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Myanmar’s war-like-violence

At least 9 protestors were killed on Friday as protests continued in Myanmar against the military government which took over power from the civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1. Military and police have used increasingly violent tactics to suppress demonstrations by supporters of detained elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, but that has not put off the protests, with crowds turning out again in several towns.

Among the dead, are a group killed during a violent crackdown in the Hlaing Tharyar township in Yangon by security forces, after unknown actors set fire to factories that were either operated or part-owned by Chinese investors, OHCHR spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani said.

The armed forces resorted to the use of live ammunition against the protestors in the central town of Aungban killing at least eight people, quoting an official of the funerary services in the town. One protestor was killed in the northeastern town of Loikaw, said the local media.

“There are many more reports of further killings that we have not been able to corroborate yet”, she added, noting that confirming information is “becoming increasingly difficult” due to the martial law and communication blackouts imposed in several places where people have been killed and displaced.

The UN has asked the security forces in Myanmar to vacate 60 schools and university campuses in 13 states and regions that they have occupied. Save the Children, UNESCO and UNICEF said in a statement that the occupation of schools is a serious violation of the rights of the children.

Ms Shamdasani added that OHCHR has so far confirmed that at least 149 people have been killed as a result of unlawful use of lethal force since 1 February, when the military overthrew the civilian Government.

The head of Indonesia’s military has expressed deep concern about the deteriorating and increasingly violent political situation in Myanmar, as a group of parliamentarians from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) called for the bloc to more concerted action to solve the country’s crisis.

Speaking at the 18th ASEAN Chiefs of Defense Forces’ Meeting, which took place by video link Thursday, Air Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto took the opportunity to convey his “profound concerns about the situation in Myanmar.”

“As conveyed by the president and the foreign minister, the security and safety of the Myanmar people are paramount,” Hadi told counterparts from the other nine ASEAN member states, including Myanmar.

By Karishma Gwalani

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