Myanmar military promises new elections, threatens protesters

Myanmar protesters

Myanmar protesters

A United Nations human rights investigator has called for an emergency summit on Myanmar, saying that the diplomatic response to last month's military coup and the crackdown on dissent was "out of step with the scale of the crisis".

"We are horrified that children continue to be among the targets of these fatal attacks on peaceful protestors". "The revolution must prevail".

Her party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), has been in disarray since the coup, with some of its elected MPs in hiding.

At least 275 people have been killed since the coup, according to AAPP, though activists say the death toll is likely much higher.

He stressed his claim the military will ensure social and economic developments in the country.

Both are part of a military-controlled network which spans sectors from mining to tourism and has enriched the generals.

The sanctions against the two companies and their holdings block access to any property they control in the United States and effectively bars any USA person or company from conducting any sort of business with them, including supplying them with funds or providing goods or services. It also prohibits USA companies or citizens from trading or conducting financial transactions with those listed.

The violent response from the military leaders has drawn worldwide condemnation and sanctions. "MEHL and MEC are the two largest military holding companies in Burma, and all shares in them are held and managed by current or former Burmese military officers, regiments, and units, and organizations led by former service members".

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the sanctions "target the military's financial interests to help drain the sources of finance for their campaigns of repression against civilians".

Earlier US measures had hit individuals linked to the coup, while junta leader and army commander General Min Aung Hlaing was already blacklisted due to previous human rights issues.

The movement against the junta and its takeover received a major boost on Thursday when the USA and the United Kingdom announced tough sanctions against two military-owned conglomerates with vast holdings in many sectors.

But although many foreign governments have condemned the military's actions, Thomas Andrews, special United Nations rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, said the diplomatic response was slow and called for an emergency summit on the crisis.

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Its data shows that at least 25% of those who were killed died from shots to the head, raising suspicions they were deliberately targeted for killing.

Other media outlets reported that at least five people sustained bullet wounds when security forces opened fire on protests in other towns.

Reuters could not independently verify the numbers killed.

Many protesters are calling for the formation of a federal army and Yawd Serk said he supported that.

Responding to a request for comment, MEHL general manager Hla Myo said in an e-mail to Reuters: "The company is basically focusing on business and has no immediate response for now".

Candle-lit vigils took place across the country again overnight, photographs on social media showed. Residents heard bangs that could be either stun grenades or gunfire although there was no protest in the area, they said. "They want to protest every day without skipping one day", she said.

Some of NLD leaders had been found guilty of corruption and legal action was being taken against them, he added.

On Wednesday, several hundred prisoners, arrested during crackdowns against opponents of the coup, were freed from prison, Reuters reported, citing witnesses, lawyers and local media.

This has infuriated authorities, who arrested people suspected of supporting the movement, often in night raids on homes.

The civil disobedience movement had a boost on Friday when a group of Norwegian academics nominated it for the Nobel Peace Prize - won in 1991 by Suu Kyi.

But the junta has struggled to achieve worldwide recognition since taking control of Myanmar and said that only eight global delegations attended Saturday's event, including China and Russian Federation. He had visited Malaysia and Brunei earlier in the week.

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