Conflicts & War

Myanmar’s civilian leadership calls for ‘revolution’ as deaths mount

Bangkok Desk, Mar 14 (efe-epa).- The leader of Myanmar’s offshoot civilian government has vowed to continue the “revolution” to restore democracy in the country, while repression against protesters continued on Sunday, with at least five people reported killed by security forces.

Mahn Win Khaing Than was appointed acting vice-president last week by the Committee Representing the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), formed by elected lawmakers who were ousted by the Feb. 1 coup.

“In order to form a federal democracy, which all ethnic brothers, who have been suffering various kinds of oppressions from the dictatorship for decades, really desired, this revolution is the chance for us to put our efforts together,” he said in a six-minute Facebook video released on Saturday night.

“This is the darkest moment of the nation and the moment that the dawn is close,” said Than, who is in hiding along with other members of the Aung San Suu Kyi’s ruling National League for Democracy party.

He also pledged that the CRPH would try to approve laws that grant citizens the right to defend themselves.

Than’s appeal came ahead of after another day of violence Sunday, with at least five people killed across different cities of the country amid repression by the security forces.

One person was killed and others received bullet injuries during a demonstration in the city of Bago, according to the local Khit Thit news outlet.

It added that another three were killed and several were injured in Yangon’s Hlaing Tharyar township as security forces opened fire on civilians.

A 30-year-old man was also killed by a bullet to the chest in Hpakant, Myitkyina News Journal reported.

More than 80 people have been killed and 2,134 arrested, charged, or sentenced since the coup, according to the latest update from the Assistance Association of Political Prisoners.

The CRPH was originally formed on Feb. 5 by 15 of the NLD lawmakers elected in the November elections who were unable to take their seats due to the military coup.

While the military junta has called the group “illegal,” the CRPH has declared the junta a “terrorist organization.”

The military arrested most of the elected government, including leaders President Win Myint and Suu Kyi, on the morning of Feb. 1 and canceled the swearing-in of the legislature scheduled for the same day.

The military has justified taking power on grounds of alleged electoral fraud in November’s elections, in which international observers did not detect any wrongdoing and which resulted in a landslide victory for leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party. EFE-EPA


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