Six more Myanmar military figures handed United Kingdom sanctions for role in coup

Pablo Tucker
February 26, 2021

The country has been in turmoil since the army seized power on February 1 and detained civilian government leader Aung San Suu Kyi and much of her party leadership after the military complained of fraud in a November election.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Indonesian embassy in Myanmar's commercial hub Yangon saw hundreds of protesters gather for the second consecutive day.

"We students have to bring down the dictatorship", said Kaung Sat Wai, 25, outside Yangon's main university campus.

The talks came as an anti-coup protester died in detention, a local rescue organisation said.

Military supporters - some carrying pipes, knives and slingshots - turned on the booing residents, witnesses said.

The confrontation underscored the volatility in a country largely paralyzed by protests and a civil disobedience campaign of strikes against the military, which many professionals and government workers have joined.

Facebook said it has banned all remaining accounts linked to the Myanmar military on Thursday, citing the junta's use of deadly force against anti-coup demonstrators.

Facebook is the de facto Internet in Myanmar, used nearly universally for communication and access to everyday services, and has emerged as a major platform for organizing resistance to the military coup.

The security forces have shown more restraint compared with earlier crackdowns against people who pushed for democracy during nearly half a century of direct military rule.

Military chief General Min Aung Hlaing has called for state spending and imports to be cut and exports increased to revive what he called an ailing economy.

Since taking power, the junta has ordered nightly internet blackouts and arrested hundreds of anti-coup protesters, while security forces have steadily stepped up enforcement tactics to quell demonstrations.

Myanmar's electoral commission denied the military's claims of election fraud.

Disparate strands of Myanmar society have united against the coup, which ended a 10-year experiment with democracy as Suu Kyi was detained in a dawn raid.

Indonesia and fellow members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations are seeking to promote some concessions by Myanmar's military that could ease tensions before there is more violence.

In the first known face-to-face meeting between a senior junta member and foreign government officials, Myanmar's FM retired colonel Wunna Maung Lwin held talks with his counterparts from Thailand and Indonesia.

They also feared for their families who still live in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.

"We ask all parties to exercise restraint and not use violence to avoid casualties and bloodshed", she told reporters in Jakarta. Reuters news agency reported this week that Indonesia had proposed sending ASEAN observers to make sure military leaders fulfill their promise to hold fair, new elections.

The military has not given a time frame for a new election but it imposed a one-year state of emergency when it seized power so it would likely be after that.

Retno did not mention the issue of the election but said Indonesia emphasised "the importance of an inclusive democratic transition process".

Worldwide pressure against the takeover also continues, with more than 130 civil society groups issuing an open letter to U.N. Security Council calling for a global arms embargo on Myanmar.

The U.K. announced sanctions on six more Myanmar military generals and a ban on all trade promotion and aid involving the country's government, following a military coup.

Other reports by iNewsToday