Jump to content

Myanmar police fire into air to disperse protest, four hurt by rubber bullets


Recommended Posts

Myanmar police fire into air to disperse protest, four hurt by rubber bullets



Police fire a water cannon during clashes with protestors rallying against the military coup and demanding the release of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, February 9, 2021. REUTERS/Stringer


(Reuters) - Police fired gunshots into the air and used water cannon and rubber bullets on Tuesday as protesters across Myanmar defied bans on big gatherings to oppose a military coup that halted a tentative transition to democracy.


Four people were hurt by rubber bullets in the capital Naypyitaw, and one of them, a woman, was in critical condition with a head wound, a doctor said.


The Feb. 1 coup and detention of elected civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi has brought the largest demonstrations in more than a decade and a growing civil disobedience movement affecting hospitals, schools and government offices.


Witnesses said police fired guns into the air in Naypyitaw as a crowd refused to disperse on the fourth straight day of protests. One witness told Reuters demonstrators ran away as guns were fired into the air.


A doctor said four people, including the woman with a head wound, were brought to his hospital after being struck by rubber bullets.

Police had earlier fired water cannon at the protesters, who responded by throwing projectiles, the witness said.


Video from the town of Bago, northeast of the commercial hub of Yangon, showed police confronting a large crowd and blasting them with jets from water cannon.


Police arrested at least 27 demonstrators in the second-biggest city of Mandalay, including a journalist, domestic media organisations said.


The unrest has revived memories of almost half a century of direct army rule until the military began a process of withdrawing from civilian politics in 2011, though it never gave up its overall control over the Suu Kyi's civilian government after it won a 2015 election.


That transformation was brought to a halt by the coup that ousted the government as it was preparing to begin its second term in office after Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) swept a November election.


"We are so disappointed and so sad whenever we think about why this has befallen us again," Yangon resident Khin Min Soe said of the return of military rule.


Promises on Monday from junta leader General Min Aung Hlaing to eventually hold a new election in his first address since seizing power drew scorn. He repeated unproven accusations of fraud in the election which he used to justify the coup.


"We will continue to fight," youth activist Maung Saungkha said in a statement, calling for the release of political prisoners and the end of "dictatorship".


Activists are also seeking the abolition of a 2008 constitution drawn up under military supervision that gave the generals a veto in parliament and control of several ministries, and for a federal system in ethnically diverse Myanmar.


An older generation of activists who confronted the military in bloody 1988 protests called for strike action by government workers for another three weeks.


The civil disobedience movement, led by hospital workers, has resulted in a plunge in coronavirus tests, official testing figures showed.


Myanmar has suffered one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in Southeast Asia with 31,177 deaths from more than 141,000 cases.




A curfew from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. has been imposed on Yangon and Mandalay.


State media signalled possible action against the protests on Monday when it said the public wanted rid of "wrongdoers" and while orders banning gatherings of more than four people have been imposed, there has been no elaboration from authorities.


In his first televised address as junta leader on Monday, Min Aung Hlaing said the junta would form a "true and disciplined democracy", different to previous eras of military rule, which brought years of isolation and poverty.


"We will have a multiparty election and we will hand the power to the one who wins," he said. The electoral commission had dismissed his accusations of fraud in last year's ballot.


Min Aung Hlaing gave no time frame but the junta has said a state of emergency will last one year.


Western governments have widely condemned the coup, although there has been little concrete action to press the generals.


New Zealand has suspended all high-level political and military contact and will ensure aid does not benefit the military and impose a travel ban on its leaders.


A Singapore businessman plans to exit his investment in a Myanmar tobacco firm linked to the military, joining Japanese drinks giant Kirin Holdings which last week scrapped its Myanmar beer alliance.


The U.N. Security Council has called for the release of SuuKyi and other detainees. The U.N. Human Rights Council will hold a special session on Friday to discuss the crisis at the behest of Britain and the European Union.


Suu Kyi won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for campaigning for democracy and spent nearly 15 years under house arrest.


The 75-year-old faces charges of illegally importing six walkie-talkies and is being held in police detention until Feb. 15. Her lawyer said he has not been allowed to see her. The U.S. State Department said it tried to reach her but was denied.


Suu Kyi remains hugely popular at home despitedamage to her international reputation over the plight of theMuslim Rohingya minority.



-- © Copyright Reuters 2021-02-09
Link to post
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, snoop1130 said:

Suu Kyi remains hugely popular at home despitedamage to her international reputation over the plight of theMuslim Rohingya minority.


Hugely popular? Incredibly Suu Kyi the celebrated human rights activist and recipient of a nobel peace prize has remained silent to the genocide going on in her own country! 

Link to post
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Venom said:


Hugely popular? Incredibly Suu Kyi the celebrated human rights activist and recipient of a nobel peace prize has remained silent to the genocide going on in her own country! 

Get your facts together first before commenting on that particular issue. It is evident, that the Rohinga (inside Burma called „Bengali“) were uninvited migrants from Bangladesh, as the living conditions there are even worse than in Northwestern Burma. This movement of Bengali was supported heavily by Saudi Arabia to expand the rule of their religion. 
Then the Burmese army stepped in to stop the migration. And yes, they men in arms totally overreacted and killed thousands of people which is unacceptable. But, while the army should be reprimanded (someone sold them the warfare equipment and ammunition) and the official Burma can be taken to accounts, it also needs to be said, that Burma wants to maintain its „sovereignty“ and „independence“. Fact is, that no more Bengali arrived in Northwestern Burma and the same people were not accepted by Malaysia and Indonesia (the boat people story of a few years ago). 
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, being the only credible link between the Burmese government and the rest of the world, had that terrible task of walking on a hairthin rope and, in order to remain in the government and execute her role, she had to keep quiet over that military intervention (or genocide, for that matter). 

Well, now Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, meanwhile a 75 years old lady, has been dethroned overnight again and the discussion becomes irrelevant. Irrespective of what she would/could have said, that genocide happened and you do not have to pinpoint the only link between the junta and the rest of the world as it would not have saved a single life - unfortunately. Burma has been in the doldrums since 1947 and went completely off the planet‘s radar in 1962. It is up to the Burmese people to define their stony uphill battle to whatever government form they find fit. As outside bystanders we can have opinions (lucky we are) but any interference will overcomplicate and delay any further development. Embargoes and sanctions will open the Burmese generals mind for ever so welcome assistance and support from China and who knows, what really triggered off this particular coup. 

The overall power hungry culprit in this equation is China; see what their neo-colonialism has achieved in Cambodia and Laos already. Thailand is on its way there to and Burma just got the roll call ten days ago. 

So, in all fairness, you cannot put all that down in blaming Daw Aung San Suu Kyi; if her ideology and interpretation of a government solution for her country is right or wrong - is to be defined by nobody else but the Burmese. Is the present development democratic - by all accounts not. Is democracy the ideal form of government for the entire world; with an educated and well-to-do electorate yes but you could see, what it took in i.e. Singapore to get there where they are today. 

Link to post
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...