- A nationwide strike began in Myanmar on Monday despite threats of violence from the military.
- Millions expected to stop work and join protests calling for restoration of democracy three weeks after generals seized power in a coup.
CNB News – a massive number of protesters gathered in cities and towns across Myanmar as businesses also shut their doors, Despite Curfew from 4am-8pm, and the killings, arrests, threats & intimidations by the Military previous days, barricade & armored vehicles around cities, people come out stronger & bigger across the country to implement a call for a general strike opposing the February 1 coup.
Monday’s rallies, which local media called the biggest to date since the military takeover, came as the United States warned it would “take firm action” against Myanmar’s generals if they continued to crack down on people calling for the restoration of the country’s elected government.
Two people were killed after violence over the weekend as thousands gathered on Sunday in Naypyidaw for the funeral of 20-year-old Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing, who was shot in the head at protests in the capital on February 9 and died from her injuries on Friday.The deaths over the weekend, one of them a 16-year-old, took place in Mandalay, Myanmar’s second-biggest city after police fired live bullets to try and disperse the crowd. At least 20 people were injured.
The violence has raised alarm with the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres saying the use of lethal force against peaceful protesters was “unacceptable”.
On Sunday night, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also condemned the violence.
“The United States will continue to take firm action against those who perpetrate violence against the people of Burma as they demand the restoration of their democratically elected government,” Blinken wrote on Twitter, referring to Myanmar by an earlier name. The US has already imposed sanctions on Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, who led the coup on February 1 and other military officers.
Small groups began gathering in Yangon in defiance of a curfew and a statement broadcast on state television warning the protesters were “inciting the people” to a “confrontation path where they will suffer loss of life”.
‘You will be held accountable’
Tom Andrews, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, said he was “deeply concerned” about the statement.
“Warning to the junta: Unlike 1988, actions by security forces are being recorded and you will be held accountable,” Andrews wrote on Twitter.
Deeply concerned w an ominous public warning by the junta that protesters are "inciting the people" to "a confrontation path where they will suffer the loss of life". Warning to the junta: Unlike 1988, actions by security forces are being recorded & you will be held accountable. pic.twitter.com/1VGa3lWvqS
— UN Special Rapporteur Tom Andrews (@RapporteurUn) February 22, 2021