World Myanmar protests resume, West condemns security response
Aung San Suu Kyi arrest: What is going on between Myanmar's military and its de facto ruler?
Just two months ago, Aung San Suu Kyi was celebrating a huge victory for her party in parliamentary elections. Now she is in military custody and the fate of Myanmar's fledgling democracy is uncertain.She and several other officials from the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) party were detained hours before a new session of parliament was scheduled to open.
(Reuters) - Protesters returned to the streets of Myanmar on Wednesday after the most violent day yet in demonstrations against a coup that halted a tentative transition to democracy under elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
The United States and United Nations condemned the use of force against protesters, who demand the reversal of the coup and the release of Suu Kyi and other detained leaders of her National League for Democracy (NLD) and activists.
"We cannot stay quiet," youth leader Esther Ze Naw told Reuters. "If there is blood shed during our peaceful protests, then there will be more if we let them take over the country."
Myanmar’s coup, explained
Aung San Suu Kyi’s pro-democracy party was gaining strength, so the ruling military launched a coup.Early Monday morning local time, the country’s armed forces seized full control of the government after arresting Aung San Suu Kyi — the nation’s civilian leader — and top members of her National League for Democracy (NLD) party in a raid.
Thousands of people joined demonstrations in the main city of Yangon. In the capital Naypyitaw, hundreds of government workers marched in support of a growing civil disobedience campaign, which was started by health workers.
A doctor said one protester was expected to die from a gunshot wound to the head in Tuesday's protests. She was wounded when police fired guns, mostly in the air, to clear protesters in Naypyitaw. Three other people were being treated for wounds from suspected rubber bullets, doctors said.
Protesters were also hurt in Mandalay and other cities, where security forces used water cannon and arrested dozens. State media reported injuries to police during their attempts to disperse protesters, who were accused of throwing stones and bricks.
United Nations leads world condemnation of coup in Myanmar
Growing calls for Myanmar military to relinquish power as the UN Security Council plans to hold a closed meeting.Myanmar’s military seized power on Monday, detaining the democratically elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi along with other senior members of the governing National League for Democracy (NLD), which won a landslide victory in November elections.
The military has imposed restrictions on gatherings and a night curfew in the country's biggest cities.
The U.S. State Department said it was reviewing assistance to Myanmar to ensure those responsible for the coup face "significant consequences".
"We repeat our calls for the military to relinquish power, restore democratically elected government, release those detained and lift all telecommunication restrictions and to refrain from violence," spokesman Ned Price said in Washington.
The United Nations called on Myanmar's security forces to respect people's right to protest peacefully.
"The use of disproportionate force against demonstrators is unacceptable," Ola Almgren, the U.N. representative in Myanmar, said.
The protests are the largest in Myanmar in more than a decade, reviving memories of almost half a century of direct army rule and spasms of bloody uprisings until the military began relinquishing some power in 2011.
Myanmar Woman Inadvertently Recorded Coup D'état in Workout Video That's Gone Viral
The viral video juxtaposes a morning cardio workout with a country in crisis.The military, also known as the Tatmadaw, has disputed November's election results, claiming there was fraud in the election. No proof of the alleged fraud has been put forward.
Avinash Paliwal, a senior lecturer in international relations at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, said Myanmar will not be as isolated now as it was in the past, with China, India, ASEAN and Japan unlikely to cut ties.
"The country is too important geo-strategically for that to happen. The U.S. and other Western countries will put sanctions - but this coup and its ramifications will be an Asian story, not a Western one," Paliwal said.
A doctor in Naypyitaw said the woman who was shot in the head with a live bullet remained in a critical condition but was not expected to survive. Social media video verified by Reuters showed her with other protesters some distance from a row of riot police as a water cannon sprayed and several shots could be heard.
The woman, wearing a motorcycle helmet, suddenly collapsed. Pictures of her helmet showed what appeared to be a bullet hole.
Myanmar's army took power citing allegations of fraud in a Nov. 8 election that Suu Kyi's NLD party won by a landslide. The electoral commission dismissed the army's complaints.
Noisy anti-coup protest reverberates in Myanmar's largest city
Noisy anti-coup protest reverberates in Myanmar's largest cityThe party of the detained Nobel Peace laureate called for her release by the junta that seized power on Monday and is keeping her at an undisclosed location. It also demanded recognition of her victory in a Nov. 8 election.
Late on Tuesday, police raided the NLD's headquarters in Yangon during the hours of a military-imposed curfew, elected lawmakers said.
Suu Kyi's party had been due to start a second term on the day of the coup.
Alongside the protests, a civil disobedience movement has affected hospitals, schools and government offices. Staff from the electricity and power ministry in Naypyitaw were among the latest to join the civil disobedience movement on Wednesday.
Activist Min Ko Naing called in a Facebook post on all government workers to join the disobedience campaign, and for people to take note of who did not participate.
"We need to praise them and we need to protect them. We also need to prepare to take action sometime later to those who threatened and oppressed."
Protesters' demands now go beyond reversing the coup.
They also seek 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.
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 detention until Feb. 15. Her lawyer said he has not been allowed to see her.
Suu Kyi remains hugely popular at home despitedamage to her international reputation over the plight of theMuslim Rohingya minority.
(Reporting by Reuters staff; Writing by Matthew Tostevin and Lincoln Feast; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)
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More than a dozen police trucks with four water cannons were deployed near Sule Pagoda in the capital, where many of pro-democracy protests have been taking place. The footage shows people, many of them young, holding placards with slogans such as "we don't want dictatorship", "We need the U.S. army", and others calling for the release of deposed State Counsellor of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi, who was seized by the military in a coup on February 1.