Despite the bloodshed caused by military repression, demonstrations and strikes continue in Burma. Opponents of the coup attempt to thwart oppression with new means of action. On Saturday April 10, some of them smeared with red paint several arteries in the center of Rangoon, the country’s economic capital, as part of an initiative called the “Red Movement”.
“Let us unite and boldly show in red that the dictatorial regime will not be allowed to rule us at all”, proclaimed a student on Facebook. Leaflets bearing the slogan “They will not govern us” were scattered in several districts of Yangon for some, while others were stuck in the second city of the country, Mandalay (center), in particular on the statue of General Aung San, hero of Burmese independence and father of Aung San Suu Kyi. The latter, Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1991, has remained in incommunicado detention since the military coup of 1er February. She is the subject of a series of legal accusations by the junta currently in power.
Since the overthrow of the civilian government of Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma has been rocked by daily protests, in which at least 618 civilians have so far been killed, according to the Association for Assistance to Political Prisoners. The junta, which qualifies the victims of “Violent terrorists”, accounts for its part 248 deaths since the 1er February, as one of its spokespersons said on Friday.
Several Burmese civilians pleaded with the UN Security Council to act, and Burma’s permanent representative to the UN Kyaw Moe Tun, sacked by the junta but still in office, also pleaded: “Please, please take action. “ He claimed a “No-fly zone” to counter the regime’s raids against minorities, with sanctions against the junta and an arms embargo.
The UN envoy for Burma, Christine Schraner Burgener, began a tour in Thailand on Friday that will take her to China and then to various member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, including one emergency summit is scheduled for April 20 in Jakarta. Burma, for its part, refused to welcome Mr.me Schraner Burgener on his floor.
Also listen In Burma, the people against the army
19 people sentenced to death
The junta’s restrictions on access to mobile data and the Internet hamper the flow and verification of information, but details leaked on Saturday about the violence that had occurred the day before in Bago (65 kilometers away north-east of Rangoon), and which prompted many residents to take refuge in neighboring villages.
“More than 80 protesters against the coup were killed by security forces in Bago on Friday”, declared this Saturday the Association of assistance to political prisoners. The police prevented the rescuers from recovering the bodies, a resident of the city also told AFP. “They piled up all the corpses, loaded them into their military truck and took them away”, he said, before adding that the authorities had subsequently made arrests around.
On Friday, several local media reported the conviction of 19 people to death – including 17 in absentia – for acts of theft or murder, following a volley of arrests in the slum of Okkalapa North , on the outskirts of Yangon – one of six areas where martial law is in force.
These death sentences for common law offenses – a first since the coup d’état – were denounced on Saturday by the non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch (HRW). “It shows that the military is ready to go back to the time when people were executed in Burma [soit plus de trente ans en arrière] “, said Phil Robertson, deputy director of the Asia zone at HRW. These sentences could be aimed at discouraging protests and forcing the population to return to work, according to Mr. Robertson. “Their goal is to drive people out of the streets by the use of force and violence”, he stressed.
Norway on Saturday called the sentences“Unacceptable and [de] deeply disturbing “. “Norway urges Burma not to carry out these sentences, to put an end to the violence and to allow the UN envoy to go there”Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide said in a tweet.
The international community is increasingly alarmed by the situation. Of course, Russia and China reject the idea of applying sanctions, but the United States and several European countries expressed to the Security Council on Friday their desire to go beyond the three unanimous declarations adopted. since the putsch.
A traditional ally of the Burmese army, Beijing is nevertheless worried about the instability in the country. Various press reports attest that China has come into contact with the resistance group CRPH (Committee to represent the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw), the Burmese legislative body dissolved after the putsch.