slingshots and rubber bullets.

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

Myanmar's military toppled civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Feb 1, leading to protests for the restoration of democracy despite the junta's efforts to hinder communications.

Security forces dispersed the crowd with gunfire and other forms of force, leaving two dead and 20 others injured, according to the Irrawaddy news website and a leader of the Parahita Darhi volunteer emergency service agency, Ko Aung.

One young woman walked back to the road while holding aloft a vinyl banner with an image depicting the moment Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing was shot, as others held her in a vain effort to render first aid.

The deaths of two anti-coup protesters in Myanmar sparked fresh United Nations condemnation of the country's new military regime on Sunday, as mourners prepared for the funeral of a young woman who became a national symbol of resistance to the junta.

In the main city of Yangon, several thousand young protesters gathered near the city's main university campus to chant slogans, while hundreds massed peacefully in Mandalay, footage shown by a media outlet showed.

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, which ended in 2011.

Big crowds marched in the central towns of Monywa and Bagan, in Dawei and Myeik in the south and Myawaddy in the east, pictures showed.

Video clips on social media showed members of the security forces firing at protesters and witnesses said they found the spent cartridges of live rounds and rubber bullets.

UN Special Rapporteur for Myanmar Tom Andrews said he was horrified. "This madness must end", he said on Twitter.

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".

Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) condemned the violence in Mandalay as a crime against humanity. The electoral commission dismissed the fraud complaints. The junta had seized power, baselessly claiming the landslide win for Suu Kyi'a party in a November election was the result of fraud.

On Sunday, Facebook announced it had deleted the page of the Myanmar military, which is known as the Tatmadaw.

Police arrested actor Lu Min in the early hours, his wife, Khin Sabai Oo, said on Facebook.

It is just one of many parts of the charter that ensured the military could maintain ultimate control over the country it ruled for 50 years following a 1962 coup.

The confrontation began when security forces in Mandalay, the country's second-largest city and cultural capital, attempted to raid a shipyard and detain port staff on strike to protest the army takeover.

"We stand with the people of Burma", Price wrote on Twitter.

UK Foreign Minister Dominic Raab also condemned the shooting of peaceful protesters and said the UK is considering further action.

Suu Kyi - who has not been seen since she was detained in a dawn raid - has been hit with two charges by the junta, one of them for possessing unregistered walkie-talkies.

"The use of lethal force, intimidation & harassment against peaceful demonstrators is unacceptable", Guterres wrote on Sunday.

HRW also urged that countries should call on Russian Federation and China to cut their sales and assistance to Myanmar, as well as Ukraine, Turkey, and Israel.

Governments in Canada, the US and Britain have imposed sanctions on the new military leaders, and they and other nations have called for Suu Kyi's administration to be restored.

Demonstrators have in recent days hoisted photos of Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing in street marches, and news of her death on Friday sent a flash of anger through the country.

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