38 killed as Myanmar protesters suffer “bloodiest day” since coup

STR/AFP/Getty

Demonstrators have flooded the streets of towns and cities across Myanmar since last month’s coup, even though gatherings of five or more people are banned and security forces have repeatedly fired tear gas, rubber bullets and live rounds to disperse the crowds, and arrested protesters en masse. At least eight people were reported to have been killed on Wednesday. Myanmar protesters suffer “bloodiest day” since military coup as 38 killed by security forces

March 4, 2021 / 5:25 AM
/ AP

Myanmar protests turn deadly after coup

Myanmar protests turn deadly after coup

01:19

Demonstrators in Myanmar protesting last month’s military coup returned to the streets Thursday, undaunted by the killing of at least 38 people the previous day by security forces. STRINGER/REUTERS

The U.N. special envoy for Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener, said 38 people were killed Wednesday, a figure consistent with other reports. A United Nations envoy called it “the bloodiest day” in Myanmar since its military ousted the elected government of leader Aung San Suu Kyi. We have now more than over 50 people died since the coup started,” she told reporters at U.N.   Wednesday’s highest death toll was in Yangon, where an estimated 18 people died. When she also warned the army that Myanmar would become isolated, she said, “The answer was: ‘We have to learn to walk with only a few friends.'”   The coup reversed years of slow progress toward democracy in Myanmar, which for five decades had languished under strict military rule that led to international isolation and sanctions. A formation of five fighter planes flew over the city on Thursday morning in what appeared to be a threatening show of force. STR/AFP/Getty

Schraner Burgener said she had warned Myanmar’s army that the world’s nations and the Security Council “might take huge, strong measures.”

“And the answer was: ‘We are used to sanctions and we survived those sanctions in the past,'” she said. People attend the funeral procession for protester Kyal Sin, in Mandalay on March 4, 2021, a day after she was shot in the head while taking part in a demonstration against the military coup. The black hearse that carried her remains had a photo of her on the windshield, and the hearse was preceded by a truck full of floral bouquets.   According to multiple posts on social media, protests were also happening Thursday in Pyinmana, a satellite town of the capital Naypyitaw; Myingyan in central Myanmar, where there was one death Wednesday; Pathein, west of Yangon; and Myeik, near the country’s southern tip.   Stark video shot Wednesday night at the main hospital there showed grieving relatives collecting the blood-soaked bodies of family members who were shot. STR/AFP/Getty

Protesters in Mandalay flashed a three-fingered anti-coup salute on Thursday as they rode their motorbikes to follow a funeral procession for Kyal Sin, also known as Angel and by her Chinese name Deng Jia Xi, a university student who was killed as she attended a demonstration on Wednesday. Some relatives sobbed uncontrollably, while others looked in shock at the scene around them. he and several other members of the media have been charged with violating a public safety law that could see them imprisoned for up to three years.   Protests also continued In Mandalay, the second-biggest city. Police again used force to try to disperse the crowds, according to social media accounts.   Any kind of coordinated action at the United Nations will be difficult since two permanent members of the Security Council, China and Russia, are likely to veto it. Security Council has scheduled closed-door consultations on Friday on calls to reverse the coup — including from U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres — and stop the escalating military crackdown.   New protests were held in at least three areas of Yangon, the country’s largest city, that have been scenes of violence for the past few days. “Today it was the bloodiest day since the coup happened on February 1. We have today — only today — 38 people died.   As part of the crackdown, security forces have arrested well over a thousand people, including journalists, according to the independent Assistance Association for Political Prisoners. As the generals loosened their grip, culminating in Suu Kyi’s rise to power after 2015 elections, the international community responded by lifting most sanctions and pouring investment into the country.Protests continue, along with funeralsSchraner Burgener said the army has been taken aback by the strong opposition, which has been led by young people. Some countries have already imposed or are considering their own sanctions. Police run towards protesters to disperse a demonstration being held against the military coup in Yangon, Myanmar, March 3, 2021.   “I think that the army is very surprised that it doesn’t work because in the past, in 1988 and 2007 and 2008, it worked,” she said, referring to previous violent crackdowns on uprisings against military rule. First published on March 4, 2021 / 5:25 AM On Saturday, at least eight journalists, including Thein Zaw of The Associated Press, were detained. The body of Kyal Sin, also known by her Chinese name Deng Jia Xi, lays in an ambulance after she was shot in the head during a demonstration against the military coup in Mandalay, Myanmar, March 3, 2021. Most if not all of the deaths occurred in the eastern neighborhood of North Okkalapa.   In the central city of Monywa, which has turned out huge crowds of protesters on an almost daily basis, a memorial service was held Thursday before a protest march began. Many thousands of people attended. The body of 19-year-old protester Kyal Sin, also known as Angel and by her Chinese name Deng Jia Xi, is seen during her funeral after she was shot in the head as Myanmar security forces opened fire to disperse an anti-coup demonstration, in Mandalay, Myanmar, March 4, 2021. headquarters on Wednesday.Defiant junta counting on its “few friends” The U.N.