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Military rule in Myanmar

Military rule in Myanmar

LATEST UPDATE: June 15, 2021 - 8:05am
LOCATION:
YANGON
MYANMAR
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12 hours ago

Myanmar's ambassador to the United Nations, who has refused to leave his post despite being fired after the February coup, has called for "effective collective measures" against the junta, ahead of expected Security Council talks on the situation.

"It is most urgent that the international community take effective collective measures to prevent any possible crimes against humanity from happening and the emergence of a potential regional humanitarian crisis," Kyaw Moe Tun wrote in a letter to the world body dated May 28 and published on Monday.

"Strong, decisive and unified measures are imperative and needed immediately," he wrote. 

"The lack of such actions by the international community will further encourage the military to continue committing inhumane and brutal acts against civilians and will result in the further loss of lives of innocent civilians in Myanmar."

Kyaw Moe Tun has passionately rejected the February 1 coup and brushed aside the junta's claims that he no longer represents Myanmar. The United Nations still considers him as the rightful envoy. — AFP

1 day ago

A US journalist detained in Myanmar since March was released on Monday after charges against him were dropped, his lawyer says.

US citizen Nathan Maung "was released this morning from Insein prison as the police withdrew the charges against him", and will fly back to the US on Tuesday, his lawyer Tin Zar Oo toells AFP.

Maung, who founded local outlet Kamayut Media, had faced charges under a colonial-era law that criminalises encouraging dissent against the military, she adds. —  AFP

June 10, 2021

Myanmar's deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been hit with fresh corruption charges, state-run media reports Thursday. 

The Anti-Corruption Commission found evidence that she had committed "corruption using her rank", according to the Global New Light of Myanmar. "So she was charged under Anti-Corruption Law section 55." — AFP

June 7, 2021

The trial of ousted Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi will hear its first testimony from next Monday, her lawyer tells AFP Monday. 

"We will get testimonies from plaintiff and witnesses starting from next hearing," scheduled for Monday June 14, lawyer Min Min Soe says after a meeting with the detained Suu Kyi in the capital Naypyidaw. —  AFP

June 1, 2021

Schools in Myanmar will open on Tuesday for the first time since the military seized power, but teachers and students are set to defy the junta's calls for full classrooms in a show of resistance.

Four months of national turmoil have followed the February ouster of civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, with more than 800 people killed by security forces and a nationwide strike crippling the economy.

Public school teachers — dressed in the green and white uniforms mandated by the education ministry — were prominent in the early mass protests, joining railway workers, doctors and civil servants on the streets. — AFP

May 25, 2021

The UN special envoy for Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener, said Monday she still hopes to visit the country after seven weeks spent in the region waiting for the junta that staged a coup in February to allow her in.

During a meeting in Indonesia at the end of April with the head of the Myanmar junta, General Min Aung Hlaing "didn't say that he doesn't want to speak with me anymore," the Swiss diplomat said at a virtual press conference in Bangkok, where she has spent most of her time since early April.

The general said "it's not the right time to come to Myanmar," she said. "That was 'not yet' but not a 'no'... So I will not give up to continue this discussion."

Burgener said she would travel on Tuesday to Japan for meetings with officials there.

Asked about her relations with China, Myanmar's main backer but which she has not visited since her appointment, the envoy said she was available.

"It's a very unstable situation for everybody in the region and clearly I'm ready to talk with the Chinese government wherever they like because I think dialogue is needed with all member states," she said. — AFP 

May 24, 2021

Detained Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi says her ousted party would "exist as long as the people exist", during her first in-person court appearance since a February coup, her lawyer tells AFP Monday.

"She wishes her people to stay healthy and affirmed the NLD (National League for Democracy) will exist as long as people exist, because it was founded for the people," Min Min Soe tells AFP. —  AFP

May 22, 2021

Myanmar's junta has threatened to dissolve the political party of ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi over alleged voter fraud in the 2020 election, an official says.

Union Election Commission chair Thein Soe says the investigation into November's election result was almost complete.

"What shall we do with the (National League for Democracy) party that (acted) illegally. Should we dissolve the party or charge those who committed this (illegal activity) as traitors of the nation? We will analyse and consider taking this action," he says, in a video posted on a local media outlet's Facebook account. — AFP

May 21, 2021

Tokyo could freeze all aid to Myanmar, Japan's foreign minister warned in an interview published Friday, as the military junta continues to use lethal force against opponents of its coup.

Japan is a top donor to Myanmar, and has already suspended new aid after the military ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

But Toshimitsu Motegi, speaking to the Nikkei newspaper, said the freeze could be expanded.

"We don't want to do that at all, but we have to state firmly that it will be difficult to continue under these circumstances," he told the newspaper.

"As a country that supported Myanmar's democratisation in various ways, and as a friend, we must represent the international community and convey that clearly."

Japan announced in March it was halting all new aid to impoverished Myanmar in response to the coup, though it has not imposed the individual sanctions on military and police commanders implemented by some other countries. — AFP

May 20, 2021

Two officials at Myanmar's embassy in Tokyo have become the latest diplomats dismissed by the junta after protesting the military coup in their country, Japan's Kyodo news agency reported Thursday.

Administrator Aung Soe Moe and a junior colleague were fired after they went on strike, the agency said.

Citing a leaked document, Kyodo said some 100 Myanmar diplomats around the world have been dismissed after opposing the coup.

Myanmar's military ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi in February, triggering a massive uprising that authorities have sought to quell with lethal force.

Kyodo said the two diplomats left the embassy compound on March 11, days after posting on Facebook in support of peaceful anti-junta protests.

They did not resign but have had their diplomatic status and passports revoked, and are living in Tokyo with the help of other Myanmar nationals, Kyodo said.  — AFP

May 20, 2021

Two officials at Myanmar's embassy in Tokyo have become the latest diplomats dismissed by the junta after protesting the military coup in their country, Japan's Kyodo news agency reports.

Administrator Aung Soe Moe and a junior colleague were fired after they went on strike, the agency says.

Citing a leaked document, Kyodo says some 100 Myanmar diplomats around the world have been dismissed after opposing the coup. — AFP

May 18, 2021

A UN General Assembly meeting set for Tuesday to discuss a non-binding resolution on halting arms transfers to Myanmar was postponed indefinitely because there was not enough support to pass the text, diplomatic sources said Monday. 

The authors "did not have the support they expected" in order to pass the motion with a large majority of the Assembly's 193 member countries, one diplomat said on condition of anonymity. 

And they "wanted more time for negotiations," especially with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, another source told AFP. 

The text was drafted at the request of Liechtenstein, with the support of 48 countries, including Britain, the European Union and the United States — but with South Korea as the only Asian country signed on. 

South Korea's support came after several weeks of negotiations in an effort to gain the backing of at least one ASEAN country. — AFP

May 17, 2021

The UN General Assembly on Tuesday is set to consider a draft non-binding resolution calling for "an immediate suspension" of the transfer of weapons to the military junta of Myanmar, a UN official said Sunday.

Unlike Security Council resolutions, General Assembly resolutions are non-binding but carry strong political significance.

If an approval by consensus cannot be reached then the full General Assembly -- 193 member states -- will vote on the measure.

Introduced by Liechtenstein, with support from the European Union, Britain, and the United States, the measure will be considered at the plenary meeting set for Tuesday at 1900 GMT. 

The draft resolution calls for "an immediate suspension of the direct and indirect supply, sale, or transfer of all weapons, munitions, and other military-related equipment to Myanmar." — AFP 

May 14, 2021

Beaten, kicked in the groin and threatened with sexual violence — a young Myanmar teenager detained by the junta's security forces has described the treatment suffered by some women and girls behind bars.

Shwe Yamin Htet, 17, and her mother were arrested on April 14 in Yangon, Myanmar's commercial capital, which has been blanketed with heavy security since the military seized power in a coup.

As they were walking to a friend's house from a morning protest, she said, they were stopped by two security trucks. 

"They forced us to crouch face-down on the ground," Shwe Yamin Htet told AFP.

The high school student then faced six days of fear and anxiety, held with women who alleged torture and abuse by police behind closed doors.

Shwe Yamin Htet said she herself had to endure a police officer molesting her during an interrogation session. — AFP

May 13, 2021

Myanmar's football coach Antoine Hey said he hasn't given up hope of ending a 55-year absence from the Asian Cup despite a withdrawal by players in protest at the country's military coup.

Hey will take a weakened squad to the joint 2022 World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup qualifiers in Japan after several players pulled out following the February coup that ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

An estimated 780 people have been killed by security forces in the Southeast Asian country during protests against the takeover.

An official at the Myanmar Football Federation told AFP that as many as half of the usual squad may be absent from the qualifiers, starting on May 28 against Japan.

Some returned to their home provinces during the protests, while others have publicly refused to play.  — AFP

May 11, 2021

Three Myanmar journalists have been arrested in Thailand after fleeing across the border to escape a crackdown by the military junta, their employer has said.

The trio were set to appear in court on Tuesday, their editor added, urging Thai authorities not to repatriate them to the coup-hit country.

Myanmar has been in turmoil since the military ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1, triggering a mass uprising as large swathes of the population take to the streets to demand democracy. —  AFP

May 10, 2021

One hundred days after the military seized power in Myanmar, the nun who pleaded for protesters on her knees in the street says the coup has cast a pall of fear and depression over the country.

The image of Sister Ann Rose Nu Tawng kneeling in the dust, arms spread, begging police not to shoot "the children" went viral in March as an uprising swelled in Myanmar.

Today, the 45-year-old nun works in a clinic in Myanmar's northernmost Kachin state, tending to patients injured by security forces, sickened from stress, and even those who try to kill themselves.

"With the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic and brutal actions of the military, there are more people who feel depressed and want to commit suicide," she told AFP.

"People are living in fear and they feel hopeless." 

On Tuesday, 100 days will have passed since the generals made their lightning power grab in the early morning of February 1, ousting and detaining civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi. — AFP

May 4, 2021

The Myanmar junta has charged a Japanese journalist under a "fake news" law, a report said Tuesday, in the latest blow to press freedom since the military seized power.

Freelance reporter Yuki Kitazumi was arrested last month and charged on Monday — World Press Freedom Day — with spreading fake news, according to a report by Kyodo news agency.

He is one of 50 journalists currently held in Myanmar as part of the junta's crackdown on widespread protests against its February 1 coup.

The country has been in turmoil since civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi's government was ousted, with more than 750 people killed as security forces struggle to quash near-daily demonstrations against their rule. — AFP

April 28, 2021

Myanmar's military launched air assaults for the second day in a row into rebel-held territory after gunfire was heard from neighboring Thailand, a Thai official said Wednesday, as fighting escalates along the border.

Myanmar has been in turmoil since the junta ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi in a February 1 coup, its power grab angering much of its population.

The anti-junta movement has also garnered some support from some ethnic rebel groups, which controls territory along Myanmar's border regions.

The Karen National Union (KNU), one of the most prominent, has been among the junta's most vocal opponents — blasting the junta for violence against anti-coup protesters. 

Clashes with the military in KNU's territory along the eastern border have increased since Feb 1, with the junta deploying air assaults last month -- the first instance in Karen state in over 20 years. — AFP

April 26, 2021

Myanmar's junta again postponed court proceedings against deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Monday her lawyers said, as they fight for permission to visit her 12 weeks after she was detained.

Myanmar has been in turmoil since the military ousted the Nobel laureate in a February 1 coup, shunting the country back into junta rule after a brief experiment with democracy. 

Large swathes of the population have taken to the streets in protest, with security forces unleashing a brutal campaign to quell the massive uprising. 

Meanwhile Suu Kyi has been under house arrest, with the junta charging her under six cases — including for sedition and having unlicensed walkie-talkies. 

But movement on her case was once again delayed until May 10, her lawyer Min Min Soe said Monday after a hearing. — AFP

April 24, 2021

Myanmar junta leader Min Aung Hlaing arrives in Jakarta for crisis talks with Southeast Asian leaders, in his first foreign trip since military forces staged a coup and subsequent crackdown that has left more than 700 dead.

An Indonesian government video showed the senior general, dressed in a dark suit, stepping off a Myanmar Airways International plane after it landed in the capital. — AFP

April 22, 2021

A weekend summit on the Myanmar coup crisis will be a test for ASEAN's credibility and unity, a senior Thai official said Thursday, amid an escalating death toll and violence across its western border.

Security forces in Myanmar have killed at least 739 people since a February 1 military coup ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, according to a local monitoring group.

The Myanmar military has stepped up the use of lethal force as it seeks to quell mass protests against the junta, with an estimated 250,000 people now displaced, according to UN envoy Tom Andrews.

Leaders and foreign ministers from the 10-country Association of Southeast Asian Nations are set to hold talks on the mounting Myanmar crisis in Jakarta on Saturday.

Coup leader Min Aung Hlaing will travel to Indonesia for the summit, in his first overseas trip since the putsch, Nikkei Asia reported. — AFP

April 19, 2021

The EU on Monday imposed sanctions on 10 Myanmar junta officials and two conglomerates linked to the military over the coup and bloody crackdown on protesters, European officials said. 

"In addition to the listing of individuals, two economic conglomerates that are attributed to the military are also affected," German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said, after a videoconference with EU counterparts. — AFP

April 19, 2021

Japan has urged Myanmar authorities to release a Japanese journalist in custody at a Yangon prison, one of at least 65 reporters arrested during the junta's crackdown on anti-coup protests.

The military has ramped up its attempts to crush dissent following mass demonstrations against its ousting of civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, with at least 737 civilians killed and the press increasingly under attack.

Freelance reporter Yuki Kitazumi was detained on Sunday, and a Japanese embassy spokesman confirmed that he was transferred overnight from a police watchhouse to the Insein prison. —  AFP

April 17, 2021

Thai foreign ministry says Myanmar's junta leader "confirmed" to attend ASEAN meeting.

April 14, 2021

Anti-coup protesters in Myanmar slosh red paint in the streets to symbolize the blood spilled and more than 700 lives lost in a brutal military crackdown.

The country is barely functioning and the economy has stalled since the military seized power from civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1.

The military junta has sought to quell mass protests with lethal force and a local monitoring group has verified at least 714 civilian deaths but warns the toll is likely to be even higher. — AFP

April 12, 2021

Instead of the usual water pistols, splashing and jubilant crowds during Myanmar's New Year festival of Thingyan, this year's holiday will see real guns, blood on the streets and grief over a democracy robbed.

For a second year running, Myanmar's traditional Buddhist holiday period, which runs from Tuesday to Friday this week, has been disrupted.

Pandemic restrictions forced the cancellation of public water fights, street parties and dance performances last year.

But the February 1 military coup which ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi from power, and a subsequent security crackdown that has claimed more than 700 lives, has darkened the mood in 2021. — AFP

April 11, 2021

Myanmar youth are fighting the junta's internet shutdown and information suppression with an explosive underground printed newsletter they are secretly distributing across communities.

For 56 days straight there have been internet outages in coup-hit Myanmar, according to monitoring group NetBlocks.

The country has been in turmoil since democratically-elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi was ousted in a February 1 coup, triggering a mass uprising that has resulted in a brutal security crackdown and more than 700 civilian deaths.

Thirty-year-old Lynn Thant, not his real name, started the underground newsletter and gave it the edgy name Molotov to appeal to young people.

"This is our response to those who slow down the flow of information — and that's a threat to us," he told AFP. — AFP

April 10, 2021

The Milk Tea Alliance has formally sent an open letter to various United Nations and ASEAN bodies and their member-states to demand that they act firmly and immediately to address the human rights, humanitarian, and political crisis that is currently unfolding in Myanmar.

“Deadly crackdowns of pro-democracy protests by the Myanmar military have now turned into abominable slaughters of innocent civilians in their own homes. The military has used heavy weaponry, hand grenades, RPGs, and air strikes on unarmed civilians. The situation is becoming very alarming as violence escalates each day. And yet, the feeble response from the international community has been downright disappointing.” Me Me Khant, a young Myanmar poet and activist who is part of the Milk Tea Alliance, shares.

April 9, 2021

The UN's special envoy for Myanmar is to embark on an Asian tour to step up diplomatic efforts to tackle the crisis, as the death toll from the junta's crackdown on dissent passed 600 on Friday.

The push by Christine Schraner Burgener comes amid mounting international concern at events in Myanmar, rocked by daily protests since the military ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and seized power on February 1.

Burgener will start her trip in Thailand and will also visit China, though exact details and timings for her trip have not been confirmed. —  AFP

April 8, 2021

Britain's foreign secretary condemns Myanmar's junta Thursday, after the military attaché seized the country's embassy in London.

"We condemn the bullying actions of the Myanmar military regime in London yesterday," Dominic Raab tweets.

April 7, 2021

A group representing Myanmar's ousted civilian government said Wednesday it has gathered 180,000 pieces of evidence showing rights abuses by the junta including torture and extrajudicial killings.

The country has been in turmoil since the army deposed civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1, with nearly 600 people killed in a crackdown on anti-coup protests.

The Committee for Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) — a group of MPs from Suu Kyi's party — said its lawyers would meet UN investigators to discuss alleged atrocities committed by the junta.

"CRPH has received 180,000 items of evidence. This evidence shows widescale abuses of human rights by the military," the group said in a statement.

They include more than 540 extrajudicial executions, 10 deaths of prisoners in custody, torture, illegal detentions and disproportionate use of force against peaceful protests, the statement said. — AFP

April 7, 2021

A group representing Myanmar's ousted civilian government says it has gathered 180,000 pieces of evidence showing rights abuses by the junta including torture and extrajudicial killings.

The country has been in turmoil since the army deposed civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1, with nearly 600 people killed in a crackdown on anti-coup protests.

The Committee for Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) -- a group of MPs from Suu Kyi's party -- says its lawyers would meet UN investigators to discuss alleged atrocities committed by the junta. — AFP

April 6, 2021

Myanmar activists daubed roadways with red paint Tuesday to protest against the junta's bloody crackdown on protests, as an online fundraising drive to support the movement neared the $10-million mark.

The country has been in turmoil since the military ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1, rocked by daily clashes between protestors and authorities that have left at least 570 people dead.

Ten of Myanmar's ethnic rebel armies voiced support for the protest movement at the weekend, stoking fears that the country could slide into broader civil conflict, while the United Nations has warned of a looming "bloodbath". 

On Tuesday, in the commercial capital Yangon, people smeared red paint and handprints on bus stops and pavements in protest at the military's violence. 

The so-called "bleeding dye strike" is the latest creative method thought up by protestors to voice opposition without risking being shot or arrested by demonstrating in person.

One slogan painted on a bus stop said the military was being misused to protect junta chief Min Aung Hlaing, and urged soldiers not to shoot civilians. — AFP

April 5, 2021

An Australian couple was released from house arrest in Myanmar and allowed to leave the country, as protests against the military junta continued Monday.

Myanmar has been in turmoil since a February 1 coup ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and derailed the country's experiment with democracy.

Business consultants Matthew O'Kane and Christa Avery, a dual Canadian-Australian citizen, tried to leave the country on a relief flight in late March but were barred from departing and placed under house arrest.

"I am of course incredibly relieved to have been released and to be on my way home with my husband Matt," Avery said in a statement.

"Even though I knew that I had done nothing wrong it was very stressful being held under house arrest for two weeks, not knowing what was going to be the outcome of the questioning."

The couple said they were incredibly sad to leave Myanmar, which was their home for eight years, and hope the country stabilises soon. — AFP

April 4, 2021

Anti-coup demonstrators in Myanmar decorated boiled eggs on Easter Sunday in the latest protest as the military junta continues its brutal crackdown. 

Myanmar has been gripped by severe turmoil since a February 1 coup ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Security forces have sought to quell a mass uprising with lethal force, with the death toll reaching 557 as of Saturday, according to local monitoring group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP).

To coincide with Easter Sunday, scores of Myanmar protesters decorated eggs with political messages and left them on neighbour's doorsteps and hanging in bags on front gates.

Pictures posted on social media showed eggs adorned with Suu Kyi's likeness and three-finger salutes — a symbol of the resistance — while others said "save our people" and "democracy".

One Facebook group promoting the egg protest urged people to be respectful of Christian traditions on Easter Sunday. — AFP

April 2, 2021

Myanmar's junta faces fresh international criticism over the deaths of more than 40 children and the "forced disappearance" of hundreds of people in its crackdown on pro-democracy protests.

The military's ruthless suppression of demonstrations against its February 1 power grab has left 543 civilians dead, including 44 children, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a local monitoring organisation. — AFP

April 2, 2021

The lawyer of Aung San Suu Kyi says Myanmar's ousted civilian leader has been accused of breaking a colonial-era official secrets law, as Britain ramps up sanctions against the junta and the UN Security Council condemned the deaths of hundreds of civilians.

The newly unveiled charge came amid growing international outrage over the February 1 coup and the military's subsequent clampdown on protesters that has left at least 535 people dead.

After two days of back-and-forth negotiations with China, Russia and the rest of the Security Council, members on Thursday unanimously "expressed deep concern at the rapidly deteriorating situation" in Myanmar. — AFP

April 1, 2021

The UN envoy on Myanmar implored the Security Council to take action Wednesday in the Asian nation's escalating crisis, warning of the risk of civil war and an imminent "bloodbath" as the junta violently represses pro-democracy protests.

More than 520 people have died in daily demonstrations since the military overthrew elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1, halting Myanmar's decade-old experiment in democracy.

"I appeal to this Council to consider all available tools to take collective action and do what is right, what the people of Myanmar deserve and prevent a multi-dimensional catastrophe," special envoy Christine Schraner Burgener told the closed-door session, according to remarks obtained by AFP. — AFP

April 1, 2021

China on Wednesday says it wanted a "democratic transition" in military-ruled Myanmar, but ruled out sanctions at a UN Security Council meeting.

"China hopes that Myanmar will restore peace, stability and constitutional order as early as possible and continue to steadily advance democratic transition," Ambassador Zhang Jun tells the closed-door meeting, according to a statement.

"Maintaining peace and stability in Myanmar is in the common interest of the international community. Should Myanmar slide into protracted turbulence, it will be a disaster for Myanmar and the region as a whole," he says. —  AFP

March 31, 2021

The US State Department says it has ordered the departure of non-essential diplomats from Myanmar, amid a crackdown on protesters that has killed hundreds since the country's military coup began.

Daily rallies across Myanmar by unarmed demonstrators demanding the restoration of the elected government and the release of civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi have been met with tear gas, rubber bullets and live rounds.

"The Burmese military has detained and deposed elected government officials. Protests and demonstrations against military rule have occurred and are expected to continue," the State Department says in a statement, using Myanmar's former name of Burma. — AFP

March 31, 2021

The US State Department has ordered the departure of non-essential diplomats from Myanmar, it says in a statement Tuesday, amid a crackdown on protesters that has killed hundreds since the country's military coup began.

Daily rallies across Myanmar by unarmed demonstrators demanding the restoration of the elected government and the release of civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi have been met with tear gas, rubber bullets and live rounds.

"The Burmese military has detained and deposed elected government officials. Protests and demonstrations against military rule have occurred and are expected to continue," the State Department says in a statement, using Myanmar's former name of Burma. —  AFP

March 30, 2021

The Philippines is "profoundly dismayed at reports of excessive and needless force against unarmed protesters in Myanmar on Armed Forces Day," the Department of Foreign Affairs says.

In a statement, the Philippines calls on security forces to "exercise restraint and desist from resorting to disproportionate force against unarmed citizens."

The Philippines has been calling for the release of State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyu and other elected leaders who have been detained by the Myanmar military.

March 30, 2021

A Myanmar footballer playing for a Malaysian club has been hit with a one-match ban for flashing the three-finger salute used by anti-coup protesters during a game, an official said Tuesday.

Hein Htet Aung, who plays for second-division side Selangor FC II, made the political gesture during a match against PDRM FC in early March.

A picture of him flashing the symbol went viral, and he was found to have broken rules prohibiting offensive gestures or language, Malaysia's football association said, adding that his conduct was "unsportsmanlike".

Hein Htet Aung was banned from playing in a game against Perak FC II this Friday, and could face heavier penalties if he repeats the offence.

"Football must be above race, religion and politics," Baljit Singh Sidhu, chairman of the association's disciplinary committee, told AFP. — AFP

March 30, 2021

More than 500 people have been killed in the Myanmar junta's brutal crackdown on protests against its coup to oust civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, a local monitoring group says Tuesday.

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners says it had confirmed a total of 510 civilian deaths but warned the true toll was probably significantly higher. —  AFP

March 30, 2021

France slams "blind and deadly" violence in Myanmar where the ruling junta's ruthless crackdown left more than 100 people dead Saturday, the deadliest weekend since the military coup. 

"The security forces in Myanmar have reached a new stage in blind and deadly violence... and have again used arms against the population, killing more than 100, including very young children," French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian says in a statement.

"While sanctions have already been decided with our European and international partners... I call on all Myanmar forces to break the deadlock into which they are leading their country, put an end to the violence, release unconditionally and immediately all political prisoners, and resume the path of dialogue," Le Drian says. —  AFP

March 29, 2021

The European Union on Sunday condemned as "unacceptable" deadly violence meted out to civilians by the Myanmar military, the day after at least 107 people were killed when security forces fired at anti-coup protesters.

"The escalation of violence with more than 100 civilian killings perpetrated by the military against its own people on its ‘Armed Forces Day’ is unacceptable," EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a statement.

"Far from celebrating, the Myanmar military has made yesterday a day of horror and of shame," he added. —  AFP

March 28, 2021

Defense chiefs from a dozen countries on Sunday jointly condemned the bloodbath in Myanmar a day earlier, when at least 90 people — including several children — were killed after security forces opened fire on anti-coup protesters.

Myanmar has been in turmoil since the generals ousted and detained civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, triggering mass protests demanding a return to democracy.

The junta on Saturday staged a major show of might for its annual Armed Forces Day as the death toll since the February 1 coup climbed to at least 423, according to a local monitoring group.

The defense ministers of 12 countries including the United States, Britain, Japan and Australia condemned the Myanmar military's use of lethal force against civilians.

"A professional military follows international standards for conduct and is responsible for protecting — not harming — the people it serves," the rare joint statement said. — AFP

March 27, 2021

Myanmar's military regime stages a major show of force on Saturday for its annual Armed Forces Day parade, as the junta struggles to quell widespread protests against its rule weeks after seizing power.

The country has been in turmoil since the generals ousted and detained civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi in February, triggering a major uprising demanding a return to democracy.

Violent morning crackdowns by security forces thwarted some plans for fresh protests that had been called in some cities to coincide with the parade in the capital Naypyidaw. — AFP

March 25, 2021

Security forces open fire on anti-coup protesters in Myanmar's eastern Karen state, as demonstrators take to the streets in nationwide dawn rallies to demand a return to democracy.

The military junta has unleashed a deadly wave of violence as it struggles to quell nationwide protests against the February 1 ouster and arrest of civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

But protesters have continued calling for the military to step down, defying nighttime curfews to stage candlelight vigils for the dead, and taking to the streets early in dawn marches to avoid security forces. — AFP

March 23, 2021

Myanmar's military on Tuesday said it was sad about people killed in its brutal crackdown on anti-coup protests, but vowed to press ahead with stamping out what it called "anarchy".

The junta has unleashed deadly violence as it struggles to quell nationwide protests against the February 1 ousting of civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, drawing international condemnation and sanctions.

More than 260 people have been killed since nationwide protests erupted against the coup, according to a local monitoring group.

In a news conference in the capital Naypyidaw, junta spokesman Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun put the death toll at 164. — AFP

March 23, 2021

The European Union and the United States slap sanctions on top police and military commanders linked to last month's coup in Myanmar, as pro-democracy demonstrators head back into the streets in defiance of a violent crackdown on protest. —  AFP

March 22, 2021

A BBC journalist held in Myanmar has been freed, the broadcaster said on Monday, as demonstrators took to the streets for fresh anti-coup protests against the military.

Myanmar's junta has unleashed deadly violence on protesters who have risen against the military's ousting of civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi last month.

More than 2,600 people have been arrested and 250 killed, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), a local monitoring group that has warned fatalities could be even higher.

Aung Thura, a journalist with the BBC's Burmese service, was detained by men in plain clothes while reporting outside a court in the capital Naypyidaw on Friday.

The broadcaster confirmed on Monday in a news story on its website that he had been freed but gave no further details. — AFP

March 21, 2021

Doctors and nurses in central Myanmar rallied in the streets at first light on Sunday, avoiding a confrontation with security forces after another deadly weekend crackdown on anti-coup protesters.

The country has been in turmoil since soldiers ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi last month, triggering nationwide protests demanding a return to democracy.

Security forces have responded with lethal force, using live rounds along with tear gas and rubber bullets in an effort to bring the demonstrations to heel.

The violence failed to deter hundreds of doctors and nurses donning hard hats and brandishing posters of Suu Kyi as they marched through Mandalay, Myanmar's second-largest city and cultural capital. 

Mandalay has been the scene of some of the worst violence from police and troops since the coup and local media said the rally was staged at dawn to evade security forces.  — AFP

March 19, 2021

Roads out of Myanmar's biggest city were choked Friday with people fleeing the junta's deadly crackdown on anti-coup dissent, as authorities in neighbouring Thailand said they were preparing for an influx of refugees.

Myanmar has been in turmoil since the military ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1, triggering a mass uprising that security forces have sought to crush with a campaign of violence and fear. 

More than 220 people have been confirmed killed and 2,000 detained, according to a local monitoring group.

The junta this week imposed martial law over six townships in Yangon, the nation's former capital and commercial hub, effectively putting nearly two million people under direct control of military commanders. 

On Friday, local media showed traffic clogging up a main highway going north out of Yangon, reporting that people were fleeing the city for rural areas. — AFP

March 18, 2021

Myanmar's ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi faces fresh corruption charges from the ruling junta that her lawyer said Thursday were "groundless" but could ensure she would never be able to return to politics.

The coup on February 1 that ousted Suu Kyi's government has brought hundreds of thousands onto the streets to confront the generals, who have responded with a brutal crackdown that has left at least 200 dead.

The new military regime has already issued several criminal charges against the Nobel laureate since she was detained alongside top political allies, including owning unlicensed walkie-talkies and violating coronavirus restrictions. — AFP

March 16, 2021

The UN on Tuesday decried surging deaths in Myanmar since the February 1 coup, warning that detained protesters were facing torture and hundreds had disappeared.

"The death toll has soared over the past week in Myanmar, where security forces have been using lethal force increasingly aggressively against peaceful protesters," UN rights office spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told reporters.

In total, she said, the office had corroborated that a total of 149 people had died in the crackdown on protests since February 1, but stressed that the actual number was surely much higher.

According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), more than 180 people have been killed, including 74 on Sunday alone.

In addition to the killings, Shamdasani warned that security forces were continuing to arbitrarily arrest and detain people throughout the country, with at least 2,084 people currently being held. — AFP

March 16, 2021

At least 138 people have been killed protesting against a military coup in Myanmar since February 1, the United Nations said Monday, condemning the violent crackdown against "peaceful" demonstrators including women and children.

"This includes 38 people who were killed yesterday, the majority in the Hlaing Thayer area of Yangon, while 18 people were killed on Saturday," said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. —  AFP

March 15, 2021

Myanmar's junta declared martial law over two townships in its largest city Yangon on Sunday night, state-run media reports. 

The announcement — which will impose "judicial martial law" on Hlaing Tharyar and neighbouring Shwepyitha townships — comes after the area saw at least 15 killed in crackdowns by security forces against anti-coup protesters on Sunday. 

The junta "gives administrative and judicial martial law power to the Yangon regional commander to practice (in Hlaing Tharyar and Shwepyitha townships)... to perform security, maintain the rule of law and tranquillity more effectively," says an announcer on state-run television news. —  AFP

March 14, 2021

Myanmar is in its "darkest moment" according to a group of MPs in hiding as they urged protesters to move with "invincibility" and the coup-hit nation neared its seventh week under military rule. 

The country has been in turmoil since the military ousted civilian leader Auung San Suu Kyi from power in a February 1 putsch, triggering a mass uprising that has seen hundreds of thousands protest daily for a return to democracy. 

The junta has repeatedly justified its power grab by alleging widespread electoral fraud in November's elections, which Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party had swept in a landslide.

In response, a group of elected MPs, many of whom are in hiding, had formed a shadow "parliament" called the Committee for Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) -- the Burmese word for the country's governing bloc  —to denounce the military regime. 

As anti-coup protesters turn to nighttime rallies to defy a nationwide 8 pm curfew, the acting vice president of the CRPH called for the people to continue protesting against the military's "unjust dictatorship". 

"This is the darkest moment of the nation and the light before the dawn is close," said Mahn Win Khaing Than in a recorded video posted on the CRPH's Facebook page Saturday night. — AFP

March 12, 2021

Britain advises its citizens to flee Myanmar, as a UN expert warned the junta is likely committing "crimes against humanity" in its attempt to stay in power.

The military authorities are cracking down with increasing severity on daily protests against their February 1 coup, with at least 70 people killed according to the UN's top rights expert on the country.

The turmoil prompted Britain, the country's former colonial ruler, to urge its citizens to get out if they could, warning that "political tension and unrest are widespread since the military takeover and levels of violence are rising". — AFP

March 11, 2021

Myanmar junta accuses Aung San Suu Kyi of taking $600,000 illegal payment.

March 11, 2021

The United Nations condemns the Myanmar military's violent crackdown against anti-coup demonstrators, as China's UN ambassador called for de-escalation and American authorities sanctioned members of the junta leader's family.

International pressure has mounted since the army ousted and detained civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi last month, triggering daily protests around the country.

Calls for restraint have also grown more urgent as security forces have responded with an increasingly brutal crackdown involving tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets, as well as isolated incidents of live rounds. — AFP

March 11, 2021

The United Nations condemns the Myanmar military's violent crackdown against anti-coup demonstrators, as China's UN ambassador called for de-escalation and American authorities sanctioned members of the junta leader's family.

International pressure has mounted since the army ousted and detained civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi last month, triggering daily protests around the country.

Calls for restraint have also grown more urgent as security forces have responded with an increasingly brutal crackdown involving tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets, as well as isolated incidents of live rounds. — AFP

March 11, 2021

Security forces for Myanmar's military regime are using battlefield weapons on unarmed protestors and carrying out premeditated killings orchestrated by their commanding officers, Amnesty International says.

The human rights group collated graphic video clips posted on social media to document what it called a "nationwide killing spree" in the weeks since the military seized power on February 1.

"These Myanmar military tactics are far from new, but their killing sprees have never before been livestreamed for the world to see," Joanne Mariner, Amnesty's director of crisis response, says in a new report. — AFP

March 11, 2021

The Chinese ambassador to the United Nations calls Wednesday for a "de-escalation" in the crisis in Myanmar, where the junta has pursued a violent crackdown against peaceful anti-coup demonstrators.

"Now it's time for de-escalation. It's time for diplomacy. It's time for dialogue," says Zhang Jun, after the UN Security Council agreed to condemn Myanmar's military over its actions since ousting civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi last month.

Diplomats tell AFP that the statement agreed by the Security Council "strongly condemns the use of violence against peaceful protesters," the second show of unity on Myanmar in just over a month for its 15 members, including China. —  AFP

March 11, 2021

The UN Security Council unanimously agreed on a statement Wednesday condemning the Myanmar military's use of violence against peaceful anti-coup protesters, diplomats said.

It was the second time in just over a month that the council's 15 members, including China, a traditional ally of the former Burma, made a rare show of unity over Myanmar.

The new statement criticizes the military in Myanmar, saying the council "strongly condemns the use of violence against peaceful protesters, including against women, youth and children." —  AFP

March 10, 2021

Hundreds of soldiers and police swooped on a railway station in Yangon on Wednesday seeking to arrest workers on strike to protest against the military coup in Myanmar.

The country has been in turmoil since the military ousted and detained civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi last month, triggering daily protests around the country to demand the return of democracy.

Security forces have responded with an increasingly brutal crackdown involving tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets, as well as isolated incidents of live rounds.

Close to 2,000 people have been arrested and the death toll has climbed to more than 60. — AFP

March 9, 2021

For the past month, garment worker Khine Mar Nwe has demonstrated alongside her female co-workers at violent protests in Myanmar, risking her life to demand a return to democracy.

The 26-year-old mother used to spend her days hunched over a sewing machine in the commercial city of Yangon, making clothes for western fashion brands. 

But that all changed when the putsch on February 1 ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and triggered mass protests against the new military junta. 

Security forces have responded with an increasingly brutal crackdown on demonstrators, with more than 50 people killed and nearly 1,800 arrested. Despite the dangers, Khine Mar Nwe is determined to fight. 

"We have equal responsibilities with men and we are here to protest shoulder to shoulder with men in the revolution," she told AFP on International Women's Day. — Agence France-Presse

March 9, 2021

UN chief Antonio Guterres calls for the safe release of hundreds of Myanmar protesters "barricaded" inside apartment complexes in Yangon, where security forces are violently cracking down on anti-junta demonstrations, his spokesman said.

The secretary-general "calls for maximum restraint and urges for the safe release of all without violence or arrests," spokesman Stephane Dujarric says. 

"Many of those trapped are women who were peacefully marching in commemoration of International Women's Day," he says. —  AFP

March 8, 2021

Anti-coup protesters gathered across Myanmar on Monday, answering a trade union call for a general strike following a weekend of night raids and arrests.

The country has been in turmoil since a February 1 coup ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi from power and triggered mass protests against the new military junta.

The police and military have responded with an increasingly brutal crackdown on demonstrators, with more than 50 people killed and nearly 1,800 arrested.

Despite the risk, protesters rallied in parts of the commercial capital Yangon, the second-largest city Mandalay and other towns around the country.

Monday's demonstrations followed an appeal by trade unions for mass walkouts to bring the economy to a standstill. — AFP 

March 7, 2021

Myanmar anti-coup demonstrators have vowed big turnouts as the junta regime intensifies its crackdown, following overnight raids in parts of Yangon which targeted officials from Aung San Suu Kyi's political party.

The country has been in chaos since the February 1 coup which ousted civilian leader Suu Kyi from power and triggered a mass uprising opposing the military junta regime.

Wednesday was the deadliest day so far, with the United Nations saying at least 38 people were gunned down as security forces fired into crowds, shooting some protesters in the head. 

— AFP

March 6, 2021

Anti-coup demonstrators returned to the streets of Myanmar Saturday, a day after a United Nations envoy urged the Security Council to hear the nation's "desperate pleas" and take swift action to restore democracy.

The country has been in turmoil since a February 1 putsch ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi from power, triggering a massive uprising from hundreds of thousands angered to be returned to military rule.

Security forces have escalated an increasingly brutal crackdown on demonstrators — killing more than 50 people since the coup — but protesters rallied again on Saturday. 

From the dusty roads of northern Lashio -- where young protesters stared down police behind homemade shields — to central Loikaw city in view of Myanmar's eastern mountains, hundreds continued to march for democracy. 

"Our revolution must win," chanted protesters in Loikaw, who included civil servants like teachers in their green and white uniforms. — AFP

March 4, 2021

France is calling for "the immediate end of the repression in Myanmar", the release of all those detained and for the return of democracy, President Emmanuel Macron said Wednesday.

"We are by your side," Macron tweeted, adding his voice to international protests after the United Nations said at least 38 pro-democracy demonstrators were killed by Myanmar security forces on Wednesday. —  AFP

March 3, 2021

The Philippines says it is "deeply concerned" with the escalation of violence in Myanmar, where AFP reports at least 10 have been killed after security forces fired on protesters.

"The Philippine government reiterates its call for a complete restoration of the status quo ante and allow State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to play her unifying role," the Department of Foreign Affairs says in a statement.

It also calls on security forces "to exercise restraint from using excessive force against unarmed demonstrators."

March 3, 2021

Britain has requested a new United Nations Security Council meeting on coup-hit Myanmar for Friday, diplomatic sources told AFP on Tuesday, as security forces have stepped up their use of violence against demonstrators in the Southeast Asian nation.

The meeting would be behind closed doors at 1500 GMT, according to London's proposal, the same sources said, as were the Council's discussions a day after the military's February 1 ouster of civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The Security Council subsequently voiced "deep concern" over the coup, and called in a draft statement for the "release of all detainees" including Suu Kyi. —  AFP

March 2, 2021

A Myanmar reporter was arrested in his home by the military in a late-night raid, his employer said Tuesday, after days of crackdowns by the junta on anti-coup protesters. 

Myanmar's military has escalated force as it attempts to quell an uprising against its rule, deploying tear gas, rubber bullets and, increasingly, live rounds.

Journalists have found themselves targeted by police and soldiers as they try to capture the unrest on the streets. In recent days, several have been arrested, including an Associated Press photographer in Yangon. 

A Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) reporter live-streamed his detention on Monday night, showing chaotic footage of loud bangs happening outside his apartment building in the southern city of Myeik. 

Hours later, DVB said on Twitter that the reporter, Kaung Myat Hlaing, had been taken from his home by security forces. — AFP

March 2, 2021

Italy's foreign ministry says it had summoned Myanmar's ambassador to demand an end to the deadly crackdown on protests in the Southeast Asian nation.

Ambassador Hmway Hmway Khyne "was summoned today... to request that the military authorities immediately put an end to all violent repression of the democratic protests underway in the country," a statement says.

Italy repeats its condemnation of Myanmar's military coup last month and requested the immediate release of ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and all those arrested in connection with the coup. —  AFP

March 2, 2021

Germany on Monday lashed out against a deadly crackdown on protesters in Myanmar, summoning the Southeast Asian nation's ambassador to express its condemnation.

"Such deadly violence against peaceful demonstrators can not be justified," said Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert, voicing "consternation" over the crackdown.

The junta is battling to contain a massive street movement demanding it yield power and release ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who was detained along with top political allies at the start of the month. —  AFP

March 1, 2021

Myanmar's deposed civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi appeared via video in a Naypyidaw court on Monday to face charges the international community widely believes are frivolous.

Her lawyer, Khin Maung Zaw, told AFP the 75-year-old appeared healthy during the court hearing.

She had not been seen in public since the coup on February 1.

Suu Kyi is facing obscure criminal charges for possessing unlicensed walkie-talkies as well as violating coronavirus restrictions by staging a campaign event during last year's election.

The veteran human rights lawyer said he had been unable to speak with his client ahead of the hearing. — AFP

February 24, 2021

The Department of Foreign Affairs raises the alert level for Myanmar to Alert Level 2, which means "restriction of non-essential movements, avoiding of places of protest and preparation for possible evacuation."

The alert level also includes restrictions on travel from the Philippines and only returning workers with existing travels will be allowed to travel to Myanmar, DFA also says.

The department says the measures are meant to protect the 1,273 Filipinos still in Myanmar. The government earlier repatriated workers from Myanmar, where the military has taken control and declared a year-long "state of emergency."

February 24, 2021

Indonesia says Wednesday it was in talks with both sides in Myanmar's political crisis and its foreign minister may visit to help find a solution, but she had no plans for an immediate trip.

The statement comes after a leaked Myanmar government document showed Indonesia's foreign minister Retno Marsudi was to visit the coup-hit nation on Thursday. 

The trip was not confirmed by Indonesia — a key diplomatic player among Southeast Asian nations — and it says Wednesday that no visit had been scheduled. —  AFP

February 23, 2021

Staying in different lodgings each night to evade arrest, the lawyer representing Aung San Suu Kyi says her trial will help determine whether Myanmar's people again become "slaves" of the military.

Soldiers raided the civilian leader's residence and detained her in pre-dawn raids three weeks ago, effectively ending Myanmar's 10-year experiment with democracy. 

The new military regime has pledged to hold elections in a year, but for now the junta wields power over all the country's political institutions -- including its courts. — AFP

February 23, 2021

The United States announces sanctions against two more leaders of Myanmar's junta and warned of further action as hundreds of thousands defiantly rallied for the restoration of the nation's democracy.

The United States said it was blocking any US property and suspending the entry into the country of two members of the newly ruling State Administrative Council — General Maung Maung Kyaw, who commands the air force, and Lieutenant General Moe Myint Tun.

"We will not hesitate to take further action against those who perpetrate violence and suppress the will of the people. We will not waver in our support for the people of Burma," Secretary of State Antony Blinken says, using Myanmar's former name. —  AFP

February 22, 2021

The EU on Monday warned Myanmar's military rulers it was ready to impose sanctions over this month's coup, as foreign ministers also prepared to target those behind Russia's crackdown on Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.

The ministers from the 27-nation bloc met in Brussels for a packed agenda that includes a wide-ranging videoconference with new US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Shortly after the start, they issued a statement on Myanmar, saying "the EU stands ready to adopt restrictive measures targeting those directly responsible for the military coup and their economic interests".

They called for "a de-escalation of the current crisis" triggered by the February 1 military coup in Myanmar and demanded that the overthrown civilian government be restored. — AFP

February 22, 2021

Tens of thousands of anti-coup protesters rallied across Myanmar again on Monday despite a clear threat from the junta that it was prepared to use lethal force to crush what it branded "anarchy".

The warning came after three demonstrators were shot dead over the weekend, and the funeral on Sunday for a young woman who died from bullet wounds at an earlier rally.

Massive street demonstrations have taken place since Myanmar's military staged a coup on February 1 and detained civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, ending a decade-long experiment with democracy.

A civil disobedience campaign has also since choked many government operations, as well as businesses and banks, and the junta late Sunday gave its most ominous signal yet that its patience was nearing an end.

"Protesters are now inciting the people, especially emotional teenagers and youths, to a confrontation path where they will suffer the loss of life," said a statement on state-run broadcaster MRTV. — AFP

February 21, 2021

UN chief condemns 'use of lethal force' in Myanmar — AP

February 20, 2021

Washington urges the leaders of Myanmar's new military regime to refrain from violence and relinquish power, after the death of a young anti-coup protester sparked new anger against the junta.

Much of the country has been in uproar since troops deposed civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1, with large street demonstrations in both urban centres and isolated villages.

Security forces have responded with increasing force, deploying troops against peaceful rallies and firing tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets. — AFP

February 18, 2021

Hackers attack military-run government websites in Myanmar Thursday as a cyber war erupted after authorities shut down the internet for a fourth straight night.

A group called Myanmar Hackers disrupted multiple government websites including the Central Bank, Myanmar Military's propaganda page, state-run broadcaster MRTV, the Port Authority, Food and Drug Administration.  

The move comes a day after thousands of people rallied across the country to protest against a military coup that toppled Aung San Suu Kyi's civilian government from power earlier this month.

"We are fighting for justice in Myanmar," the hacking group says on its Facebook page. —  AFP

February 17, 2021

Myanmar's anti-coup protesters return to the streets in force, staging the biggest demonstrations since troops fanned out around the country to quell opposition to the new military junta.

Much of the country has been in open revolt since the military deposed Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi's government at the start of the month and charged her under an obscure import law. — AFP

February 17, 2021

The UN special rapporteur for Myanmar on Tuesday issued a stern warning about the potential for an escalation of violence in the country as protests continued following a military coup. 

Myanmar was largely cut off from the world for a third night running, after the generals who deposed and detained civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1 shut down the internet.

With anti-coup protesters expected to gather again Wednesday in major cities, as they have done for days, the UN envoy, Tom Andrews, sounded the alarm. —  AFP

February 16, 2021

Myanmar's military regime has hit deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi with a second charge, this time under the country's natural disaster management law, her lawyer says Tuesday. 

"Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has been charged with an extra (violation)... under the Natural Disaster Management law," lawyer Khin Maung Zaw tells AFP. 

Since she was ousted from power, she has already been charged under the country's import and export law for having walkie-talkies in her home. —  AFP

February 16, 2021

Myanmar's military regime has hit deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi with a second charge, this time under the country's natural disaster management law, her lawyer says. 

"Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has been charged with an extra (violation)... under the Natural Disaster Management law," lawyer Khin Maung Zaw tells AFP.

Since she was ousted from power, she has already been charged under the country's import and export law for having walkie-talkies in her home. 

February 16, 2021

Myanmar's generals imposes a second straight overnight internet shutdown, ignoring international condemnation as they worked to grind down a popular uprising against their coup.

In the two weeks since troops ousted Aung San Suu Kyi and took the civilian leader into custody, big urban centers and isolated village communities alike have been in open revolt.

Security forces have used increasing force to quell huge nationwide street protests and a disobedience campaign encouraging civil servants to strike. — AFP

February 16, 2021

Myanmar's deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi will appear in court via video conference this week over charges brought against her by the new military junta, her lawyer said Monday.

Army chief General Min Aung Hlaing has justified the February 1 coup by alleging widespread voter fraud in November's elections, which Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) party swept.

Two days after the putsch, the 75-year-old Nobel laureate was hit with the unusual charge of violating Myanmar's import and export law, after a search of her house found walkie-talkies. —  AFP

February 15, 2021

Fresh protests erupt in Myanmar's largest city of Yangon on Monday following an overnight internet blackout and the deployment of troops on the streets, according to an AFP photographer.

Hundreds of engineering and technology students gather in the north of the city, two weeks after the military seized power, ending a decade-old fledgling democracy following generations of junta rule. —  AFP

February 15, 2021

Myanmar's generals will be "held accountable" for any suppression of a burgeoning civil disobedience campaign, a UN rights envoy says on Monday.

"It's as if the generals have declared war on the people of Myanmar," Tom Andrews, the UN special rapporteur for Myanmar, writes on Twitter. "These are signs of desperation. Attention generals: You WILL be held accountable." —  AFP

February 15, 2021

Myanmar was experiencing its third nationwide internet blackout in two weeks on Monday, a monitoring group said, after troop deployments around the country in signs of a crackdown on anti-coup protests. 

"A near-total internet shutdown is in effect in #Myanmar as of 1 am local time; real-time network data show national connectivity at just 14% of ordinary levels following state-ordered information blackout," NetBlocks wrote on Twitter. —  AFP

February 14, 2021

Otherworldly forces are displeased with the generals behind Myanmar's coup, according to the ornately dressed spirit mediums joining street protests to denounce the country's sudden turn back to army rule.

A group of the clairvoyants this week marched alongside civil servants, garment factory workers and students in the commercial capital Yangon to call for the release of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi. 

They channel the 37 great "nats" — or deities — venerated in Myanmar, a Buddhist-majority country where animist worship and superstitious beliefs are part of everyday life for some.

"Nats do not want military rule," insisted Achaintan Man Gay Oo, 48. "They also want the release of Mother Suu."

It has become apparent to the mediums that the spirits are "unhappy" with the sudden end to Myanmar's nascent democracy, the 48-year-old told AFP. — AFP

February 13, 2021

Opposition to Myanmar's new military regime intensifies as spontaneous neighborhood watch groups mobilized to thwart arrests of anti-coup activists and the UN demanded the release of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The army takeover that brought a decade-old democracy to an end last week has unleashed a storm of anger and defiance, with huge daily protests bringing urban centres around the country to a standstill.

Since taking Suu Kyi and her top allies into custody, troops have stepped up arrests of civil servants, doctors and others joining strikes demanding the generals relinquish power. — AFP 

February 12, 2021

Myanmar's military regime braces for a seventh straight day of street protests after Washington announced sanctions on leaders of the coup that ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

A torrent of anger and defiance has brought tens of thousands of people out in nationwide rallies demanding the country's generals relinquish power. 

Demonstrations have so far largely been peaceful, but police have used tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets on protesters -- with isolated reporters of live rounds being fired at crowds. — AFP  

February 12, 2021

Myanmar's military regime orders the release of more than 23,000 prisoners, following a week of fresh arrests targeting allies of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi and election officials.

Mass amnesties to empty the country's overcrowded prison system are common on significant local dates. Friday was a public holiday in Myanmar.

"The State Administration Council... has remitted the punishment of 23,314 prisoners from the respective prisons, jails and camps," says an announcement in the state-run Global New Light of Myanmar, using the official name of the new army administration. — AFP

February 11, 2021

Anti-coup protesters on Thursday took to the streets of Myanmar for a sixth consecutive day, after US President Joe Biden announced sanctions against the Southeast Asian nation's generals and demanded they relinquish power.

There has been an outpouring of anger and defiance since the military ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi last week and detained her along with other senior figures of her National League for Democracy party.

Security forces have used tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets against the protesters, with isolated reports of live rounds also being fired. Police also ramped up their harassment of the NLD with a raid on its headquarters.

But demonstrators again marched peacefully on Thursday in Naypyidaw — the capital and military stronghold — as well as Yangon, the largest city and commercial hub, which saw tens of thousands flood into the streets. — AFP

February 11, 2021

Anti-coup protesters take to the streets of Myanmar for a sixth consecutive day, after US President Joe Biden announced sanctions against the Southeast Asian nation's generals and demanded they relinquish power.

There has been an outpouring of anger and defiance since the military ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi last week and detained her along with other senior figures of her National League for Democracy party.

Security forces have used tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets against the protesters, with isolated reports of live rounds also being fired. Police also ramped up their harassment of the NLD with a raid on its headquarters. — AFP

February 10, 2021

security forces broke into its Yangon headquarters.

They sounded the alarm on Facebook late Tuesday, announcing that "the military dictator had raided and destroyed" the NLD's premises. 

The move comes over a week after its leader was deposed in a coup, returning Myanmar to military rule after a brief 10-year dalliance with democracy. 

The party has been left rudderless — with the detention of Suu Kyi, President Win Myint and top NLD executives, its fate is now in the hands of lower-ranking MPs and members.

"We wanted to go to the headquarters immediately, but because of the curfew, we knew there might be problems," Soe Win, an NLD member in charge of the Yangon headquarters, told AFP Wednesday. — AFP

February 10, 2021

The Myanmar military raided ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi's party headquarters in Yangon late Tuesday, the National League for Democracy says.

"The military dictator raided and destroyed NLD headquarters at around 9:30pm," the party announces on its Facebook page. —  AFP

February 10, 2021

The United Nations on Tuesday condemns the use of force against anti-coup protesters in Myanmar, after police fired rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse rallies.

"The use of disproportionate force against demonstrators is unacceptable," Ola Almgren, the UN resident coordinator and humanitarian coordinator in Myanmar, says in a statement. —  AFP

February 9, 2021

Police fired rubber bullets at anti-coup protesters in Myanmar capital's on Tuesday as demonstrators around the country defied a military ban on rallies and international condemnation of the putsch grew.

Protests erupted for a fourth straight day against last week's coup to oust civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, despite a warning from the new junta that they would take action against demonstrations that threatened "stability". 

In Naypyidaw, the remote capital purpose built by the previous military regime, witnesses said police fired rubber bullets at protesters after earlier blasting them with water cannon.

"They fired warning shots to the sky two times, then they fired (at protesters) with rubber bullets," a resident told AFP, adding that he saw some people injured. — AFP

February 9, 2021

The Department of Foreign Affairs says it is finalizing a repatriation flight on February 15 for Filipinos in Myanmar.

February 9, 2021

The UN Human Rights Council says it will hold a relatively rare special session this Friday to discuss the ongoing political crisis in Myanmar.

The move was officially requested on Monday by Britain and the European Union, with enough backing from countries to automatically trigger the meeting.

The call comes a week after Myanmar's generals conducted a coup in the country. 

"The Human Rights Council will hold a special session to address the human rights implications of the crisis in Myanmar this Friday," the UN's top rights body says in a statement. —  AFP

February 8, 2021

Britain and the European Union requested Monday that the United Nations Human Rights Council hold a special session in response to the ongoing political crisis Myanmar.

"The UK would like to inform all colleagues that together with the EU, we have submitted a request for a special session on the human rights implications of the crisis in Myanmar," Julian Braithwaite, Britain's ambassador in Geneva, told an organizational meeting ahead of the body's next session. — AFP 

February 8, 2021

Pope Francis on Monday called for the prompt release of political leaders imprisoned following a coup in Myanmar, in a speech to ambassadors to the Holy See.

"The path to democracy undertaken in recent years was brusquely interrupted by last week's coup d'etat. This has led to the imprisonment of different political leaders, who I hope will be promptly released as a sign of encouragement for a sincere dialogue aimed at the good of the country," the pope said. — AFP

February 8, 2021

Police use water cannon on anti-coup protesters in Myanmar capital, AFP reports

February 7, 2021

Thousands of anti-coup protesters in Myanmar poured back onto the streets Sunday, as an internet blackout failed to stifle growing outrage at the military's ouster of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The fresh rally followed the largest protests to date on Saturday, when tens of thousands came out in cities across the country to condemn the coup that brought a 10-year experiment with democracy to a crashing halt.

Thousands of chanting protesters marched in Yangon, backed by a din of car horns. They held up banners — including some saying "We do not want military dictatorship" — and the signature red flags of Suu Kyi's National League of Democracy (NLD) party.

"We will move forward and keep demanding until we get democracy. Down with the military dictatorship," said protester Myo Win, 37. — AFP

February 6, 2021

An Australian economic advisor to Myanmar's deposed civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi says he had been detained in the country following a military coup. 

"I'm just being detained at the moment, and perhaps charged with something. I don't know what that would be," Sean Turnell, a Macquarie University professor, tells BBC. — AFP

February 6, 2021

An independent monitor says Myanmar was plunged into a new nationwide internet shutdown on Saturday, days after a military coup that coincided with an earlier blackout. 

"#Myanmar is now in the midst of a second nation-scale internet blackout" beginning around 10:00 am local time (0330GMT), says NetBlocks, a group that monitors internet outages around the world. — AFP 

February 5, 2021

A key aide of Myanmar's ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi was arrested in the early hours of Friday, a press officer from her National League for Democracy (NLD) party said. 

Win Htein "was arrested from his daughter's house where he was staying, at midnight", Kyi Toe wrote on his verified Facebook page.

The NLD stalwart is a close aide of Suu Kyi, who was detained on Monday in a lightning coup. — AFP

February 4, 2021

Myanmar's coup has left its younger generation bunkered down at home, obsessively tracking arrest rumours on social media and weighing whether to defy the military on the streets.

Since the dawn army raids that took Aung San Suu Kyi and her government's top ministers into custody on Monday, outrage has simmered behind closed doors over the sudden end to a fledgling democracy.

A generation too young to remember the last military takeover say they are unlikely to confront the troops now patrolling the streets without a clear signal from the country's deposed leaders, or guidance from veterans of earlier civil strife. 

"We have the readiness, the anger, the anxiety," said Aye.

But the spark for whatever comes next "needs to come people who can lead", she added. — AFP

February 4, 2021

Facebook on Thursday said some of its services were being restricted in Myanmar, days after the military seized power in a coup.

"We are aware that access to Facebook is currently disrupted for some people," a company spokesperson told AFP. 

"We urge authorities to restore connectivity so that people in Myanmar can communicate with their families and friends and access important information."

The social media platform is wildly popular in Myanmar and the primary method for communication. It is also frequently used by government ministries to issue statements. 

— AFP

February 3, 2021

The foreign ministers of the G7 group of some of the world's wealthiest nations said Wednesday they are "deeply concerned" by the military coup in Myanmar.

"We are deeply concerned by the detention of political leaders and civil society activists, including State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint, and targeting of the media," they said in a joint statement issued from London.

"We call upon the military to immediately end the state of emergency, restore power to the democratically-elected government, to release all those unjustly detained and to respect human rights and the rule of law." —  AFP

February 2, 2021

The party of Myanmar’s toppled leader Aung San Suu Kyi demands her immediate release Tuesday, after a military coup that triggered international condemnation and sanctions threats from the new US president.

Armed troops patrolled the capital, Naypyidaw, where Suu Kyi and other National League for Democracy party leaders were detained in pre-dawn raids on Monday just ahead of the scheduled resumption of parliament.

Soldiers were also stationed Tuesday outside the dormitories for parliamentarians in Naypyidaw, with one NLD MP describing it as "an open-air detention centre". —  AFP

February 2, 2021

The Philippines is following the situation in Myanmar "with deep concern", the Department of Foreign Affairs says, adding it is "especially concerned" for the safety of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, whom the Myanmar military has detained.

"Myanmar has made substantial and important strides toward democratization in recent years," the DFA also says, saying the Philippines has supported those efforts.

The DFA also advises Filipinos in Myanmar to exercise due caution.

February 2, 2021

Myanmar's military coup marks an early test case of President Joe Biden's determination to advocate democracy but, unlike a decade ago when the United States nurtured a transition there, he has limited options.

The rise of democracy in Myanmar had initially been hailed as a key achievement of former president Barack Obama, under whom Biden served as number two, representing an opening of a long-closed nation that had been in rival China's orbit.

But Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar's civilian leader who was detained with others Monday, had been rapidly losing Western support as the Nobel laureate stayed reticent -- some argue so as not to antagonize the military — about a brutal campaign against the mostly Muslim Rohingya minority.

Biden in a forceful statement Monday warned of a return of sanctions and steadfastly backed the principle of democracy — in line with his campaign promises as he vowed to turn the page from his predecessor Donald Trump, who praised autocrats and unsuccessfully tried to overturn his own election defeat. — AFP

February 1, 2021
Statement of Akbayan Chair Emeritus Etta Rosales on the Myanmar coup
 
Akbayan stands with the people of Myanmar against the military coup that threatens its democracy. We challenge Mr. Rodrigo Duterte and his government to join the world in condemning the detention of Aung San Suu Kyi and calling on the Myanmar military to abandon its power grab and submit to civilian rule.
 
This coup is a vile attempt by the military junta to cling to power, and mirrors the attempts of other authoritarian leaders to discredit the voice of the people. We too in the Philippines face threats to our democracy with the use of authoritarian force. But the people of Myanmar have spoken: no threat to their democracy will silence their desire for peace.
 
We call on the military of Myanmar to respect the popular will and commitment for a democratic civilian government. We call for the immediate release of all wrongly arrested government officials, civil society leaders, and other leaders of the National League for Democracy
February 1, 2021

Myanmar's military declared a one-year state of emergency on Monday and appointed a general as acting president, after arresting civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior officials.

An announcement on military-owned Myawaddy TV said the move was needed to preserve the "stability" of the state, accusing the country's election commission of failing to address "huge irregularities" in the November election. — AFP

February 1, 2021

Internet connections in Myanmar were severely disrupted Monday as the country's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi was detained by the military in an apparent coup, according to an independent monitor. 

"The telecommunication disruptions, beginning approximately 3 a.m. Monday morning local time, have significant subnational impact including the capital, and are likely to limit coverage of events as they take place," said the Netblocks civil society group. — AFP

Follow this thread for updates on the situation in Myanmar, where a coup may be happening after de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other officials have reportedly been detained by the military.

Photo: Military officers wearing facemasks who serve as members of Myanmar's parliament leave after a session at the Assembly of the Union (Pyidaungsu Hluttaw) in Naypyidaw on March 10, 2020. AFP/Ye Aung Thu

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