Sunday, 07 March, 2021


Myanmar junta cuts off internet, deploys tanks as soldiers fire at protesters

Image Reuters Suu Kyi 75 won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for campaigning for democracy and spent nearly 15 years under house arrest Image Reuters Suu Kyi 75 won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for campaigning for democracy and spent nearly 15 years under house arrest
Noah Ferguson | 16 February, 2021, 08:41

Myanmar's junta has deployed extra troops around the country and choked the internet for the second night in a row as it intensified a crackdown on anti-coup protests, but defiant demonstrators again took to the streets.

As well as mass protests around the country, the military rulers were facing a strike by government workers, part of a civil disobedience movement against the February 1 coup that deposed the civilian government led by Aung San Suu Kyi.

Engineering students marched through downtown Yangon, the biggest city, wearing white and carrying placards demanding the release of ousted leader Suu Kyi, who has been in detention since the coup and charged with importing walkie-talkies. "We want to establish a real federal union where all citizens, all ethnicities are treated equally".

The unrest has revived memories of bloody outbreaks of opposition to nearly half a century of direct army rule that ended in 2011 when the military began a process of withdrawing from civilian politics.

Violence this time has been limited but on Sunday, police opened fire to disperse protesters at a power plant in northern Myanmar although it was unclear if they were using rubber bullets or live rounds and there was no word on casualties.

Security forces are raiding people's residences in many places across the country and trying to arrest those who are against the military junta.

An armoured vehicle rides on a street during a protest against the military coup, in Yangon, Myanmar, February 14, 2021. The military is allowed to appoint its members to 25 per cent of seats in Parliament and it controls several key ministries involved in security and defence.

More than a dozen police trucks with four water cannon vehicles were deployed on Monday near the Sule Pagoda in central Yangon, one of the main demonstration sites in the city, where protesters had gathered outside the central bank and the Chinese embassy.

One who managed to escape told reporters that the students - thought to range in age from 13 to 16 - were demonstrating peacefully when a line of riot police suddenly arrived and began arresting them.

A convoy of thousands on motorbikes and in cars also drove through the capital Naypyitaw, with protesters holding up images of Suu Kyi's face.

Neither has been publicly seen since the coup, though Ms Suu Kyi's party has heard that she is "in good health".

Khin Maung Zaw, a lawyer asked by Suu Kyi's party to represent her, said he was uncertain if she would have a court appearance Monday, and it could be delayed by a day.

There was no immediate confirmation of a death toll and no comment from the government.

The army has been carrying out nightly arrests and has given itself search and detention powers.

"There is suspicion this blackout was to commit unjust activities, including arbitrary arrests", said the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners group, which has recorded 426 arrests between the coup and Monday.

An order on Sunday that appeared to be from the Ministry of Transport and Communications told mobile phone service providers to shut down internet connections from 1am to 9am Monday.

"In this most delicate moment, the Holy See wishes to assure once again its spiritual closeness, prayer and solidarity with the people of Myanmar", Archbishop Ivan Jurkovic, the Holy See's permanent observer to the UN Human Rights Council, said on February 12.

The military seeks to quell the large-scale demonstrations calling for the junta that seized power this month to reinstate the elected government. These are signs of desperation.

"Attention generals: You WILL be held accountable", he tweeted. The commission rejected the military's claims of widespread fraud in November's elections, which the NLD won in a landslide.

Foreign embassies in Myanmar, including those of the US and European Union member states, issued a joint statement Sunday saying they "unequivocally condemn the detention of political leaders, social activists and civil servants" and called for an end to violence against protesters.

The amendments to the penal code, posted on a military website, include a 20-year prison term for inciting hatred of the government or military or hindering the security forces preserving state stability.

Recommended

loading...
...

Major winter storm keeps trucking across the South Major winter storm keeps trucking across the South While temperatures are forecast to rise, the weather across the central US will remain extremely cold this week. The outages began as controlled, rolling power cuts but have cascaded into prolonged blackouts in some areas.

Nancy Pelosi Plans ‘Independent 9/11-Type Commission’ to Investigate Capitol Riot Nancy Pelosi Plans ‘Independent 9/11-Type Commission’ to Investigate Capitol Riot Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana told ABC News there should be a "complete investigation" and Trump "should be held accountable". In a letter to lawmakers, Pelosi, D-Calif., said that an assessment of Congressional security by retired Army Lt.

List of priority populations for Phase 1 of Ontario's vaccine distribution plan List of priority populations for Phase 1 of Ontario's vaccine distribution plan Indigenous adults in northern, remote and higher-risk communities, including on-reserve and urban communities. Adult recipients of chronic home care.

Trump clears second impeachment trial, vows to fight on Trump clears second impeachment trial, vows to fight on However, Johnson's message has been overshadowed by the newly-elected US President Joe Biden's decreasing faith in American democracy.

COVID-19 Vaccines To Arrive This Week COVID-19 Vaccines To Arrive This Week Earlier in the day, opposition health spokesman Mark Butler criticised the government for not rolling the vaccines out sooner. More than 142,000 doses had arrived at Sydney airport, the government said.

Biden administration opens gateway to 25,000 asylum seekers Biden administration opens gateway to 25,000 asylum seekers The policy which is officially known as Migrant Protection Protocols was introduced in January 2019. It said there are approximately 25,000 active cases still.

Biden administration to begin admitting migrants forced to wait in Mexico Biden administration to begin admitting migrants forced to wait in Mexico Administration officials declined to name them out of fear they may encourage a rush of people to those locations. He later sought funding from the U.S.

Ontario announces who's next in line for COVID-19 vaccines Ontario announces who's next in line for COVID-19 vaccines However, he also admitted concerns about the levels of vaccine uptake amongst some communities. The UK has reached its target of first Covid-19 vaccine doses to 15 million of its citizens.

Duke and Duchess of Sussex expecting their second child Duke and Duchess of Sussex expecting their second child The black and white image that has just been released was taken remotely by their friend, photographer Misan Harriman . The Duchess of Sussex said she wrote the article about her own loss to encourage others to talk about it.

Peak of major winter blast to begin across most of the country Peak of major winter blast to begin across most of the country This upcoming pattern for the next week is the type where I recommend being sure you have adequate ice melt on hand. Also by Monday morning, a heavy wintry mix will move across Houston into Louisiana and Mississippi.

Myanmar coup: Neighborhood groups block night arrests Myanmar coup: Neighborhood groups block night arrests The number of coup-linked detentions is now more than 200, according to monitor Assistance Association for Political Prisoners. They are sought under Article 505 (b) of the Penal Code, which criminalizes speech that can incite public panic or alarm.

White House aide resigns after threatening reporter White House aide resigns after threatening reporter A day after being sworn in as president, Biden warned his White House staff against mistreating others. So, those were the steps that were taken, and we felt it was a serious punishment.

Powerful quake hits Japan near Fukushima Powerful quake  hits Japan near Fukushima Aerial footage broadcast by NHK showed a hillside that collapsed onto a highway in Fukushima region, severing the road. There were no immediate reports of significant damage, though local news broadcast images of a landslide on a highway.

Ice Storm Warning: Freezing rain will cause ice accumulation Ice Storm Warning: Freezing rain will cause ice accumulation The National Weather Service in Huntsville said a slight chance of freezing rain will arrive tonight for northwest Alabama. Some brief travel problems will be possible before the precipitation changes over to all rain later Saturday morning.

Will counter China's aggressive, coercive action: Joe Biden administration Will counter China's aggressive, coercive action: Joe Biden administration Navy's 7th Fleet, said in a statement . "They constitute a red line that must not be crossed". The Japan-based USS John S McCain made the routine transit in accordance with global law, Lt.