Myanmar coup: Protesters accuse China of backing military junta

A Myanmar protester makes the three finger salute during a demonstration against military coup in Yangon Myanmar

A Myanmar protester makes the three finger salute during a demonstration against military coup in Yangon Myanmar

The day after Myanmar's ambassador to the United Nations made a remarkable speech before the United Nations General Assembly denouncing the country's recent military coup, state television in Myanmar is reporting that he has been removed from his post.

Suu Kyi, the daughter of Myanmar's independence hero, spent almost 15 years under house arrest for her efforts to end military rule.

The coup has brought hundreds of thousands of protesters to Myanmar's streets and drawn condemnation from Western countries, with some imposing limited sanctions. Several media workers were also detained.

Following a brief standoff with protesters near the dock, security forces began firing water cannons at the crowd and proceeded to use batons to beat protesters and other nearby civilians, including an elderly resident who was simply watching, according to Aye Nyein Thu. It is unclear if police used rubber bullets or live shots.

Police were out in force early in the main city of Yangon and elsewhere, deployed at usual protest sites and detaining people as they congregated, witnesses said.

So far, at least five people have been killed since the overthrow - four of them from injuries sustained at anti-coup demonstrations that saw security forces open fire on protesters.

Demonstrators who had been sitting on the ground and chanting slogans quickly dispersed into the smaller residential streets, with some assembling makeshift barricades using barbed wire and stacking tables to halt police.

Domestic media and witnesses reported a similar confrontation in Mandalay where police also fired rubber bullets. Among those detained in Mandalay was Win Mya Mya, one of two Muslim members of parliament for Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD), media said.

Military chief General Min Aung Hlaing says authorities are using minimal force in handling the protests.

Protests against the regime have erupted in Myanmar for three weeks now following a military takeover early this month.

"We need. the strongest possible action from the global community to immediately end the military coup, to stop oppressing the innocent people, to return the state power to the people, and to restore the democracy", Kyaw Moe Tun told the UN General Assembly in NY.

" ... We need further strongest possible action from the global community to immediately end the military coup, to stop oppressing the innocent people. and to restore the democracy", Mr. Tun told the 193-member UN General Assembly, receiving applause as he finished.

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However, the United Nations does not officially recognise the junta as Myanmar's new government as it has received no official notification of any change, said a UN official, speaking on condition of anonymity, and so Kyaw Moe Tun remains Myanmar's UN ambassador, for now.

Delivering his final words in Burmese, the career diplomat raised the three-finger salute of pro-democracy protesters and announced "our cause will prevail".

Authorities immediately did not respond to a request for comment.

Opponents of the coup hailed Kyaw Moe Tun as a hero and flooded social media with messages of thanks.

"It's time for the world to answer that courageous call with action", Andrews said on Twitter.

China's envoy did not criticize the coup and said the situation was Myanmar's "internal affairs", saying it supported diplomacy by Southeast Asian countries which protesters fear could give credibility to the ruling generals.

In more bad news for the generals who have traditionally shrugged off diplomatic pressure, Australia's Woodside Petroleum Ltd. said it was cutting its presence in Myanmar over concern about rights violations and violence.

A lawyer for Suu Kyi, who is being held under house arrest, said he had not been granted access to her, three days before she is due to return to court, adding that it would undermine her right to a fair hearing.

Nobel Peace laureate Suu Kyi, 75, spent almost 15 years under house arrest during military rule.

She has been placed under house arrest and charged with possessing illegal walkie-talkies and violating the country's Natural Disaster Law.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi discussed the turmoil in Myanmar with her Thai counterpart Don Pramudwinai and Myanmar's new foreign minister, retired army colonel Wunna Maung Lwin. It declared a one-year state of emergency.

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