Saturday marked the bloodiest day of protests in the three weeks of persistent demonstrations in Myanmar against the military coup. Two people were killed and 20 left injured after a brutal clash with security forces during the anti-coup demonstrations. Despite this violence and bloodshed thousands of people once again took to the streets across Myanmar to raise their voice against the military junta. Hours after the protesters were gunned down, a famous actor wanted by the Myanmar police has been arrested. Actor Liu min was one of the six celebrities charged under the anti-incitement law for encouraging civil servants to join the protest and the civil disobedience movement. The charges can carry a two-year prison sentence. Apart from the actor, the assistant association for political prisoners and the activist group has said that 569 people have been arrested, charged, or sentenced in connection with the military coup.
Meanwhile, in a sweeping move and a huge blow to the Myanmar military, the Facebook handle operated by them to send out orders to the general public has now been suspended by Facebook. Facebook deleted the main page of the Myanmar military under its standards, prohibiting the incitement of violence. in the aftermath of the violence that took place on Saturday, United Nations secretary-general Antonio Guterres has condemned the use of lethal force in Myanmar after security forces opened fire on the protesters in Mandalay killing two people. He added that the use of lethal force intimidation and harassment against peaceful demonstrations is unacceptable. High Representative of the European Union for foreign affairs Joseph Borel took to Twitter and said and I quote “I strongly condemn the violence against peaceful civilian protesters by the military. I urge the military and all security forces in Myanmar to immediately stop violence against the civilians. We will discuss the latest events to make appropriate decisions.”
The demonstrations and a civil disobedience campaign of strikes and disruptions show no sign of dying down in Myanmar. With civil servants, engineers, teachers, and students all participating in the protest. activists say that the movement aim’s to paralyze the business of the government. thousands of protesters have started to gather on the streets of Yangon. footage shows people gathering and chanting at the city’s Ledan center. this as security forces continue to strengthen their stance and actions against these protesters. Two people have been killed on what was the bloodiest day of protest in Myanmar according to reports one of the victims was a teenage boy. A teenager as we just told students teachers everyone has been out on the roads participating in these protests raising their voice against the military.
Will it get bloodier in Myanmar? As the military authorities continue to use lethal force against these demonstrators now this is when the international community needs to step up and show the Myanmar military junta what the future looks like if they go down that road. What we’re seeing right now is the Myanmar military and police sort of testing the waters involving the various shootings of people that we saw in Mandalay where two people were killed and we saw a navy daw the week before one woman who was killed. They are looking at the reaction of the international community. They going to see a concerted effort beyond words, targeted sanctions against companies that are owned by the military and operated by the military, and understanding that if they go down this road, they are going to truly become a pariah state.
These are the things they’re testing the waters and we have seen in the past that this military has been prepared to use lethal force against civilians both in 1988 and 2007, where they shot scores of people down on the streets in 1988, there were thousands of people who were killed so everybody has that in the back of their mind. but experts also believe that the people are not going to be cowed, which mean the fact that they have larger groups of people and even bigger protests coming out today indicates that the people of Myanmar recognize that there’s no way back from this confrontation that they are going to be facing darkness and more decades of military dictatorship unless they fight now to restore democracy and protect their rights. International condemnation is necessary. Top officials from the united nations have been making certain very strong observations and special rapporteur for Myanmar Tom Andrews said “from water cannons to rubber bullets to tear gas and now hardened troops firing point-blank at peaceful protesters this madness must end.” The United Nations knows that hardened troops are being deployed against these peaceful protesters.
Myanmar military is claiming that eight policemen and several soldiers were also injured in the violence. What we’re seeing is growing confrontation, we’re seeing a situation where the police are being used as the shock troops to gauge what is going to take place next. It’s important to understand that what the special rapporteur is saying is a warning that the situation could get much worse unless real action is provided to support these protesters and demand a restoration of democracy and human rights. It’s very important that the UN Secretary-general and the EU high representative and the representative of the US state department and others are all making these statements but there’s now going to be action. So, for instance, the UN security council should be imposing a global arms embargo against the military and the police in Myanmar. They should be pressuring countries like Russia, China, Israel, and others who have supported and sold arms to the Burmese military that this is not possible there have to be real consequences laid on the table for the Myanmar military generals to see.
Right now, they’re seeing a lot of rhetoric, they’re seeing condemnation, they’re seeing people on the streets and they’re trying to figure out how they’re going to take the next step. People want them to move back, People want them to step backstop abusing human rights, send the troops back to the barracks and enter into negotiations to restore the democratic government. Facebook deleting the main page of the Myanmar military is a welcome step but is that enough? It’s a welcome step but it should have been an easy one. We don’t know why it took them almost three weeks to do that. The reality is that Facebook sees itself as besieged. They’re a little bit of a step slow on this kind of thing but it is a welcome step they’ve done that but there are other accounts that they need to be looking at very closely as well. They will continue to be very vigilant about patrolling what is happening on their platform.
We are seeing the visuals as Myanmar authorities, or military authorities are using lethal force against the protesters, but they’re also cracking down on civil societies and influencers, and actor Liu men have been arrested for merely backing the protests. This is what’s happening at night, they see the big protest during the day but for seven days in a row they have had the military shut off the internet at night to give sort of cover for their operations to bang down doors and try to arrest the people that they think are the catalysts or the leaders of these protests and popular influencers like Lui men and the other actors are certainly on the authorities lists. But there are doctors, teachers, NGO leaders being arrested, these are the people who the government has decided are the key people that they have to take out and put behind bars to stop this and with an expanding dragnet and everybody needs to recognize this and demand that these people are released and the charges against them dropped.