Protests Against Military Coup Continue in Yangon, Myanmar

Grant Boone
February 14, 2021

Echoing Japan, many western and European countries, including the US, UK, Canada, and South Korea, also strongly urged the Myanmar military to release all those "arbitrarily detained", including State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and immediately restore the democratic political system.

To try to prevent the arrest of activists, the demonstrators have set up citizen monitoring committees, which contest the curfew, valid from 8 p.m., and take to the streets at the signal of police operations at the search for dissidents. "That they release unconditionally all who have been detained; that they end the persecution and prosecution of the people of Myanmar for exercising their basic human rights".

It also called on the Myanmar military to lift restrictions on Internet, telecommunication and social media, and take steps to protect the people's rights to freedom of opinion and expression, religion or belief, association, and peaceful assembly.

A series of announcements came on the eighth day of country-wide demonstrations against the February 1 takeover and detention of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, which halted an unsteady transition to democracy that began in 2011.

They justified seizing power with claims of widespread voter fraud in November's election, which Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) won in a landslide. "Sleepless nights are becoming common here in Myanmar", the BBC's Nyein Chan Aye said. I want the world to help us.

It called upon Myanmar authorities "to engage and cooperate with United Nations human rights mechanisms".

Kavi Chongkittavorn, a Bangkok-based regional affairs expert, said Japan should send a "strong message" to Myanmar to release Suu Kyi, and that Tokyo should urge Washington to pursue "constructive engagement" with the military without putting back in place significant sanctions it imposed on Myanmar during decades of dictatorship. Thousands also demonstrated in the main city of Yangon.

Friday's protests marked the seventh consecutive day of demonstrations, including one on Thursday outside the Chinese Embassy where NLD supporters accused Beijing of backing the junta, something Beijing has denied.

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Suu Kyi, for decades the standard bearer of the fight for democracy, faces charges of illegally importing and using six walkie-talkie radios.

The new USA sanctions target Min Aung Hlaing and other top generals, after President Joe Biden announced his administration was cutting off the military's access to $1 billion in funds. The military declared a one-year state of emergency, pledging to hold a fair election when it is over.

Min Aung Hlaing and several other generals were already slapped with US sanctions for their involvement in the crackdowns on the Rohingya Muslim minority.

But he said US sanctions alone would have little impact on Myanmar's generals without "tough messages" from USA partners such as Japan, Singapore and India.

The sanctions named Min Aung Hlaing and his deputy Soe Win, as well as four members of the State Administration Council. "I don't think he is concerned about the United States right now", he said.

However, China and Russian Federation at the UNHRC special session called the Myanmar situation its internal situation. But their deep mistrust of the military, which has brutally repressed their armed struggles for more autonomy, has made them uneasy allies with her party.

Suu Kyi, 75, won the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize for campaigning for democracy and remains hugely popular at home despite damage to her global reputation over the plight of the Rohingya. Her lawyer says he has not been allowed to see her.

He said Malaysia should be positioning itself in opposition to the Myanmar coup by limiting cooperation with the junta.

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