At least eight more protesters were killed by military police in Burma between Friday night and Saturday. People in Myanmar held an event Saturday (March 13) to commemorate a student who was killed by military police years ago in a 1988 tragedy that inspired a popular revolt against the military government.
In Yangon, Burma’s former capital and largest city, three people were killed Friday night when military police cracked down on protesters in various parts of the city.
Three people were killed Saturday when military police opened fire on people protesting at a sit-in in the central Burmese city of Mandalay, media said, citing eyewitnesses.
Two people were also killed in protests Saturday in the town of Pe Mu, located about 260 kilometers northwest of Yangon. A protester in Pe Mu told Reuters that “security forces initially prevented ambulances from treating the wounded and only later allowed them.” The protester asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals. The protester said one of the seriously injured later died.
Bong Maw (Phone Maw), a student at the Yangon Institute of Technology in Myanmar, was shot and killed by military police on March 13, 1988. Myanmar netizens uploaded posters on social media calling on people to take to the streets Saturday (March 13) local Time to protest against the military government and to mark the 33rd anniversary of Phone Maw’s killing.
Myanmar has seen mass demonstrations almost every day since the military coup in early February. Protesters have demanded the release of deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the restoration of her civilian government.
The protests have been met with a sustained crackdown by the military and police, and so far at least 70 people have been killed by police and more than 2,000 arrested. Aung San Suu Kyi and members of her National League for Democracy (NLD) continue to be detained. Recently, two NLD members reportedly died in custody, raising concerns about whether the detainees have been tortured.
Meanwhile, leaders from the United States, India, Australia and Japan have vowed to work together to restore democracy in the Southeast Asian nation.
The leaders of the United States, India, Japan and Australia held a Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) video conference Friday, the first formal summit of the four-nation group.
The coup in Myanmar, where the military has close ties with China, is a major test for U.S. President Joe Biden, who has been in office for less than two months. The Biden Administration says the G-4 summit is part of a U.S. effort to demonstrate a new commitment to regional security.
“As longtime supporters of Burma and its people, we underscore the urgent need to restore democracy and the urgency of strengthening its resilience,” the four leaders said, according to a statement released by the White House.
Thomas Andrews, the U.N. special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, on Friday dismissed a senior Burmese official’s comments as “absurd. The official said the Burmese authorities are exercising “maximum restraint.
In a speech to the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, Andrews called for concerted action to “not let the Burmese junta get away with the crimes it has committed.