(Yangon) Pro-democracy protesters continue to take to the streets on Saturday in Burma, a day after a new meeting of the UN Security Council divided over the response to the military crackdown that has already claimed dozens of lives.
In Luiku, in the center of the country, hundreds of people, including teachers in green and white uniforms, marched carrying placards calling for civil disobedience.
“If you go to work, you help the dictatorship,” the crowd chanted, “Our revolution must triumph.” Many supportive messages poured into the social networks: “We will win, but be careful”, “Thank you, you are so brave.”
Small groups of protesters have gathered in the San Chug district of Yangon, the economic capital, where makeshift checkpoints have been set up to protect themselves from the security forces. Merchants, who opened their doors in the early hours of the day, quickly closed before the police and army deployed.
Fear is on everyone’s mind: At least 55 people have been killed by security forces since the start of the peaceful uprising against a coup d’état 1is being February that overthrew Aung San Suu Kyi’s civilian government.
A 26-year-old man was shot in the neck during a rally in central Mandalay on Friday, and a non-governmental organization reported raids of residential buildings and a hospital on the Thai border.
Two days earlier, at least 38 protesters were killed, with footage showing security forces firing into crowds and blood-covered protesters, shot in the head.
On Friday, there were power cuts in many parts of the country. It was not known on Saturday whether these cuts were deliberate or the result of unreliable infrastructure.
Internet shutdowns, waves of arrests, and the resort to lethal force: coup generals are more than ever determined to extinguish the winds of rebellion blowing across the country.
They are taking advantage of the divisions in the international community.
The UN Security Council, meeting on Friday, failed to agree on a joint declaration. Diplomatic sources said that negotiations on the text will continue next week.
“We are ready to consider imposing international sanctions in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations if the situation continues to deteriorate,” British Ambassador Barbara Woodward said at the conclusion of the meeting, which was organized at the initiative of the United Kingdom.
Coercive measures have been announced by the United States and the European Union, but observers are urging a move forward with the international ban on arms deliveries, a move that would require the approval of all council members.
However, Beijing and Moscow, the two traditional allies of the Burmese military and the country’s major arms exporters, refused to talk of a “coup,” as the Chinese news agency reported at the beginning of February to a simple “reshuffle.”
Chinese Ambassador Zhang Jun said Friday that our country wants to be a “friendly neighbor,” warning of sanctions that would “worsen tensions or further complicate the situation.”
Other regional neighbors are voiceless.
Singapore, the country’s number one investor, was the only one to raise the bar, invoking through its foreign minister, Vivian Balakrishnan, a “national disgrace.” But the head of diplomacy also estimated that any outside pressure on the generals would have little effect.
In this context, it seems unlikely to hear the call for “unity” launched by the United Nations envoy to Burma, Christine Schranner Burgner.
She expressed regret “the hopes that (Burmese, Editor’s note) have placed in the United Nations and its members are diminishing,” saying that she receives hundreds of desperate calls every day from mothers, students and the elderly.
According to the United Nations, more than 1,700 people have been arrested since the coup, among them about 30 journalists.
Faced with a worsening situation, Burmese began to flee to take shelter in neighboring India, including three police officers who refused to participate in the crackdown, according to the Indian police force.
Socied, the junta, which questions the outcome of the November elections that Aung San Suu Kyi’s party overwhelmingly won, did not respond to multiple requests from Agence France-Presse.
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