02/10/2021, 09.29
MYANMAR
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Naypyidaw, two people shot in protests. Bishops reconsider their position

by Francis Khoo Thwe

According to doctors who treated the wounded, the military used live ammunition. More demonstrations today. Sit-ins in front of the embassy of China, considered "too friendly" towards junta. Bishops remove their directive banning religious personnel from participating in demonstrations. "What is the Church doing when people are arrested and persecuted for no reason?". The condemnation of the USA and the UN.

Yangon (AsiaNews) – A woman has allegedly been shot in the head and is currently in serious conditions according to various human rights groups and social media reports. The woman allegedly was the victim of police violence that broke out yesterday during a large demonstration in Naypyidaw. To disperse the demonstrators, the police used powerful fire hydrants, rubber bullets, but also live ammunition, as confirmed by some doctors who visited the wounded.

These reports are also confirmed by the father of another victim. The man claims that his son was hit by a bullet "when he tried to use the megaphone to ask people to protest peacefully".

The demonstrations resumed today. In the capital, state employees demonstrated in front of various offices, including in front of the Chinese embassy, ​​which was deemed "too friendly" towards the military junta. In recent days, with their veto, China and Russia have blocked any expression of condemnation by the UN Security Council.

Meanwhile, the Catholic bishops are reconsidering their position.

Yesterday's official statement - which prohibited priests, seminarians and religious from participating in pro-democracy demonstrations – was lifted this morning.

On social media it remains in some private tweets, such as that of Card. Charles Maung Bo. The official Episcopal Conference website no longer carries it.

The directive, in addition to the prohibition for religious personnel, gave instructions to the lay faithful not to carry religious symbols with them in demonstrations. There has been an avalanche of criticism of the bishops’ attitude of "fear" and "detachment from reality".

A priest asks: “Our country has been under colonial powers for more than a century and under a military junta for over 50 years. What has the Church done for her people, for her nation? What is the Church doing when people are arrested and persecuted for no reason?”.

Last night, around 9.30, the military carried out a raid on the headquarters of the National League for Democracy, the party of Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader currently under house arrest.

The United States, which leads the international community in its criticism of the coup, yesterday reiterated its condemnation of violence against demonstrations. The junta has imposed a ban on gatherings with more than five people. Ned Price, of the US State Department, said the people of Myanmar "have the right to gather peacefully".

Last night, the UN also declared "deep concern" for the violence against the population.

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