Two killed in Myanmar city of Mandalay in another day of protests

Ross Houston
February 20, 2021

The incident came after rubber bullets were earlier fired at protesters in the city, injuring two of them, according to report.

The first known serious casualty of Myanmar's biggest protests in over a decade had stirred anger across the country, adding to the growing fury over the military's February 1 overthrow of Aung San Suu Kyi's government, three months after her party won a second successive election in a landslide.

One man died from a head wound, media workers including Lin Khaing, an assistant editor with the Voice of Myanmar media outlet in the city, and a Mandalay emergency service said.

In addition to the protests, a civil disobedience campaign has paralysed much government business. Opponents of the coup are sceptical of the army's promise to hold a new election and hand power to the victor.

Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing, a 20-year-old college student who took a bullet shot by police to the head, died on Friday, local media reported, citing medical staff and her family. Demonstrators are sceptical of the army's promise to hold a new election and hand power to the victor.

Since she was shot, Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing has become a symbol of resistance for protesters, who have wielded massive banners portraying her likeness during demonstrations calling for justice. The army says one policeman died of injuries.

"We are heartbroken and can not talk about it much now", her brother said, adding that a funeral service would be held on Sunday.

The demonstrators are demanding the restoration of the elected government, the release of Suu Kyi and others and the scrapping of a 2008 constitution, drawn up under military supervision, that gives the army a major role in politics. The electoral commission had dismissed the fraud complaints. They have also called for the scrapping of a 2008 constitution that has assured the army a major role in politics since almost 50 years of direct military rule ended in 2011.

"We reiterate our calls on the Burmese military to refrain from violence against peaceful protesters", spokesman Ned Price told reporters.

As well as the protest by minority people, several hundred people chanting slogans gathered behind police barricades sealing of a main Yangon protest site by the Sule Pagoda.

Crowds also marched again peacefully through the ancient capital of Bagan and in Pathein in the Irrawaddy river delta, pictures on social media showed.

Condemnation of the violence has been fierce, and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has held talks with allied countries in recent days to press for a firm global response.

Britain and Canada announced new sanctions on Thursday and Japan said it had agreed with India, the United States and Australia on the need for democracy to be restored quickly.

Junta leader Min Aung Hlaing was already under sanctions from Western countries following the 2017 crackdown on the Rohingya.

There is little history of Myanmar's generals giving in to foreign pressure and they have closer ties to neighbouring China and to Russian Federation, which have taken a softer approach than long critical Western countries.

Aung San Suu Kyi - who has not been seen since she was detained in a dawn raid - has been hit with two charges, one of them for possessing unregistered walkie-talkies.

Myanmar's Assistance Association for Political Prisoners said 546 people had been detained, with 46 released, as of Friday.

Other reports by iNewsToday