The escalation of violence in Myanmar, the former Burma, does not stop and the country is hurtling towards absolute collapse. After the bloodiest day to date after the coup on February 1, with at least 44 fatalities on Sunday, according to the Burmese Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners, the security forces continued to resort to violence on Monday to disperse protesters gathered in Mandalay, Burmese’s second largest city, and elsewhere in the country. The Military Junta has declared martial law in several districts of Mandalay and Yangon, the Burmese commercial capital, where Chinese-owned businesses and factories were raided on the eve.
At least three people have died this Monday in Myingyan, in the Mandalay region, due to the shooting of the police and the Army against protesters and residents, according to the digital publication. The Irrawady. Images published by this medium and Myanmar Now They witness the holding of protests in Mandalay and Yangon, as well as elsewhere, this Monday, despite the violent episodes experienced over the weekend.
According to the Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners, at least 44 people died on Sunday, increasing the total number of fatalities since the riot to more than 120. The independent medium Myanmar Now, which cites hospital sources from Yangon, raises the death toll to 59 dead in Yangon alone on Sunday due to the repression of security forces, which increase the use of live fire against protesters calling for the return of the civil government of Aung San Suu Kyi, deposed by the military.
“The horrific increase in the number of protesters killed by live fire over the weekend shows how emboldened the security forces are,” Phil Robertson, Asia director for Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a statement. the one that urges more international sanctions against the generals and their conglomerates.
The Military Junta that has governed the country since the riot has declared “absolute” martial law in at least six districts of Yangon and several of Mandalay, after factories and shops run by Chinese in the district of Hlaing Tharyar – an impoverished suburb Yangon’s industrialist known for being home to immigrants and foreign businesses – were robbed and set on fire Sunday. The declaration of martial law implies that anyone who is detained in those places will be tried in military and not civil courts, with sentences ranging from three years in prison to the death penalty.
The protesters have adopted a very critical tone towards the second world economy, which they accuse of supporting the coup. Beijing, which developed a good relationship with Suu Kyi’s civilian government but has been reluctant to condemn the coup exhaustively, denies it and has called on the Board to take steps to protect the safety of its investments and citizens in Myanmar.
Burmese television network Myawady, controlled by the military, said about 2,000 protesters on Sunday blocked access to Chinese factories and shops to prevent the fires from being extinguished. The Chinese newspaper Global Times, in the hands of the Communist Party, published in an editorial on Monday that “those who maliciously defame China and instigate attacks on Chinese factories must be severely punished.” According to this newspaper, 32 businesses were “vandalized” by protesters and two Chinese workers were injured.
The civil disobedience movement (CDM), which from Myanmar calls for a strike and participation in the protests against the Junta, for its part accuses the military of what happened. “Any crime that occurs after February 1, 2021 is the fault of the megalomaniacs Min Aung Hlaing (the commander-in-chief of the armed forces) and his terrorist junta,” he said on his Twitter account.
As violence escalates, communication lines within Myanmar are deteriorating. The internet connection through the mobile phone appears cut throughout the country this Monday, so that navigation is only available through a wireless network or Wi-Fi. It is unknown if this is a new measure by the Board – which already used to cut telecommunications during the night – or responds to a technical problem.
A court hearing scheduled for Monday in the capital Naypyidaw against Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto leader of the deposed civilian government, has been postponed until March 24 due to “problems with the internet connection.” The Nobel, accused of at least four counts – among them accepting alleged bribes worth around 500,000 euros – had to appear by videoconference.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.