Yangon, Myanmar-The Burmese police stepped up protests against demonstrators to oppose this month’s military takeover, and deployed and took effect early on Saturday as protesters tried to rally in the country’s two largest cities.
In some areas, security forces appear to have become more aggressive in the use of force and arrests, using more plainclothes police officers than previously disclosed. Photos posted on social media show that residents of at least two cities, Yangon and Monywa, resisted by erecting temporary roadblocks in an attempt to prevent the advance of the police.
At the special session of the UN General Assembly on Friday, the crisis in Myanmar also took a dramatic turn on the international stage, when the country’s UN ambassador declared loyalty to the dismissed Aung San Suu Kyi civilian government and called on the world to exert pressure. The army gave in.
Arrested in Myanmar’s two largest cities, Yangon and Mandalay on Saturday, demonstrators marched in the streets every day to demand the restoration of the Suu Kyi government, whose National League for Democracy won an overwhelming election victory in November.
The police are increasingly asking the military government to order a ban on gatherings of five or more people.
Many other towns also held large-scale protests against the coup on February 1.
After seeing large-scale demonstrations in both cities, police in Dawei in the southeast and Monywa, 85 miles northwest of Mandalay, used force on the demonstrators.
Unconfirmed reports on social media claimed that the protesters were shot and killed in Monywa. These reports cannot be independently confirmed immediately. The Monywa report also stated that dozens of people were arrested.
After fifty years of military rule, military takeover reversed the slow democratic process for many years.
Suu Kyi’s party could have been re-elected for a second five-year term, but the army prevented the convening of the parliament and detained her, President Win Myint, and other high-level members of her government.
At the UN General Assembly in New York, Myanmar’s ambassador to the UN, Kyaw Moe Tun, announced in an emotional speech by the delegates that he represented Suu Kyi’s “civilian government elected by the people” and supported the struggle against military rule.
He urged all countries to make public statements, strongly condemned the coup, and refused to recognize the military regime.
In this global institution in 193 countries, he won enthusiastic applause from many diplomats and received enthusiastic praise on social media from other Burmese people who praised him as a hero. At the end of the speech, the ambassador flashed three fingers to pay tribute, which was a salute used by the civil disobedience movement.
Download the NBC News app to fully report on the coronavirus outbreak
In Yangon on Saturday morning, the police began to make early arrests at the Hledan Center intersection, which has become a gathering place for protesters, and then they spread to other parts of the city.
The security forces also tried to thwart the protests in Mandalay. Mandalay set up roadblocks at several key intersections and regular gathering places were flooded by police.
Buddhist monks performed prominently in the demonstration in Mandalay on Saturday, giving moral authority to a civil disobedience movement that challenged military rulers.
The military government stated that it came to power because last year’s polls were disrupted by large-scale violations. The Election Commission rejected the allegations of widespread fraud. The military government disbanded the members of the old committee and appointed new members. They cancelled the election results last Friday.