Many more people killed by military police in Myanmar as demonstrations continue

Defying a bloody crackdown by the military and police, Burmese people continued to take to the streets on Monday (March 15, 2021) to protest against the military’s February 1 coup and overthrow of the democratically elected government. Sources said at least five people were shot dead by military police in the latest protest action.

Security forces killed at least 39 people on Sunday, 22 of them in a suburb of Myanmar’s main city of Yangon, in what will be the bloodiest day of protests against the junta, which seized power in a Feb. 1 coup.

Security forces fired on protesters in the Yangon suburb of Harin Taya, Home to a Chinese-owned factory, Reuters reported, citing the Aid Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP). China is seen as supporting the Burmese junta. Authorities have imposed martial law on Harin Thaya.

According to Reuters, the military-run Mi Awadhi TV said four garment factories and a fertilizer plant were set on fire, and about 2,000 people prevented fire trucks from entering and security forces took action. Black smoke rose over the area, and some reports said two of the factories were burned down. A spokesman for the military government did not answer calls from reporters for comment.

Separately, NBC financial channel CNBC reported that the Chinese Embassy in Myanmar called on Burmese authorities to protect Chinese property and citizens. Two Chinese-funded garment factories were set on fire by unidentified assailants.

China’s official news agency China International Television CGTN quoted the Chinese embassy in Myanmar as saying they had appealed for assistance. “China urges the Myanmar side to take further effective measures to stop all violence, punish the perpetrators according to the law and ensure the safety of the lives and property of Chinese companies and personnel in Myanmar,” the statement said. .

The Political Prisoners Assistance Association said 16 other protesters were killed in other cities and townships, and one police officer was killed. The previous deadliest day was March 3, when a total of 38 people died across Myanmar.

The protests are in their seventh week after the military detained de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and took power. Since then, security forces have killed 126 people and detained more than 2,150 as of Saturday, with more than 300 released so far, the Political Prisoners Assistance Association said.