02/17/2021, 12.34
MYANMAR
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Yangon, streets blocked by demonstrators. Charges against Aung San Suu Kyi are growing

by Francis Khoo Thwe

In several cities, apparently broken-down cars block traffic on roads and bridges. The "Lady" is also accused of having violated a law on the management of natural disasters, i.e. the anti-Covid directives. China accused of sending Chinese soldiers to fight the population. Fears of a civil war. Violence is growing.

Yangon (AsiaNews) - Thousands of people demonstrated today in various cities of the country to show their opposition to the military coup and express their support for the democratic leader Aung San Suu Kyi, winner of last November's elections.

The protest was called a "broken car campaign": people stopped their cars in central streets or on bridges, with the hood open, as if their cars had broken down. The expedient serves to stop the army vehicles and police cars that want to drive out the demonstrators.

However, the blocked traffic also created problems for those who wanted to demonstrate, because it made it difficult to reach the meeting place.

Meanwhile, at the online hearing of the emergency government against Aung San Suu Kyi, a heavier charge was added those of illegally possessing walkie-talkies: the "Lady" now stands accused of having violated a law on natural disaster management.

This accusation has been used in recent months against those who violated the anti-pandemic rules. Above all, with similar allegations, the Democratic leader risks being under house arrest for an indefinite period and without trial.

After the ban on gatherings launched by the junta, todays are among the largest demonstrations, and above all they show that the population will not give up. Appeals to demonstrate and oppose the army are also multiplying on the web, which is blocked in fits and starts.

Military operations are also becoming heavier and more massive. The people of Myanmar, exhausted at the thought of having to relive a dictatorship that had seemed obsolete, accuse the army and the generals of wanting to "destroy the country and the future of our children".

Tom Andrews, UN special envoy for Myanmar, fears that the situation could get more and more out of control, and that violence against the population could spark a civil war. "I am terrified that given the confluence of these two developments – planned mass protests and troops converging – we could be on the precipice of the military committing even greater crimes against the people of Myanmar”, he added.

There are rumours in the country that China has offered its troops to the junta, to prevent Burmese soldiers from being stopped by the people and persuaded to desert.

Beijing has denied supporting the military government in any way, although the UN Security Council has stopped a motion condemning the coup.

Meanwhile, the list of violence is getting longer. A 20-year-old woman, shot by the police in Mandalay, is now in danger of dying. Yesterday, in Maungmya, six demonstrators were injured by police rubber bullets. The army says the demonstrators threw stones at the soldiers, injuring several.

Police spokesman Zaw Min Tun said that one policeman was killed two days ago during a protest in Mandalay.

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