Burmese police yesterday fired rubber bullets to disperse protesters in Yangon, after the country’s ambassador to the UN broke ranks to make an emotional plea for action against the military junta.
Myanmar has been shaken by a wave of protests since a coup toppled Burmese State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi on Feb. 1.
In Myanmar’s biggest city, Yangon, police yesterday used rubber bullets to disperse a demonstration at Myaynigone junction, the site of an hours-long standoff the day before.
At least 20 protesters were arrested, a police official said.
At nearby Hledan junction several rounds of stun grenades were fired, reporters said, and a police source said more than 140 people had been arrested.
Another protest near a shopping center in nearby Tamwe Township was broken up by police.
Similar scenes of chaos played out across Myanmar as demonstrators entered their fourth week of daily protests against the junta.
In the central city of Monywa, a rally had barely started before police moved in on demonstrators, a medic with a local emergency rescue team said.
The crackdowns came after Burmese Ambassador to the UN Kyaw Moe Tun on Friday broke ranks and made an emotional plea to the international community.
“We need ... the strongest possible action from the international community to immediately end the military coup, to stop oppressing the innocent people, to return the state power to the people, and to restore the democracy,” Kyaw Moe Tun told the UN General Assembly.
Briefly speaking in Burmese, he pleaded with his “brothers and sisters” to keep fighting to end military rule.
“This revolution must win,” he said, flashing the three-finger salute that has become a symbol of resistance against the junta.
Medic Htwe Aung Zin said his team had been “sent a man who was severely injured in his leg from the police crackdown,” adding that they treated 10 others with minor injuries.
He declined to say what kind of bullets caused the man’s injury.
Another medic — who did not give their name — told reporters that a woman had been sent to the intensive care unit after sustaining injuries during the crackdown.
The local Monywa Gazette announced on its Facebook account that chief executive officer Kyaw Kyaw Win was beaten by plainclothes police and arrested while he was broadcasting a live video.
His appeal broke with the military rulers of Myanmar and was met with applause in the chamber.
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