The ruling military authorities in Myanmar severely restricted access to the Internet at night, for the eighth consecutive night
Today, shops and markets in Myanmar closed their doors in a general strike called to reject the military coup, while demonstrations took place in many towns and cities, despite a message of intimidation from the ruling military council that the confrontation will lead to more deaths.
Residents in Yangon – the second largest city in the country – said that the roads leading to some embassies, including the US embassy, were closed today, after diplomatic missions became gathering points for protesters calling for foreign intervention to stop the military’s control of power since the beginning of the month.
Thousands of people gathered today in the Bahan district of Yangon city, and sat on the road holding several banners in support of the arrested Aung San Suu Kyi, without the possibility of contacting any party since the coup d’état at the beginning of this month.
In Rangoon – the current name for Yangon – there was an increase in security deployment, with the increase in military vehicles in the streets, while security forces blocked the streets near Bahan district.
The funeral of a demonstrator
On Sunday, hundreds of Myanmar residents attended a funeral in the capital Naypyidaw, Lama Thawati Khaeng, a young woman who became a symbol of resistance after she was shot in the head on February 9 during her protest, and two other protesters were killed last Saturday when police opened fire in the city of Mandalay. The bloodiest day since the start of the anti-coup protests.
Although three weeks have passed since the army seized power, overthrew the elected government, and arrested the state advisor, Aung San Sochi, the military council failed to stop the daily protests and the civil disobedience movement that called for a reversal of the coup and the release of Sochi.
In light of the escalation of the protests, a state-owned television station warned the demonstrators not to carry out protests today, and said that “the protesters are now inciting people, especially the enthusiastic teenagers and youth, on the path of a confrontation, in which they will suffer loss of life.”
Myanmar’s ruling military authorities severely limited access to the Internet yesterday night, for the eighth consecutive night, according to Netblocks, a specialist observatory based in the United Kingdom.
The army seized power after alleging fraud in the parliamentary elections that took place on November 8, which were swept by the National League for Democracy party led by Sochi. The Electoral Commission rejected complaints of fraud in the elections.
The Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners in Myanmar said that 640 people have been arrested, charged or sentenced since the coup, including former members of the government and opponents of the army’s takeover of power.
At the international level, European Union foreign ministers meet today to discuss the possibility of imposing sanctions on the ruling military in Myanmar, and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas stated before the meeting that the Union might resort to imposing sanctions as a last resort in the face of the military coup in Myanmar.
The German minister stated that the European Union will use all diplomatic channels to push for de-escalation in Myanmar, but is preparing sanctions against the country’s military regime.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said on Twitter on Sunday evening that the United States would continue to take “firm measures” against the authorities that violently suppress opponents of the military coup in Myanmar, and in the past few days, Washington had imposed sanctions on senior military leaders in Myanmar.