People gather during a candlelight vigil to protest against the military coup in Yangon, Myanmar, February 21, 2021. (Reuters Photo )
People gather during a candlelight vigil to protest against the military coup in Yangon, Myanmar, February 21, 2021. (Reuters Photo )

Myanmar gripped by strike as anti-coup protests build

The army seized power after alleging fraud in Nov. 8 elections that were swept by Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD), detaining her and much of the party leadership.
Posted by Kanishka Sarkar | Reuters
PUBLISHED ON FEB 22, 2021 09:37 AM IST

Businesses shut in Myanmar on Monday in a general strike called to oppose the military coup and thousands of protesters gathered despite a threat from authorities that confrontation could cost lives.

Three weeks after seizing power, the junta has failed to stop daily protests and a civil disobedience movement calling for the reversal of the Feb. 1 coup and release of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

"Everyone is joining this," said San San Maw, 46, at the Hledan junction in the main city of Yangon, which has become a rallying point for the protests. "We need to come out."

In a country where dates are seen as auspicious, protesters noted the significance of the date 22.2.2021, comparing it to demonstrations on Aug. 8 1988 when a previous generation staged anti-military protests which were bloodily suppressed.

The response of security forces this time has been less deadly, but at least three protesters have now been killed after two were shot dead in the second city of Mandalay on Saturday. One policeman died of injuries in protests, the army has said.

The deaths in Mandalay did not discourage protesters on Sunday, when they turned out again in tens of thousands there and in Yangon.

State-owned media MRTV warned protesters against action on Monday.

"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.

Htet Htet Hlaing, 22, said she was scared and had prayed before joining Monday's demonstration, but would not be discouraged.

"We don’t want the junta, we want democracy. We want to create our own future," she said. "My mother didn't stop me from coming out, she only said 'take care'."

RESTAURANTS SHUT

As well as local stores, international chains announced closures on Monday, including Yum Brands Inc.'s KFC and delivery service Food Panda, owned by Delivery Hero. Southeast Asian company Grab stopped delivery services too, but left its taxis running.

Authorities were "exercising utmost restraint", the foreign ministry said in a statement. It rebuked some foreign countries for remarks it described as flagrant interference in Myanmar's internal affairs.

Several Western countries have condemned the coup and decried the violence against protesters.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Twitter the United States would continue to "take firm action" against authorities violently cracking down on opponents of the coup in the Southeast Asian country that is also known as Burma.

"We stand with the people of Burma," he said.

Britain, Germany, Japan and Singapore have also condemned the violence and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said lethal force was unacceptable.

Residents in Yangon said roads to some embassies, including the US embassy, were blocked on Monday. The diplomatic missions have become gathering points for protesters calling for foreign intervention.

UN special rapporteur on human rights to Myanmar, Tom Andrews, said he was deeply concerned by the junta's warning to protesters.

"Unlike 1988, actions by security forces are being recorded and you will be held accountable," he said on Twitter.

The army seized power after alleging fraud in Nov. 8 elections that were swept by Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD), detaining her and much of the party leadership. The electoral commission dismissed the fraud complaints.

Myanmar's Assistance Association for Political Prisoners said 640 people have been arrested, charged or sentenced since the coup - including former members of government and opponents of the army takeover.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Topics
Close
British press were 'destroying my mental health,' says Prince Harry(Instagram/sussexroyal )
British press were 'destroying my mental health,' says Prince Harry(Instagram/sussexroyal )

Prince Harry says British press was destroying his mental health

AFP
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 03:35 PM IST
  • In a recent interview, Prince Harry had a heart-to-heart with TV show host, James Corden. Prince Harry spoke about his life in the USA, how the British press played a vital role in the royal couple stepping down from their duties and Queen Elizabeth's Christmas gift for Archie.
Close
Ahmadiya Juaidi, 13, drinks a supplemental nutrition shake at malnutrition treatment ward of al-Sabeen hospital in Sanaa, Yemen February 24, 2021. (REUTERS)
Ahmadiya Juaidi, 13, drinks a supplemental nutrition shake at malnutrition treatment ward of al-Sabeen hospital in Sanaa, Yemen February 24, 2021. (REUTERS)

16 million Yemenis going hungry, 5 million on the brink of famine: UN aid chief

Reuters, New York
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 03:08 PM IST
United Nations hopes to raise some $3.85 billion at a virtual pledging event to avert what Lowcock says would be a large-scale "man-made" famine, the worst the world will have seen for decades.
Close
Kyaw Moe Tun appeared emotional as he read the statement on behalf of a group of elected politicians that he said represented the legitimate government. Delivering his final words in Burmese, the career diplomat raised the three-finger salute of pro-democracy protesters and announced "our cause will prevail".(AP)
Kyaw Moe Tun appeared emotional as he read the statement on behalf of a group of elected politicians that he said represented the legitimate government. Delivering his final words in Burmese, the career diplomat raised the three-finger salute of pro-democracy protesters and announced "our cause will prevail".(AP)

Use "any means necessary" to stop military coup: Kyaw Moe Tun to UN

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 02:54 PM IST
The Southeast Asian country has been in crisis since the army seized power on Feb. 1 and detained elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and much of her party leadership
Close
Militant violence in Pakistan has spiked: In the past week alone, four vocational school instructors who advocated for women’s rights were traveling together when they were gunned down in a Pakistan border region.(AP)
Militant violence in Pakistan has spiked: In the past week alone, four vocational school instructors who advocated for women’s rights were traveling together when they were gunned down in a Pakistan border region.(AP)

'Religiosity fostering rise in terrorism': Pakistan experts

Posted by Prashasti Singh | AP, Islamabad
UPDATED ON FEB 27, 2021 02:53 PM IST
Pakistani authorities are embracing strengthening religious belief among the population to bring the country closer together. But it's doing just the opposite, said Mohammad Amir Rana, executive director of the independent Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies.
Close
US President Joe Biden.(Bloomberg)
US President Joe Biden.(Bloomberg)

Highlights of the Covid-19 relief bill advancing in Congress

PTI, Washington
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 02:38 PM IST
Republicans are overwhelmingly against the bill, raising concerns that the spending is vastly more than necessary and designed to advance policy priorities that go beyond helping Americans get through the pandemic.
Close
Satellite image of Gijet in Tigray region with marked red crosses relate to number of structures significantly damaged and orange crosses show limited damage, lines to the right identify visible scorching.(via REUTERS)
Satellite image of Gijet in Tigray region with marked red crosses relate to number of structures significantly damaged and orange crosses show limited damage, lines to the right identify visible scorching.(via REUTERS)

'Cannot bury the dead': Amnesty report describes Axum massacre in Ethiopia

Posted by Kunal Gaurav | AP
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 02:33 PM IST
  • The Amnesty report describes the soldiers gunning down civilians as they fled, lining up men and shooting them in the back.
Close
Arora Akanksha(Image via social media)
Arora Akanksha(Image via social media)

Haryana woman, 34: Indian American Arora Akanksha running for UN chief

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Mallika Soni
UPDATED ON FEB 27, 2021 03:29 PM IST
Born in the northern state of Haryana, Akanksha moved with her family to Saudi Arabia when she was six years old. She studied at York University in Toronto, Canada, where she received a bachelor’s degree in administrative studies.
Close
File photo of Myanmar police guarding a UN convoy.(Reuters)
File photo of Myanmar police guarding a UN convoy.(Reuters)

Myanmar police crack down on protests; one woman killed: Reports

Posted by Prashasti Singh | Reuters
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 02:24 PM IST
Myanmar has been in turmoil since the army seized power and detained elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and much of her party leadership, alleging fraud in a November election her party won in a landslide.
Close
Jacinda Ardern said Auckland's nearly 2 million residents will be put under a 7 day lockdown starting Sunday. (AP Photo/Nick Perry)(AP)
Jacinda Ardern said Auckland's nearly 2 million residents will be put under a 7 day lockdown starting Sunday. (AP Photo/Nick Perry)(AP)

New Zealand's largest city Auckland back under coronavirus lockdown

Reuters, Wellington
UPDATED ON FEB 27, 2021 02:21 PM IST
The rest of New Zealand will be put into Level 2 restrictions that limit public gatherings, among others, she told a news conference.
Close
A injured man lies on the ground after the police fired rubber bullets during protests against the military coup, in Mandalay, Myanmar in this file picture from February 20. Credit: Reuters/For Representational Purposes(Reuters)
A injured man lies on the ground after the police fired rubber bullets during protests against the military coup, in Mandalay, Myanmar in this file picture from February 20. Credit: Reuters/For Representational Purposes(Reuters)

Myanmar cops fire rubber bullets on pro-democracy protesters in Yangon

AFP
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 02:06 PM IST
The country has been shaken by a wave of pro-democracy protests since a military coup toppled civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1.
Close
FILE PHOTO: Commuters wearing protective face masks in accordance with new public health regulations for riding public transit depart a train station in the wake of a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Sydney, Australia, January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Loren Elliott/File Photo(REUTERS)
FILE PHOTO: Commuters wearing protective face masks in accordance with new public health regulations for riding public transit depart a train station in the wake of a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Sydney, Australia, January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Loren Elliott/File Photo(REUTERS)

On wage policy, Australian oppn blames govt for harrying workers' savings

Bloomberg
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 01:50 PM IST
The government is seeking greater flexibility to allow workers to be able to choose increased take-home pay over a mandatory superannuation increase.
Close
A file photo of a vial of the AstraZeneca vaccine. (AFP)
A file photo of a vial of the AstraZeneca vaccine. (AFP)

Covid-19: Canada to receive 500,000 doses of SII’s Covishield vaccine on March 3

By Anirudh Bhattacharyya I Edited by Nadim Siraj
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 01:50 PM IST
PM Justin Trudeau said, “I want to express my appreciation for the support and partnership of the Indian government in fighting Covid-19, in helping secure these does for Canadians”
Close
Bangladesh foreign minister AK Abdul Momen (Twitter/@AKAbdulMomen)
Bangladesh foreign minister AK Abdul Momen (Twitter/@AKAbdulMomen)

Under no obligation to accept Rohingya refugees, says Bangladesh minister

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 01:48 PM IST
Foreign minister AK Abdul Momen said Bangladesh is under "no obligation" to shelter 81 Rohingya refugees adrift for almost two weeks on the Andaman Sea.
Close
Local officials wearing face masks and face shields as protection against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) stand near a community quarantine checkpoint in a village under local lockdown, in Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines, (Reuters)
Local officials wearing face masks and face shields as protection against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) stand near a community quarantine checkpoint in a village under local lockdown, in Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines, (Reuters)

Philippines extends partial coronavirus curbs in capital until March end

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 01:41 PM IST
Curbs will stay for another month in Manila, which accounts for 40% of national economic output, the spokesman, Harry Roque, said in a statement. Also under partial curbs are Duterte's southern home city of Davao, and the northern city of Baguio.
Close
(FILES) In this file photo taken on September 02, 2020 rescued migrants are greeted by crew members of the Sea-Watch 4 rescue boat and Doctors without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, MSF) as they leave the Sea-Watch 4 to board a ferry on which some 350 migrants will be under quarantine, off the coast of Palermo, Sicily, Italy. - The UN voiced alarm on January 28, 2021 at increasingly frequent pushbacks and expulsions of refugees at Europe's borders, warning that the very idea of asylum itself was under attack on the continent. (Photo by Thomas Lohnes / AFP)(AFP)
(FILES) In this file photo taken on September 02, 2020 rescued migrants are greeted by crew members of the Sea-Watch 4 rescue boat and Doctors without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, MSF) as they leave the Sea-Watch 4 to board a ferry on which some 350 migrants will be under quarantine, off the coast of Palermo, Sicily, Italy. - The UN voiced alarm on January 28, 2021 at increasingly frequent pushbacks and expulsions of refugees at Europe's borders, warning that the very idea of asylum itself was under attack on the continent. (Photo by Thomas Lohnes / AFP)(AFP)

Mexican migrants need protection while they wait: Doctors without borders' head

AP, Mexico City
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 12:50 PM IST
Mexico’s Foreign Affairs ministry said in a statement that among the topics to be discussed will be “the mechanisms for cooperation to address the structural causes of migration in northern Central America and southern Mexico.”
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP