A lethal attack on anti-coup protesters in Myanmar sparked fresh UN condemnation of the country’s new military regime yesterday, as mourners held a funeral for a young woman who became a national symbol of resistance to the junta.
Authorities have gradually ratcheted up their tactics against a massive and largely peaceful civil disobedience campaign demanding the return of ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Saturday marked the deadliest day so far in more than two weeks of nationwide street demonstrations after two people were killed when security forces fired upon a rally, while a third man was shot dead in Yangon overnight.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the use of “deadly violence” against the crowd in Mandalay.
“The use of lethal force, intimidation & harassment against peaceful demonstrators is unacceptable,” Guterres wrote.
Security forces in the country’s second-largest city had attempted to raid a shipyard and detain port staff on strike to protest against the army takeover.
Medical rescue workers said troops used live rounds and rubber bullets against a crowd of people who had started flinging rocks in an effort to stop the arrests.
In a separate incident on Saturday, a 30-year-old man was killed in Yangon while patrolling the neighborhood as part of an initiative to guard against night-time arrests of activists.
Tin Htut Hein’s sister-in-law said he had been shot by police.
“His wife is now heartbroken,” she said. “They have a four-year-old son.”
Large crowds yesterday returned to the streets of Mandalay, undeterred by the previous day’s violence, with rallies also staged further south in Yangon.
In the capital, Naypyidaw, a funeral service was held for a young protester who died on Friday after being shot in the head during a rally last week.
Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing, who turned 20 last week as she lay unconscious in a hospital bed, has since become a potent symbol of the campaign against military rule.
A large motorbike guard of honor accompanied her funeral procession, alongside vehicles adorned with floral wreaths and large photographs of the grocery store worker.
Early yesterday, police also arrested a famous actor, Lu Min, who has been a prominent figure in Yangon protests and was one of six celebrities wanted under an anti-incitement law for encouraging civil servants to join the protest.
The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners said 569 people have been detained in connection with the coup.
Meanwhile, Facebook deleted the main page of the Burmese military under it standards prohibiting the incitement of violence, the company said.
“In line with our global policies, we’ve removed the Tatmadaw True News Information Team Page from Facebook for repeated violations of our Community Standards prohibiting incitement of violence and coordinating harm,” a Facebook representative said in a statement.
The Burmese military is known as the Tatmadaw.
Additional reporting by Reuters
‘UNFRIENDLY’: COA Minister Chen Chi-chung said that Beijing probably imposed the sanction because the pineapple production season is about to start in Taiwan More than 99 percent of pineapples sold to China passed inspections, the government said yesterday, after China earlier in the day abruptly suspended imports of pineapples from the nation, which Taipei called an “unfriendly” move. From Monday, China is to stop importing pineapples from Taiwan, the Chinese General Administration of Customs said. The regulation is a normal measure for ensuring biosafety, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光) said in a news release later yesterday. Since last year, Chinese customs officials have repeatedly seized pineapples imported from Taiwan that carried “perilous organisms,” Ma said. Were the organisms to spread in China, they would
SOLVED: Domestic orders have already overtaken the total sold to China last year, while the Canadian and US representative offices posted messages of support A joint effort by groups and individuals in Taiwan and abroad to prop up sales of pineapples after China announced a ban on imports of the fruit succeeded in just four days, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said yesterday. China on Friday announced that it would suspend imports of Taiwanese pineapples starting on Monday, citing biosafety concerns. Following the announcement, the council urged the public to assist farmers by purchasing pineapples, saying it hoped to sell 20,000 tonnes of the fruit domestically and 30,000 tonnes in exports. “Domestic orders have already surpassed the total sold to China last year,” COA Minister
Taiwanese netizens and politicians yesterday mocked a Chinese plan to build a transportation network linking Beijing and Taipei, calling it “science fiction” and “daydreaming.” Their comments were in reaction to the Chinese State Council’s release last week of its “Guidelines on the National Comprehensive Transportation Network Plan,” which include several proposed transportation links, with one map showing a line running from China’s Jingjinji Metropolitan Region (Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei) across the Taiwan Strait to Taipei. “This is the Chinese leadership daydreaming again of [fulfilling its] fantasy of extending China’s transportation network to Taiwan. I suggest people regard it as science fiction,” Democratic Progressive
‘ONE PERSON PER UNIT’: People undergoing home isolation cannot stay in a housing unit in which non-isolated people live, unless they have special approval Starting tomorrow, people under home isolation would be required to follow the “one person per housing unit” rule if in private housing, or stay at a quarantine hotel or centralized quarantine facility, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said the rules require people under home quarantine to be quarantined with one person per housing unit, or at a quarantine hotel or centralized quarantine facility. “Starting on March 1, individuals under home isolation will also be subject to the ‘one person per housing unit’ rule,” he said. “We