03/30/2021, 15.08
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Mandalay, four dead. The military 'kill every shadow, even the dogs'

by Francis Khoo Thwe

A passer-by and three demonstrators shot dead. To date, there have been over 510 deaths. Civil disobedience: throwing garbage on the streets. Ethnic armed groups are threatening to fight the army for the self-defence of the population. Russia sells 16% of the weapons purchased by Myanmar Army.

Mandalay (AsiaNews) - Four people, including a passer-by, were killed yesterday in Myingyan, in the Mandalay region during a demonstration against the coup. The passer-by, who happened to be there by chance, was shot in the abdomen and died this morning. The other three, aged between 21 and 33, were killed while participating in one of the many anti-junta demonstrations that the population continues to organize despite the risk of being killed.

The military has been instructed to aim for the head or the back if protesters flee. In the evening, when security forces raid homes to track down democracy activists and militants, they fire shots that can kill anyone, even children. "They shoot all the houses in the neighbourhood," says a witness, "they shoot any shadow, even the dogs."

The Association for Assistance to Political Prisoners, which publishes the death toll every day, has declared that since February 1 (the day of the coup) up to now there have been over 510 deaths.

According to state television, the security forces use "riot weapons" to disperse the crowd, made up of "violent terrorists". Today, the civil disobedience movement that is effectively blocking the work of banks, offices, railways, ports, shops, has launched a new initiative: leaving the garbage in the middle of the street. At the intersections of some important roads, garbage begins to accumulate (photo 2).

There are increasing signs that armed ethnic groups are involved in the fight against the junta. Today, an open letter from three groups calls on the military to stop the killings of defenceless demonstrators and resolve the political stalemate.

The three groups - the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army, the Arakan Army and the Ta'ang National Liberation Army - have declared that if the military does not do this, they "will cooperate with all nationalities joining in the 'spring revolution. 'for self-defence”.

Condemnation from the international community are multiplying: the USA, Great Britain, Australia and the European Union have launched sanctions against military personalities of the junta and the economic companies that refer to it.

On the other hand, the pragmatism of Russia (and China) which with its representative Alexander Fomin participating in the Day of the Armed Forces in Naypyidaw on March 26 last, in an evident sign of support for the junta (photo 3), has astounded many.

According to a 2020 study by Sipri (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute), Russia provided at least 16% of Myanmar's armaments in the period 2014-2019.

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