Demonstrations continue in Myanmar. The junta violently vents frustration
by Francis Khoo Thwe

At least 8 dead yesterday. The toll so far is 521 killed and 2608 arrested. Last night, candlelight vigils in many cities; demonstration in the Kachin State at dawn. The ethnic armed groups of the Karen and the Kachin join the struggle. Air raid by the junta in a gold mining area, managed by Karen and the Chinese.

Yangon (AsiaNews) - Demonstrations against the coup d'état in Myanmar show no sign of slowing and even if the security forces of the junta strike, kill, burn, arrest, immediately afterwards, in the same places where the violence took place, the demonstrators reappear.

Yesterday, after hundreds of thousands went out to demonstrate in many cities, soldiers killed at least 8 people. In Kawthaung, in the south, a young man was killed with a bullet to the head (photo 1); in Bago a bank employee was killed point blank; a demonstrator was killed in Mandalay; in Muse (Shan State) a man was killed with a bullet to the head; in Myitkyina (Kachin State) a young man was shot dead in a shop.

Despite this, candlelight vigils were organized yesterday evening in some cities in honour of the fallen heroes and in contempt of the curfew wanted by the junta. In Moegaung (Kachin state) there was a demonstration at the first light of dawn.

According to the Association for Aid to Political Prisoners, up to yesterday the death toll was 521 victims. The total number of people arrested for demonstrations and activism is 2608. Of these, only 37 have been sentenced so far; there are also 120 arrest warrants for missing or fleeing people.

The involvement of ethnic armed groups in the fight against the junta is also growing.

This morning, the Kia (Kachin Independence Army) attacked a police station.

The most difficult situation remains that of the Karen. Since last weekend, junta planes have carried out raids and bombings against some villages controlled by the Knu (Karen National Union), killing about ten people. The KNU says the planes also hit schools and homes. More than 10 thousand Karen have fled due to the attacks (photo 2). Two thousand tried to cross the border into Thailand, but were sent back.

The Knu has asked the Thai government and the international community to offer humanitarian aid and protection for the displaced. It also asks countries not to recognize the junta and to cut off all economic ties with it.

According to news from The Irrawaddy newspaper, one of the sites bombed yesterday by the junta's air raid, is located in Shwekyin, in the Bago area. This is an area where the search for gold flourishes.

At present the area is exploited by a company linked to the Knu and by a Chinese company, the Shwe Dana Tun Lin. According to some analysts, the junta is trying in every way to push China and Russia to support it in the international community, showing that without it you cannot trade in Myanmar.