02/22/2021, 09.57
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General strike against the coup. At least 4 dead

by Francis Khoo Thwe

Hundreds of thousands of people in Yangon, Mandalay and other cities. Yesterday other demonstrations in Myitkyina, Monywa, Pagan, Dawei, Myeik, Lashio. Priests, nuns, Christian faithful demonstrated in Yangon, Mandalay, Taunggu, Loikaw, Kengtung. Singapore also condemns violence and demands a return to democracy.

Yangon (AsiaNews) - A general strike is underway throughout Myanmar, with the participation of hundreds of thousands of people from all social sectors: shops, banks, offices, schools, universities. The same slogans ring out from south to north. "Enough with the military dictatorship" and "Free Aung San Suu Kyi".

The flood of people continues to demonstrate despite the warning of the junta on the state radio that young people, incited to take to the streets, risk "losing their lives".

Three weeks after the military coup, the junta faces unprecedented resistance. Yet as threats and army violence increase, so do the demonstrations.

Two days ago in Naypyidaw the funeral was held of the first "martyr" of the revolt, Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing, who was wounded by a lethal bullet during one of the first demonstrations.

On the same day, demonstrations were held in many cities, notably in Mandalay. Here, according to various eye witnesses, two people were hit with lethal bullets in a demonstration. A 16-year-old boy also died. Several local sources speak of hundreds of injured.

In Yangon, a 30-year-old man was killed while patrolling his neighbourhood to avoid night-time arrests of regime opponents. State television said his death occurred after 20 people attacked a police vehicle, which fired shots to disperse the assailants.

Despite the escalation of violence by the armed forces, the opposition to the regime continues.

Yesterday there were demonstrations throughout the country: in Myitkyina, in the Kachin state, a commemoration was held in memory of the dead of Mandalay; thousands more marched through the streets of Monywa and Pagan, Dawei and Myeik, Lashio and Yangon. Many Christians, including priests and nuns also demonstrated in Yangon, where at least 1000 faithful attended; in Mandalay, in Taunggu, Loikaw, Kengtung.

The voice of the international community condemning the army violence and demanding a return to democracy is also growing. In addition to democratic and Western countries in general, Japan and Singapore have also spoken out: the latter had so far held a very pragmatic and equidistant position. Singapore is the largest foreign investor in Myanmar. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said the lethal force used by the army was unacceptable.

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