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World Myanmar's coup opponents welcome new British, Canadian sanctions

03:26  19 february  2021
03:26  19 february  2021 Source:   reuters.com

Myanmar Youth Defy Military Ban as Thousands Take to Streets

  Myanmar Youth Defy Military Ban as Thousands Take to Streets Thousands of protesters defied the military’s ban on public gatherings to take to the streets of Myanmar’s commercial capital of Yangon on Tuesday morning, just hours after the new regime imposed martial law. Live footage posted on social media showed demonstrators marching through Yangon’s downtown, putting them on a potential collision course with a military that has a history of deadly crackdowns against dissent.

(Reuters) - Opponents of Myanmar's military coup welcomed new sanctions from Britain and Canada on Friday as protesters prepared to take to the streets for what will mark two weeks of daily demonstrations in the Southeast Asian country.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Demonstrators march during a protest against the military coup, near temples in Bagan © Reuters/STRINGER Demonstrators march during a protest against the military coup, near temples in Bagan

Adding to the diplomatic pressure, Japan said it had agreed with India, the United States and Australia on the need for democracy to be restored quickly after the Feb. 1 army takeover in which elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi was detained.

Youth leader and activist Thinzar Shunlei Yi applauded Britain's asset freezes and travel bans on three generals as well as steps to stop any aid helping the military and to prevent British businesses working with the army. Canada said it would take action against nine military officials.

Biden imposes sanctions on Myanmar military leaders who directed coup

  Biden imposes sanctions on Myanmar military leaders who directed coup President Joe Biden announced sanctions on Myanmar for its military coup, which tossed out its elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) won Myanmar's democratic election in a landslide last fall. But generals behind the coup have claimed this election as fraudulent. President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced that he will impose immediate sanctions against military leaders in Myanmar who directed a coup that led to the detention of the nation's democratically elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, among others. Biden also called on Myanmar's military to relinquish power and release prisoners seized in the coup.

Aung San Suu Kyi et al. on a beach: Rally against the military coup in Bagan © Reuters/OBTAINED BY REUTERS Rally against the military coup in Bagan

"We urge other nations to have such coordinated and united response," she wrote on Twitter. "We will be waiting for EU sanctions announcement on 22nd," she said, calling on people to gather at the EU office push for sanctions to include measures against military businesses.

a group of people standing in front of a building: Rally against the military coup in Bagan © Reuters/OBTAINED BY REUTERS Rally against the military coup in Bagan

Myanmar's junta has not yet reacted to the new sanctions. On Tuesday, an army spokesman told a news conference that sanctions had been expected.

There is little history of Myanmar's generals giving in to foreign pressure and they have closer ties to neighbouring China and to Russia, which have taken a softer approach than long critical Western countries.

Biden announces sanctions targeting Myanmar military leaders to urge them to release detained elected leaders

  Biden announces sanctions targeting Myanmar military leaders to urge them to release detained elected leaders Biden's executive order will also limit the military's access to the country's $1 billion in government funds that are held in the US."The people of Burma are making their voices heard, and the world is watching," Biden said in a briefing. "We'll be ready to impose additional measures, and we'll continue to work with our international partners to urge other nations to join us in these efforts.

Junta leader Min Aung Hlaing was already under sanctions from Western countries following the 2017 crackdown on the Muslim Rohingya minority.

"Sanctioning military leaders is largely symbolic, but the moves to sanction military companies will be much more effective," said Mark Farmaner, Director of the Burma Campaign UK group in a reaction to the sanctions.

After nearly half a century of full military rule, businesses linked to the army have a significant stake across the economy in the country of 53 million people, with interests ranging from banking to beer, telecoms and transport.

The army seized back power after alleging fraud in Nov. 8 elections won by Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) party, halting a transition to democracy that had begun in 2011 and detaining her and hundreds of others.

HUNDREDS DETAINED

Myanmar's Assistance Association for Political Prisoners said 521 people had been detained as of Thursday. Of them, 44 had been released.

U.S. slaps sanctions on Myanmar in response to military coup

  U.S. slaps sanctions on Myanmar in response to military coup U.S. slaps sanctions on Myanmar in response to military coupWASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions on Myanmar's acting president and several other military officers and warned the generals there could be more economic punishment as Washington responds to the military coup.

The junta has also come under pressure from demonstrations and a civil disobedience campaign that has paralysed much government business.

More protests were planned on Friday, marking the 14th day of what have become the biggest street demonstrations since the "Saffron Revolution" in 2007, which became a step towards democratic reforms.

The marches have been more peaceful than the bloodily suppressed demonstrations under previous juntas, but police have fired rubber bullets several times to disperse protesters.

One protester is expected to die after being shot in the head in the capital Naypyitaw last week. The army says one policeman died of injuries sustained in a protest.

Three people were wounded by rubber bullets late on Thursday in the southeastern town of Dawei when members of the community took to the streets to prevent the arrest of a protest leader, local media Dawei Watch said.

Protesters have called for the recognition of last year's election as well as the release of Suu Kyi and other detainees.

Suu Kyi faces a charge of violating a Natural Disaster Management Law as well as charges of illegally importing six walkie talkie radios. Her next court appearance has been set for March 1.

Suu Kyi, 75, spent nearly 15 years under house arrest for her efforts to bring democracy and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for her struggle.

(Writing by Matthew Tostevin)

Myanmar military warns protesters could suffer 'loss of life' ahead of planned mass strike .
Myanmar's military junta on Sunday warned anti-coup protesters they will "suffer loss of life" if demonstrations confront security forces, ahead of planned mass protests and a nationwide strike. © YeMyo/AP Anti-coup protesters face a row of riot police in Yangon, Myanmar Friday, Feb. 19, 2021. The daily protests campaigning for civil disobedience in Myanmar are increasingly focusing on businesses and government institutions that sustain the economy.

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