Wednesday, 21 April, 2021


Suu Kyi accepted illegal payments of $600,000, plus gold, says Myanmar junta

Myanmar security forces surround protesters as U.S. pleads for them UN Security Council 'strongly condemns' Myanmar military's violence
Melba Vasquez | 12 March, 2021, 12:30

Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the United Nations, on Wednesday called for a "de-escalation" in the crisis in Myanmar.

Thomas-Greenfield also stressed that all council members "spoke with one voice to condemn the ongoing violence against peaceful protesters".

Myanmar security forces fired tear gas and surrounded hundreds of anti-junta protesters at two places in Yangon on Wednesday, witnesses said, prompting the U.S. embassy to call for their withdrawal.

The UN Security Council yesterday condemned violence against protesters and urged the army to show restraint, but failed to denounce the military takeover as a coup or threaten further action due to opposition from China and Russian Federation.

The military - which defends its takeover by citing alleged voting irregularities in November elections won by civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi's party - held a rare news conference on Thursday accusing her of corruption. Its accusations had been dismissed by the electoral commission.

In central Myanmar's Myaing township, six people were killed on Thursday as security forces cracked down on a protest.

It called for a stop to the killings and for the release of detainees.

Opposition to the coup is being spearheaded by young people who lived in freedom for 10 years, and it has wide support throughout the country from civil servants, railway workers who were targeted Wednesday, Buddhist monks, and people of all classes and ages. The march ended before security forces could confront them.

Another part of Yangon, North Okkalapa, was also reeling after 300 arrests on Wednesday, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners monitoring group.

Security forces arrested 389 protestors during the demonstration, including five student union members, but the 23 protestors charged Thursday have gone into hiding.

This is the second time in more than a month that the Security Council has unanimously addressed and blamed the generals who seized power in Myanmar.

Earlier versions of the British-drafted resolution, under discussion since Friday, was more forthright but was blocked on Tuesday, with China, Vietnam, India and Russian Federation opposed, diplomats said.

"In this respect, Myanmar would like to seek the understanding from the United Nations and worldwide community on its efforts to maintain sovereignty, political independence, territorial integrity, national unity and social stability throughout the country", the statement said.

Meanwhile, after being banned from Facebook and YouTube, Myanmar state network MRTV, which is now controlled by the military, has moved to publishing videos on online platform Vimeo.

Reports from Kachin, the northernmost state, said guerrilla forces from the Kachin ethnic minority attacked a government base on Thursday and were in turn attacked.

The Council continued to call for safe and unimpeded humanitarian access to all people in need, and highlighted that the current situation has the potential to exacerbate existing challenges in Rakhine state and other regions. "It is vital that the rights of minorities are fully protected", the presidential statement said.

Some 2,000 people have also been detained since the coup, it says.

In the Sanchaung township in Yangon, Myanmar's commercial hub, people had another sleepless night as security forces raided apartments searching for lost police weapons.

It also reiterated its support for Christine Schraner Burgener, the United Nations special envoy on Myanmar, and encouraged her to maintain communication and efforts to engage intensively with all relevant parties in Myanmar and to visit the country as soon as possible.

"He said it's worth dying for", she said through her tears.

"She may have her defects but bribery and corruption aren't her traits", he said.

"The worldwide community should create an enabling environment for relevant parties in Myanmar to address differences under the constitutional and legal framework".

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