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Mil­i­tary threat­ens to use lethal force in gen­eral strike

- Crime · Politics · Rioting · Social Issues · Society · Myanmar · Twitter · Naypyidaw · Aung San Suu Kyi · Strike Action · Protests · Yangon

YAN­GON, Myan­mar — A call for a gen­eral strike Mon­day by demon­stra­tors in Myan­mar protest­ing the mil­i­tary’s Feb. 1 seizure of power has been met by the rul­ing junta with a thinly veiled threat to use lethal force, rais­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of ma­jor clashes.

The call for a gen­eral strike was made Sun­day by the Civil Disobe­di­ence Move­ment, a loosely or­ga­nized group lead­ing re­sis­tance to the army’s takeover. It asked peo­ple to gather to­gether for the Five Twos — re­fer­ring to the dig­its in Mon­day’s date — to make a “Spring Revo­lu­tion.”

State tele­vi­sion broad­caster MRTV late Sun­day car­ried a pub­lic an­nounce­ment from the junta, for­mally called the State Ad­min­is­tra­tion Coun­cil, warn­ing against the gen­eral strike.

“It is found that the pro­test­ers have raised their in­cite­ment to­wards riot and an­ar­chy mob on the day of 22 Fe­bru­ary. Pro­test­ers are now in­cit­ing the peo­ple, es­pe­cially emo­tional teenagers and youths, to a con­fronta­tion path where they will suf­fer the loss of life,” it said in an English lan­guage text shown on­screen. The spo­ken an­nounce­ment in Burmese re­peated the mes­sage.

An­other part of the state­ment blamed pro­test­ers whose num­bers al­legedly in­cluded crim­i­nal gangs for vi­o­lence at demon­stra­tions, with the re­sult that “the se­cu­rity force mem­bers had to fire back.” Three pro­test­ers have been fa­tally shot so far.

The protest move­ment has em­braced non­vi­o­lence and has only oc­ca­sion­ally got­ten into shov­ing matches with po­lice and thrown bot­tles at them when pro­voked.

In Yan­gon, the coun­try’s big­gest city and com­mer­cial cap­i­tal, trucks cruised the streets Sun­day night blar­ing an­nounce­ments that peo­ple should not at­tend protests Mon­day and must honor a ban on gath­er­ings of five or more peo­ple. The ban was is­sued shortly after the coup but not en­forced in Yan­gon, which for the past two weeks has been the scene of large daily demon­stra­tions.

Many so­cial me­dia post­ings ahead of the sched­uled nightly 1 a.m. cut­off of in­ter­net ac­cess ser­vice said se­cu­rity forces had set up road­blocks at strate­gic points in the city. In­for­ma­tion on Twit­ter ac­counts that have proven re­li­able in the past said the nor­mal block­ing of in­ter­net ac­cess from 1 a.m. to 9 a.m. would be ex­tended to noon in Yan­gon.

Ear­lier Sun­day, crowds in Myan­mar’s cap­i­tal at­tended a fu­neral for the young wo­man who was the first per­son con­firmed to have been killed in the protests, while demon­stra­tors also mourned two other pro­test­ers who were shot dead on Satur­day. Mya Th­wet Th­wet Khine, 19, was shot in the head by po­lice on Feb. 9 at a protest in Naypy­itaw and died Fri­day.

Else­where in Myan­mar, pro­test­ers against the coup that ousted the na­tion’s leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, again gath­ered at ral­lies across the na­tion.

 ?? As­so­ci­ated Press ?? Stu­dents from the Univer­sity of Medicine in Man­dalay protest the mil­i­tary lead­ers who seized power in Myan­mar. Many work­ers have joined a civil disobe­di­ence cam­paign against the junta.
As­so­ci­ated Press Stu­dents from the Univer­sity of Medicine in Man­dalay protest the mil­i­tary lead­ers who seized power in Myan­mar. Many work­ers have joined a civil disobe­di­ence cam­paign against the junta.

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