Burmese activists staged candlelit protests overnight and scrambled to find ways around a growing internet shutdown on Friday, as anti-coup protesters pledged to continue their efforts to expel them. generals despite a military crackdown that killed hundreds, including dozens of children. .
Anti-coup groups have shared radio frequencies, offline internet resources and SMS alert providers in an attempt to bypass new restrictions on the internet, which is now limited to landline services.
The military has not announced or explained its order for telecommunications companies to cut off wireless broadband, in addition to the ban on mobile data through which a national movement has mobilized on social media and broadcast footage of the military’s deadly crackdown on mostly youth-led protests against. his rule.
Overnight there were further reports of shooting by protesters in the town of Monywa, Sagaing region, and one death was reported. An 18-year-old boy was also killed in Mandalay on Thursday, according to social media. The two protesters from Monywa and Mandalay were buried on Friday.
The Irrawaddy news site also reported that four villagers were shot dead and four others arrested by security forces during a protest in the Sagaing region on Friday. The crackdown did not prevent hundreds of demonstrators from marching in Katha township in Sagaing.
Protesters called for a “flower strike” at bus stops where security forces had killed protesters.
“We will leave flowers at the bus stops tomorrow … That’s what I want to tell you before the internet goes down,” Khin Sadar, a leader of the protest, posted on Facebook.
“The following days there were street demonstrations. Do as many guerrilla strikes as you can. Please join. “
“Let’s listen to the radio again. Let us also call on each other. “
The former British colony has been in chaos for two months after the army overthrew the elected administration of Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1, which sparked anger in the cities and rekindled hostilities between the armed forces and ethnic minority groups in several different regions.
New charges of violating the colonial-era Official Secrets Act have been filed against the Nobel Prize winner, her chief lawyer said Thursday, the most serious to date, in addition to two relatively minor offenses. Violations of the secrecy law are punishable by 14 years in prison.
Charges were filed against three of Aung San Suu Kyi’s cabinet colleagues and his Australian economic adviser Sean Turnell, who are among hundreds of people detained in the military’s sweeping crackdown on opponents since his arrival. in power, alleging fraud in an election swept away by Suu Kyi’s Aung San Feast.
#Sagaing Division, in #Kalay ၊ The body of Maung Nyan Lin Htet (Salai Van Biak Thang), a 19-year-old student at #Kalay University, which was killed by terrorists near #Kalay The university around 9:30 p.m. on April 1 will be buried at 3 p.m. today.# Apr2Coup#WhatsHappeningInMyanmar pic.twitter.com/qzepvksEyp
– Spring Revolution 2021 Myanmar (@various__k) April 2, 2021
Lawyer Min Min Soe said Aung San Suu Kyi looked healthy during a video hearing Thursday, but was unable to say whether the ousted leader, a figurehead in the fight of Myanmar’s decades for democracy, was aware of the deteriorating situation in the country. .
‘We will not surrender’
Protesters were in the streets of several urban centers Thursday day and night, where some burned copies of the 2008 constitution drafted by the military.
Some 543 people were killed in the uprising, according to the advocacy group of the Association for Assistance to Political Prisoners (AAPP), which tracks victims and detentions.
The military has repeatedly said those killed were behind the violence. But according to a report released on Monday by humanitarian group Save The Children, at least 42 children, who were not involved in the protests, were also killed.
A video widely circulated on social media Thursday evening showed an unconscious man being kicked and beaten by a group of seven helmeted, uniformed men armed with rifles, who dragged him face down along of a road before taking him.
Another widely shared image showed an aerial view of hundreds of candles laid out on a road in the dark, forming the words “we’ll never surrender.”
Britain imposed sanctions on one of the largest military conglomerates on Thursday, following a similar move by the United States. Britain’s Next has become the latest mass-market brand to suspend orders for Burmese factories.
“The Burmese army has sunk into a new low with the indiscriminate killing of innocent people, including children,” said British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab. The British decision was welcomed by his American counterpart Antony Blinken.
Myanmar’s Asian neighbors have not imposed any embargoes, but some have gone beyond measured language after the military killed 141 people as it marked Armed Forces Day last Saturday.
Thailand said Thursday it was “gravely troubled”. Stronger positions on Myanmar have been taken by the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore, whose top diplomats are meeting separately this week with Chinese State Councilor Wang Yi in Beijing.
In a transcript of an interview made available Thursday evening, Singapore’s Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan expressed dismay at the bloodshed.
“We are alarmed and dismayed by the escalation of violence,” he said, adding that Chinese Wang Yi also hoped for an end to violence and dialogue.
AAPP co-secretary Ko Bo Kyi on Friday also urged China and Russia to support a UN Security Council resolution to take action against the coup plotters.