Army fires at funeral as Myanmar mourns day of ‘Mass Murder’

Army fires at funeral as Myanmar mourns day of ‘Mass Murder’... 29/03/2021 Military

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Congratulations! Coup General Min Aung Hlaing enlisted as Genocide Perpetrator.

Defence chiefs of 12 countries condemn Myanmar army after 114 people killed in deadliest crackdown yet on protests.
Myanmar security forces have opened fire on people gathered for the funeral of one of the 114 people killed on Saturday in the bloodiest day since the February 1 coup, as the defence chiefs of 12 countries condemned the military for its crackdown on demonstrators.
There were no immediate reports of casualties in the shooting at the funeral on Sunday in the town of Bago, near the commercial capital, Yangon, according to three people who spoke to Reuters news agency.
“While we are singing the revolution song for him, security forces just arrived and shot at us,” said a woman called Aye, who was at the service for Thae Maung Maung, a 20-year-old student who was shot on Saturday. “People, including us, run away as they opened fire.”
Two people were killed in firing on protests on Sunday in separate incidents elsewhere, witnesses and news reports said. One person was killed when troops opened fire overnight on a group of protesters near the capital Naypyidaw, Myanmar Now news reported.
So far on Sunday, there were no reports of large-scale protests in Yangon or in the country’s second city, Mandalay, which bore the brunt of the casualties on Saturday. At least six children between the ages of 10 and 16 were among those killed on Saturday, according to news reports and witnesses.
Meanwhile, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States were among the countries that signed a joint statement on Sunday denouncing the military’s crackdown.
“A professional military follows international standards for conduct and is responsible for protecting – not harming – the people it serves,” the defence chiefs said. “We urge the Myanmar armed forces to cease violence and work to restore respect and credibility with the people of Myanmar that it has lost through its actions.”
The other signatories were Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands and New Zealand.
Several funerals were held on Sunday for some of the victims of the latest crackdown on anti-coup protesters. In Mandalay, the family of Aye Ko, a father-of-four, commemorated his life at a service after he was killed overnight.
“We are told by the neighbours that Aye Ko was shot and thrown into the fire,” a relative told AFP news agency. “He was the only one who fed the family, losing him is a great loss for the family.”
The General Strike Committee of Nationalities (GSCN), one of the main protest groups, paid tribute to those who died, saying in a Facebook post: “We salute our heroes who sacrificed lives during this revolution”. It added, “We Must Win This REVOLUTION.”
Saturday, Myanmar’s Armed Forces Day, had also brought some of the heaviest fighting since the coup between the army and the ethnic armed groups that control swaths of the country.
Military jets killed at least three people in a raid on a village controlled by an armed group from the Karen minority, a civil society group said on Sunday, after the Karen National Union faction earlier said it had overrun an army post near the Thai border, killing 10 people. The air raids sent villagers fleeing into the jungle.
There was no immediate comment from the Myanmar military.
‘Day of terror, dishonour’
The violence came as the military staged a major show of might for its annual Armed Forces Day.
Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, the coup leader, said during a parade in Naypyidaw that the military would protect the people and strive for democracy. The general deposed Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government, alleging fraud in a November election that returned her National League for Democracy to power.
The European Union’s delegation to Myanmar said that the 76th Myanmar Armed Forces Day “will stay engraved as a day of terror and dishonour”.
“The killing of unarmed civilians, including children, are indefensible acts,” it added.
US Ambassador Thomas Vajda said in a statement “security forces are murdering unarmed civilians”.
“These are not the actions of a professional military or police force,” he wrote. “Myanmar’s people have spoken clearly: they do not want to live under military rule.”
Separately, the US Embassy said shots were fired Saturday at its cultural centre in Yangon, though no one was wounded.
UN Special Rapporteur Tom Andrews said it was time for the world to take action – if not through the UN Security Council, then through an international emergency summit. He said the military government should be cut off from funding, such as oil and gas revenues, and from access to weapons.
“Words of condemnation or concern are frankly ringing hollow to the people of Myanmar while the military junta commits mass murder against them,” he said in a statement. “The people of Myanmar need the world’s support. Words are not enough. It is past time for robust, coordinated action.”
‘Impossible to express the pain’
The death toll in Myanmar has been steadily rising as authorities grow more forceful in suppressing opposition to the coup.
Up through Friday, the Assistance Association of Political Prisoners, a monitoring group, said it has verified 328 deaths in the post-coup crackdown. More than 2,400 people are in detention, it said.
The Myanmar Now news portal said the 114 killed on Saturday included a 13-year-old girl in Myanmar’s second city of Mandalay and a 13-year-old boy in the central Sagaing region.
At least 40 were killed in Mandalay and at least 27 were killed in the commercial hub of Yangon, it said.
Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director for New York-based Human Rights Watch, said Saturday’s events showed that the military, known in Myanmar as the Tatmadaw, should be prosecuted in international courts of law.
“This is a day of suffering and mourning for the Burmese people, who have paid for the Tatmadaw’s arrogance and greed with their lives, time and time again,” he said.
New US and European sanctions this week increased external pressure on the military. But Myanmar’s generals have enjoyed some support from Russia and China, both veto-holding members of the UN Security Council that could block any potential UN action.
Russia’s Deputy Defence Minister Alexander Fomin attended Saturday’s military parade in Naypyidaw, having met senior military leaders a day earlier.
Diplomats said eight countries – Bangladesh, China, India, Laos, Pakistan, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam – sent representatives, but Russia was the only one to send a minister to the parade on Armed Forces Day, which commemorates the start of the resistance to Japanese occupation in 1945.
Dr Sasa, a spokesman for the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), an anti-coup group set up by deposed politicians, said the decision by the eight countries to attend the parade was “disgraceful” and “unacceptable”. He also urged the global community to designate Myanmar’s military as a “terrorist organisation”.
“It is impossible for us to express the pain that we feel when we saw those foreign diplomats joining hands with those celebrations of military generals. All those weapons they displayed today is to only kill the people of Myanmar,” Sasa told Al Jazeera.
“How many people need to die before the international community takes action? … If there’s no action, only words, I’m afraid my country will have to go through the greatest civil war, the likes of which we have never seen before.”

Thousands flee for Thailand as Myanmar military bombs border area

* * * Western leaders condemn military’s brutal crackdown as 13 more people reported killed on Sunday.
Some 3,000 people from Myanmar’s southeastern Karen state fled to neighbouring Thailand after the military bombed an area held by an ethnic armed group, as Western countries condemned the escalating violence in the troubled Southeast Asian nation.
The military launched air raids on five areas in Mutraw district near the eastern border, including a displacement camp, the Karen Women’s Organization said on Sunday.
“At the moment, villagers are hiding in the jungle as more than 3,000 crossed to Thailand to take refuge,” a statement from the group said.
“We demand an international response to the atrocities taking place to send the message that the military cannot longer act with impunity,” it added.
Thai Public Broadcasting Service also reported about 3,000 had reached Thailand. There was no immediate comment by Thailand’s authorities.
Violence also continued elsewhere in Myanmar, as people gathered to mourn those killed on Saturday, the bloodiest day of the anti-coup protests since the military seized power from the civilian government of Aung San Suu Kyi in a coup on February 1.
In Bago, near the country’s biggest city of Yangon, soldiers opened fire on people gathering to mourn 20-year-old student Thae Maung Maung who was among those killed on Saturday. There were no immediate reports of casualties, three people in the town told the Reuters news agency.
“While we are singing the revolution song for him, security forces just arrived and shot at us,” a woman called Aye who was at the service said. “People, including us, run away as they opened fire.”
A further 13 people were recorded dead in incidents elsewhere in Myanmar on Sunday, according to a daily briefing from the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), an advocacy group that is tracking deaths and detentions. It says 459 civilians have now been killed in the nearly two months since the coup, while more than 2,559 have been detained.
‘Absolutely outrageous’
The air assaults on Karen state are the most significant attack for years in the region controlled by the Karen National Union (KNU).
The Karen Peace Support Network said the attack took place after helicopter recconaissance of the area with two fighter jets dropping nine bombs on the night of March 27 killing three people and badly wounding seven. There were more air attacks on the following morning and afternoon including along the Salween River that marks the border.
The armed group signed a ceasefire agreement in 2015 but tensions have surged since the military seized power.
The KNU and the Restoration Council of Shan State, also based on the Thai border, have condemned the military’s takeover and announced their support for public resistance.
KNU says it has been sheltering hundreds of people who have fled central Myanmar in the face of the increasingly deadly crackdown in recent weeks.
Tom Andrews, the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Myanmar said the army was carrying out “mass murder” and called on the world to isolate the generals.
“UN Sec Council can act against junta atrocities in Myanmar. It’s their job,” he wrote on Twitter. “Members should urgently produce a resolution on Myanmar and put it to a vote. Nations who stand w the people of Myanmar can work together to stop the flow of junta revenue & weapons & hold them accountable.”
US President Joe Biden was among Western leaders condemning the weekend’s bloodshed.
“It’s terrible, it’s absolutely outrageous,” Biden told reporters in Delaware. “Based on the reporting I’ve gotten an awful lot of people have been killed totally unnecessarily.”
The European Union’s foreign affairs representative Josep Borrell Fontelles described the situation in Myanmar as “shame and horror: and urged the military to stop the “callous violence”.
Foreign criticism and sanctions imposed by some Western nations appear to have had little effect on the generals so far, while the protesters calling for the restoration of democracy and the release of Aung San Suu Kyi show little sign of wavering.
“We salute our heroes who sacrificed lives during this revolution and We Must Win This REVOLUTION,” one of the main protest groups, the General Strike Committee of Nationalities (GSCN), posted on Facebook.
The country has been in turmoil since the military detained Aung San Suu Kyi and took control of the country triggering a mass uprising demanding a return to democracy.
The military has defended its power grab, claiming there was fraud in the November election which Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy won by a landslide. The Elections Commission has rejected the military’s claims.
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