09/07/2021, 12.36
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Exiled shadow government calls for anti-military revolt

Exiled National Unity Government President Duwa Lashi La issued the call on Facebook. ASEAN makes weak diplomatic efforts. Yesterday the military junta released ultra-nationalist monk Ashin Wirathu, known for his anti-Muslim rhetoric.

Yangon (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Myanmar’s shadow National Unity Government (NUG), made up of exiled political leaders, has called on the people of Myanmar to turn against the military junta that seized power on 1 February in a coup d'état that overthrew the civilian government led by Aung San Suu Kyi.

The NUG’s acting president, Duwa Lashi La, called for a “revolt against the rule of military terrorists led by [coup leader] Min Aung Hlaing in every corner of the country”.

General Hlaing, commander-in-chief of Defence Services (Armed Forces), became prime minister last month, pledging to hold fresh elections by 2023.

In a video posted on Facebook Duwa Lashi La urged members of the military regime to quit their posts and asked ethnic armed forces active along the borders to attack the military.

After the announcement, civilians rushed to supermarkets and grocery stores, whilst the military presence in the streets was boosted and some streets blocked.

After the coup, a spontaneous movement of civil disobedience emerged across the country and various armed groups clashed with the military. More than 1,000 civilians have been killed by the military since February.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has stepped up diplomatic efforts in recent days to end the violence and open a dialogue between the junta and the NUG.

ASEAN envoy to Myanmar, Erywan Yusof, said the military accepted a proposed ceasefire until the end of the year to ensure the distribution of humanitarian aid; however, many doubt that they will honour their commitment.

Meanwhile, the authorities today released Buddhist monk Ashin Wirathu, known for his nationalist and anti-Muslim rhetoric.

For his speeches against the Rohingya, Wirathu has been nicknamed the “Buddhist Bin Laden”.

In 2017 Myanmar’s highest Buddhist religious authority banned him from preaching for a year, and Facebook deleted his account in 2018 for its hate content.

In 2019 the government of Aung San Suu Kyi accused him of sedition, but the monk remained on the run for over a year before surrendering himself to the police last November.

He has been held in Yangon's Insein Prison since then, but yesterday the military junta dropped all charges and dismissed the case against him without any explanation.

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