Growing pressure on junta in Burma, protests continue

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The Burmese junta was under more pressure than ever on Tuesday with a condemnation of the G7 the day after the adoption by the United States and the European Union of new sanctions and of the most massive demonstrations since the coup d’état of 1er February.

• Read also: Burma: risk of money shortage due to coup

• Read also: Malaysian court suspends mass deportation of migrants to Burma

Over the past three weeks, the generals have continued to step up the use of force to weaken the mobilization for democracy in Burma, where hundreds of thousands of people have yet again challenged them on Monday. taking to the streets.

A protest movement that continued on Tuesday, even if in Rangoon, the main city and the economic capital, it was on a smaller scale than in previous days.

“The military have always won by using their weapons and I don’t like it at all,” said one of the demonstrators, Chan Mya, before adding: “We hate it and we will continue to protest and express this. that we feel peacefully ”.

Growing pressure on junta in Burma, protests continue

So far, three people have been killed during protests and a man who was patrolling to avoid mass arrests in his neighborhood in Yangon has been shot dead.

“Huge pressure”

“The use of live ammunition against unarmed people is unacceptable”, reacted Tuesday in a statement the foreign ministers of the G7, which brings together seven of the greatest powers on the planet (United States, United Kingdom, Germany , Canada, France, Japan, Italy), also signed by the European Union.

“Anyone who responds to peaceful protests with violence must be held accountable,” they warned, calling on the Burmese security forces to “exercise the utmost restraint”.

On the night of Monday to Tuesday, the United States announced sanctions against two additional officials of the junta that overthrew the civilian government of Aung San Suu Kyi, General Maung Maung Kyaw, at the head of the army of air, and General Moe Myint Tun.

Similar measures had already been taken by Washington ten days ago, targeting in particular the leader of the coup leaders, General Min Aung Hlaing.

“We will not weaken in our support for the Burmese people,” warned the head of US diplomacy Antony Blinken.

A few hours earlier, the European Union had decided to attack the economic and financial interests of the military.

“All direct financial aid (…) to government reform programs is suspended,” EU diplomat Josep Borrell stressed.

“Sanctions can still hit people there, which we should avoid, but targeted sanctions are necessary because we need enormous pressure against the coup,” the channel told the channel. television France 24 United Nations envoy for Burma, Christine Schraner Burgener.

She will report on the situation Friday at a special meeting devoted to Burma of the UN General Assembly, bringing together its 193 members, said the communication service of this institution on Tuesday.

A thousand Burmese migrants expelled

The sanctions come after the Burmese military used rubber bullets, tear gas, water cannons and sometimes even live ammunition against protesters, while increasing the strength of security forces in Yangon and in erecting dams there.

In addition, nightly Internet shutdowns ordered by the junta lead to fears that the latter will take advantage of them to carry out mass arrests of opponents.

So far, however, this tightening has not deterred many Burmese from demonstrating, including civil servants, bank workers, caregivers and public works workers who have gone on strike in solidarity.

Outside Yangon, this was the case in Myitkyina: protesters crossed this northern city on Tuesday on motorbikes, waving the national flag and making the three-fingered salute, a symbol of resistance.

In Mandalay, the second largest city, a gathered crowd attended the funeral of Thet Naing Win, a 37-year-old man who was gunned down on Saturday when security forces opened fire on protesters.

“I ask everyone to help ensure that justice is done to my husband,” said his widow Thidar Hnin, adding that she wanted to see “the dictator dethroned” because “the country belongs to its citizens”.

Calls to stop work have also severely disrupted government and business activities.

The power had however brandished Sunday the threat of resorting to lethal force to put an end to “anarchy”.

Since the putsch, more than 680 people have been arrested, charged or sentenced, according to an NGO assisting political prisoners, and almost all are still behind bars.

It is in this context of extreme tensions that the Malaysian authorities announced Tuesday the expulsion to Burma of a thousand migrants despite a judgment ordering them to suspend this transfer.