Japan urges Myanmar forces to stop violence against protesters 9 minutes ago

Ruben Hill
March 5, 2021

Myanmar's junta has lost a tug of war over leadership of its UN mission in NY and the United States unveiled new sanctions targeting military conglomerates after the deaths of dozens of civilians protesting against last month's coup.

"We strongly condemn the continued use of violence against civilians despite repeated calls from the global community", Japan's top government spokesman, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato, said in a press conference.

In Yangon, witnesses said at least eight people were killed on Wednesday, while media reported six were killed in the central town of Monywa.

The central city has turned out large anti-coup demonstrations in the past month.

A spokesman for the ruling military council did not answer telephone calls seeking comment.

She said videos showing violence against journalists and the shooting of a protester were "very disturbing".

The violence came as the junta lost a tug of war over leadership of its UN mission in NY and the United States unveiled new sanctions targeting military conglomerates after the deaths of dozens of civilian protesters.

Anti-coup protesters hide behind shields as police use tear gas during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar, on March 4, 2021.

"It's up to the member states to take the right measures", she said.

"This is encouragement for us who are going to go out on streets tomorrow", wrote Facebook user U Zay Yan, responding to the news.

The department will also step up restrictions on exports to Myanmar of items intended for military use or users. According to the report, the attempted withdrawal marked an apparent effort by Myanmar's generals to limit their exposure to the worldwide sanctions that they expected rightly would follow its overthrow of the country's democratically elected government.

They also reject the junta's promise to hold new elections at an unspecified date.

The army seized power alleging fraud in an election won by Suu Kyi's party last November, although the electoral commission dismissed its claims.

Hundreds of people attended the funeral of a 19-year-old woman shot dead in Mandalay on Wednesday, who was photographed wearing a T-shirt that read "Everything will be OK". After her death, the slogan went viral as a symbol of defiance.

"The answer was: "We are used to sanctions, and we survived", Burgener told reporters in NY. Given their importance as a source of revenue for the military, the two conglomerates are a logical target for American sanctions, which would prevent them from making any transactions with USA persons or having any contact with the US banking system.

The US Department of Commerce added Mynamar's Defense Ministry and two key conglomerates run by its military to a trading blacklist on Thursday in the Biden administration's latest reaction to the ongoing violence following the military seizure of power in Naypyidaw last month. As William Reinsch, a former Commerce Department official, told Reuters, "The volume of trade is small so the impact won't be big".

The European Union suspended support for development projects to avoid providing financial assistance to the military. The support in past years has involved more than $241 million in separate programmes. Biden also announced that the US government had taken steps to prevent the generals from "improperly having access" to $1 billion in Myanmar government funds.

The United States has told China it expects it to play a constructive role, he said. China has said stability is a top priority in its strategic neighbour.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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