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Protests in Myanmar: Parade in the capital, deaths across the country

Status: 03/27/2021 12:55 p.m.

The military junta in Myanmar wanted to demonstrate strength with a parade on “Army Day”. The protest movement again mobilized nationwide against the military. At least 70 people died.

After its violent seizure of power, Myanmar’s military wanted to demonstrate its strength with a large parade. Soldiers with torches and flags marched through the capital Nay Pyi Taw on Saturday, “Army Day” in Myanmar, flanked by military vehicles. There were protests against the military across the country.

Myanmar military demonstrates strength

Angela Ulmrich, NDR, Tagesschau 12:00 p.m., March 27, 2021

The head of the military junta, General Min Aung Hlaing, again defended the military coup of February 1st and promised to hand over power to a new government after new elections. At the same time, the general issued a warning to the junta opponents. “Terrorism, which can be harmful to the peace and security of the state,” is unacceptable, he said. “The democracy we want would be undisciplined if we don’t respect it and break the law.”

At least 70 dead

Since the military coup, the junta in Myanmar has faced massive and brutal protests. More than 2,600 demonstrators have been arrested since the protests began, and more than 280 people have been killed, according to Myanmar human rights activists. The demonstrators are demanding, among other things, the release of the deposed former de facto head of government Aung San Suu Kyi and a return to the democratic process.

On the day of the military parade alone, according to media reports, at least 70 protesters were killed across the country when so-called security forces opened fire in various cities. The news portal “Myanmar Now” even spoke of at least 91 dead in 40 cities. In the commercial metropolis of Yangon, police officers took action against the demonstrators before sunrise. According to the Reuters news agency, seven people died.

Shots without warning

In the northeastern city of Lashio, security forces shot at students. “The army and the police just came and shot them,” an eyewitness told the AFP news agency. “They did not warn the demonstrators and used live ammunition.” There were also clashes in the city of Mandalay; According to Reuters, 13 people are said to have died.

Military parade largely boycotted

With “Army Day”, Myanmar commemorates the beginning of the resistance against the Japanese occupation. Foreign government officials usually also take part in the military parade on the occasion. The military junta is not recognized by many states, so that only eight foreign delegations took part, including representatives from China and Russia.

On the occasion of the parade, the protest movement had called for new demonstrations against the coup. Observers fear that the confrontation between the military and its opponents will escalate.

50 dead on Army Day in Myanmar

Lena Bodewein, ARD Singapore, March 27, 2021 11:45 a.m.

In view of the rising number of victims, international pressure on the junta has been growing for weeks. UN Secretary-General António Guterres had repeatedly condemned the violence and called for an energetic and united response from the world community. The USA, Great Britain and the EU imposed new sanctions against those responsible in Myanmar.

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