Funeral held for woman shot during Myanmar protest

James Marshall
February 21, 2021

Security forces have grown increasingly aggressive against the protesters, who have clashed with Myanmar security forces since the military detained de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other high-ranking officials of the civilian government almost three weeks ago.

Saturday's deadly shooting saw Myanmar's second and third protest-related fatalities since people across the country took to the streets on February 6 to oppose the military regime.

Protesters gathered again Sunday all over Myanmar, a day after security forces shot dead two people at a demonstration in the country's second biggest city.

Crowds marched in the central towns of Monywa and Bagan and in Dawei and Myeik in the south, posted pictures showed.

It said that the use of lethal weapons against unarmed civilians is inexcusable, adding that Singapore strongly urged the security forces to exercise the utmost restraint to avoid further injuries and loss of lives, and take immediate steps to de-escalate the situation and restore calm.

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.

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 up to 2011.

But if the numbers on Sunday are anything to go by, the violence looks unlikely to silence opposition.

Security forces reportedly clashed with striking shipyard workers and other demonstrators.

"Everyone has a right to peaceful assembly", the United Nations chief said.

"From water cannons to rubber bullets to tear gas and now hardened troops firing point blank at peaceful protesters. This madness must end, now", he said on Twitter.

The state-run Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper said the strikers sabotaged vessels and attacked police with sticks, knives and catapults.

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".

This brings the number of deaths among protesters to three, including a woman who died on Friday.

Video from the day she was shot show her sheltering from water cannons and suddenly dropping to the ground after a bullet penetrated the motorcycle helmet she was wearing.

Many people, including her relatives, mourned her death at the funeral on Sunday. Another one died later with a bullet wound to the chest."Police were not available for comment".

The junta, led by Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, said it stepped in because the government failed to properly investigate allegations of fraud in last year's election, which Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party won in a landslide.

The military's claims were rejected by Myanmar's electoral commission.

Facebook said it deleted the military's main page, known as True News, for repeated violations of its standards "prohibiting incitement of violence and coordinating harm".

Another live broadcast on Facebook showed the wife of actor Lu Min describing to neighbors how her husband was arrested and taken away from their home shortly after midnight. He was one of six high-profile people in the entertainment industry charged last week with inciting civil servants to stop work and join the protest movement, which he and the others have publicly championed.

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners group said 569 people have been detained in connection with the coup.

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.

US State Department spokesman Ned Price said the United States was "deeply concerned".

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said that he condemns the use of deadly violence in Myanmar, saying that the use of lethal force, intimidation and harassment against peaceful demonstrators in unacceptable. She is under house arrest, accused of possessing illegal walkie-talkies and violating the country's Natural Disaster Law.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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