Medical workers, who have been at the forefront of the campaign against the coup, are leading protests on the country’s third New Year’s Day.
At least one person was reportedly killed and several injured after Burmese security forces opened fire on a pro-democracy protest by medical workers in the city of Mandalay, local media reported on Thursday, with reports of several. young demonstrators arrested.
An image posted on social media showed a monk carrying a seriously injured man, with two other people helping him. The person later died, according to a social media article citing the Mandalay-based Friday Times Journal.
Several photos on social media also showed the military rounding up people on Thursday morning before they could join the protest in the country’s second largest city.
Medical workers, some of whom were at the forefront of the campaign against the coup, gathered early in Mandalay but troops quickly arrived to disperse them, opening fire and arresting some people, added the Mizzima news agency.
Mizzima said she did not have details of the number of victims or arrests.
But among those reportedly arrested by authorities were journalists identified as Ajax and Christopher from Myitkyina News Journal.
Ko Wai Moe Naing, an organizer of anti-military protests in the town of Monywa in the Sagaing region was also arrested on Thursday, according to the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM).
– Ro Nay San Lwin (@nslwin) April 15, 2021
Images were also posted of several damaged vehicles reportedly destroyed by security forces in Mandalay.
Opponents of the February 1 military coup that toppled an elected government led by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi continued their campaign against the military this traditional New Years week with a series of actions and marches.
A spokesperson for the military government could not be reached for comments from news agencies.
New Years protest
The coup plunged Myanmar into crisis after 10 years of interim measures towards democracy, with daily protests and defiant campaigns, including worker strikes in many sectors that crippled the economy.
The five-day New Year’s party, known as the Thingyan, began on Tuesday but pro-democracy activists canceled the usual festivities to focus on their opposition to the generals who have taken power.
The military says protests are decreasing, but there have been reports of flash demonstrations in the Sagaing area as well as in Hpakant township in Kachin state and Kyondoe in Karen state.
In Phayuso township, Kayah state, hundreds of people were seen carrying anti-military government banners, defying warnings from security forces.
Before Thursday’s last security crackdown in Mandalay, the activist group, Association for Assistance to Political Prisoners, had already reported at least 715 protesters killed since the army seized power.
The United Nations human rights office warned on Tuesday that the military crackdown on protests risked escalating into a civil war, like that in Syria.
Reporting possible crimes against humanity, High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet urged countries to take immediate action to push the military to end its “campaign of repression and slaughter of its nation. people”.
Protesters in Meikhtila staged a “Thangyat strike” on Thursday, the third day of the Thingyan New Year’s water festival. Thangyat is a traditional art form that fuses poetry, satire, and music and is performed during Thingyan. The walkers incorporated the lyrics into their demonstrations. pic.twitter.com/SUEmUu9CUv
– Myanmar now (@Myanmar_Now_Eng) April 15, 2021
“I am afraid that the situation in Myanmar is heading into a full-fledged conflict,” Bachelet said in a statement.
“There are clear echoes of Syria in 2011,” she warned, referring to the start of a civil war which, over the past 10 years, has killed around 400,000 people and forced more than six million people flee the country.
The bloody crackdown by the military government has led to widespread international condemnation and calls for restraint – as well as sanctions by some countries against Myanmar’s armed forces and their extended business interests.
But diplomatic wrangling has blocked concrete action, with the European Union’s top diplomat accusing Moscow and Beijing of blocking tougher measures, such as a United Nations arms embargo.