Saturday, 19 June, 2021


United Kingdom unveils aid ban and fresh sanctions over Myanmar coup

Myanmar faces more protests as Indonesian diplomatic efforts falter Facebook kicks Myanmar military and its associates off its platform
Melba Vasquez | 27 February, 2021, 08:59

Nevertheless, at least three protesters have died and the army says a policeman was also killed. The number of injured people and their condition could not immediately be learned. The social media giant accused officials of staging a coup and inciting violence.

Protests continued across the country on Wednesday, from Yangon, where ethnic minority groups dressed in traditional outfits and waved flags, to Mandalay, where protesters rode elephants who had "Down with Military Dictatorship" scrawled across their bodies.

English has been widely used for signs and posters and online memes by the anti-coup demonstrators in an evident effort to win worldwide support.

Reports said the pro-military marchers were jeered by bystanders near the Central Railway station and responded by firing slingshots, throwing stones and then chasing them.

At least 689 people are under detention or have outstanding charges that have been laid against them since the coup, according to Myanmar's Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.

Marudi said she had conveyed the same principles to a group of elected members of Myanmar's Parliament who were barred by the military coup from taking their seats.

Such confrontations jeopardize outside diplomatic efforts to help resolve Myanmar's crisis through dialogue.

"Today's package of measures sends a clear message to the military regime in Myanmar that those responsible for human rights violations will be held to account, and the authorities must hand back control to a government elected by the people of Myanmar", Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said in a statement.

Marsudi has been on a "shuttle diplomacy" mission over the past two weeks discussing the Myanmar crisis during visits to Brunei and Singapore as well as phone calls with other Southeast Asian counterparts.

Britain announced on Thursday further sanctions against members of Myanmar's military after it seized power in a coup at the start of this month.

Myanmar has been in turmoil since the army seized power and detained civilian government leader Aung San Suu Kyi and many members of her party leadership, after the military complained of fraud in the Nov 8 election, which was swept by Ms Suu Kyi's party.

"Events since the February 1 coup, including deadly violence, have precipitated a need for this ban", Facebook said in a blog post.

Facebook has already banned several military-linked accounts since the coup, including army-controlled Myawaddy TV and state television broadcaster MRTV.

The ban does not apply to government agencies that support essential public services, such as the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health and Sport, Facebook said.

Several people were also hurt by police in the second city of Mandalay, domestic media and an emergency worker said.

"If there is any escalation in terms of military brutality - and sadly as we have seen this before in Myanmar - against people exercising their basic rights, let us act swiftly and collectively", Burgener added.

Security forces have steadily increased the use of force against a massive and largely peaceful civil disobedience campaign demanding Myanmar's junta relinquish power.

Facebook is the de facto Internet in Myanmar, used nearly universally for communication and access to everyday services, and has emerged as a major platform for organizing resistance to the military coup. For more than a week it has also turned off access to the internet nightly from 1 a.m.

The military has declared it will hold elections but it hasn't put a timeline. It has imposed a one-year state of emergency.

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