Western diplomats warn Myanmar military that 'the world is watching'

Military deploys armoured vehicles in major cities of Myanmar

Military deploys armoured vehicles in major cities of Myanmar

Myanmar police have filed a second charge against former leader Aung San Suu Kyi, after the military deposed her and seized power in a coup on February 1, her lawyer said on Tuesday. Myanmar's military leaders extended their detention of Suu Kyi, whose remand was set to expire on Monday, as protests continued to roil the Southeast Asian country following a military coup earlier this month.

The anti-coup movement has continued apace despite intensifying fears of a harsher crackdown, like on Sunday night when troops in the northern city of Myitkyina fired tear gas and then shot into a crowd of protesters.

"We guarantee. that the election will be held", he toldthe news conference which the military broadcast live overFacebook, a platform the military has banned.

As well as the demonstrations around the country, the military is facing a strike by government workers, part of a civil disobedience movement that is crippling many functions of government.

An armoured vehicle drives next to the Sule Pagoda, following days of mass protests against the military coup, in Yangon on February 14, 2021. "We want to establish a real federal union where all citizens, all ethnicities are treated equally".

Violence during the protests has been limited compared with that under previous juntas, but police have opened fire several times, mostly with rubber bullets, to disperse protesters, including on Monday.

The generals imposed an hours-long internet shutdown on Monday morning and ratcheted up the military's presence across the country overnight, sending armoured vehicles onto the streets of Yangon, the nation's commercial hub and biggest city.

The unrest has revived memories of bloody outbreaks of opposition to nearly half a century of direct army rule over the Southeast Asian nation, which ended in 2011, when the military began a process of withdrawing from civilian politics.

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Nuns from various congregations have shown solidarity with the people of Myanmar by marching on the streets, saying prayers at convents and offering snacks to protesters in Yangon and elsewhere. In front of the central bank, participants called for bank employees to join the civil disobedience movement. An armoured vehicle and about six trucks carrying soldiers were parked nearby.

Meanwhile, police in Naypyitaw detained about 20 high-school students protesting by a road. Images posted on social media by one of the students showed them chanting slogans of defiance as they were taken away in a police bus. "We haven't heard or received bad news". However, her current status is unclear.

The government and army could not be reached for comment.

On Sunday, the military published penal code amendments aimed at stifling dissent and residents reported an internet outage after midnight on Sunday which lasted until about 9 am.

The self-styled Committee Representing the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw has 15 members who met online and said they have enough support to convene Parliament. The army has been carrying out nightly mass arrests and on Saturday gave itself sweeping powers to detain people and search private property.

The independent Assistance Association for Political Prisoners says 384 people have been detained since the coup, with 360 still being held.

Suu Kyi, 75, spent almost 15 years under house arrest for her efforts to end military rule. The state election commission found no evidence to support the claims of fraud.

Foreign embassies in Myanmar, including those of the USA and European Union member states, issued a joint statement Sunday saying they "unequivocally condemn the detention of political leaders, social activists and civil servants" and called for an end to violence against protesters.

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