Twelve countries, including the Netherlands, have called for Myanmar in a joint declaration to stop military violence against unarmed civilians. The statement, issued by the Pentagon, is signed by the Defence Summit of several European countries, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea.
The defence defenses condemn the violence against the Myanmar people in the strictest terms. “A professional army follows international standards of behavior and protects the people it serves, instead of harming them,” they write.
The United Nations speak of the “bloodiest day” since the army seized power in the Southeast Asian country in early February. Secretary-General Guterres says he is “very shocked” by the recent violence. The UN rapporteur in Myanmar calls on the international community to isolate the military junta, including by halting trade in oil and gas with the country.
According to the US Secretary of State Blinken, the coup armies prove by recent violence that they are “willing to sacrifice the lives of many to keep some in the saddle”.
According to witnesses and local media, at least 114 deaths were killed in Myanmar yesterday, after police forces attacked protesters. In addition, young children also died. Earlier this week, the army warned that protesters would be shot in the head if they took part in the protests against the military rulers.
Police shot random passers-by:
The brutal violence took place on the Armed Forces Day, commemorating the resistance against the Japanese occupying forces in World War II. Diplomats from several neighbouring countries would have been present at the military parade. Russia was the only country to send a minister to the memorial.
For the time being, Russia and China have not made any comments on the recent violence in Myanmar. As long as the military regime has the support of the two countries, sanctions by the UN Security Council are excluded.
Last week, the US, the UK and the EU have already imposed sanctions on high-ranking military personnel on their own. EU Member State Hungary rejected the sanctions, but did not block their imposition.
The Myanmar coup leader Min Aung Hlaing announced in a speech yesterday that he would not change his course. According to him, the army is ensuring that democracy in the country is secured after the “illegal actions” of Nobel Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. She is the democratically elected leader of the country, but was pushed aside by the army after her election victory.
The coup leader also offered the public the prospect of new elections, but he did not say when they should take place.