The UN is deeply concerned about the harsh police action against protesters in Myanmar. Police solve warning shots and use water cannons and rubber bullets against people on the street. Several people have been injured in several cities, some “very seriously” according to the UN.
The police have been trying for days to put an end to the ongoing protests that followed the military coup at the beginning of this month. According to eyewitnesses, the police in capital Naypyidaw first shot in the air several times. After that, people would have been shot at. A journalist from Reuters news agency spoke to a doctor who had treated three patients with wounds from rubber bullets.
Warning shots have been fired in the city of Mandalay to disperse the crowd. Images on social media show how the police are beating wild around them. More than 20 people would have been arrested.
Online reports of shootings and deaths circulate among protesters, but they are unconfirmed. State television shows footage of wounded police officers. The UN representation in Myanmar calls police action against demonstrators “unacceptable”.
The army committed a coup d‘état more than a week ago and arrested the democratically elected head of government Aung San Suu Kyi. According to the military commander, General Min Aung Hlaing, the November elections, which won Suu Kyi’s party by a large majority, were fraudulent. The electoral committee has found no evidence of large-scale fraud.
In a speech on television, the general said that there will be new elections, but he did not mention a date. Meanwhile, Min Aung Hlaing remains in power.
Many people of Myanmar have little faith that military leaders will return power. Thousands of protesters have been protesting in different cities for days. They demand that Aung San Suu Kyi be released.
Many protesters went out to the streets despite warnings from the army. Like here in Yangon:
New Zealand Prime Minister Ardern has largely frozen relations with Myanmar.
There will be no more talk with the country at a high political level. Military contact is also broken and Myanmar army leaders are no longer able to travel to New Zealand.