More protests and funeral follow deadly shootings in Myanmar
Yangon: Protesters gathered again Sunday all over Myanmar, a day after security forces shot dead two people at a demonstration in the country's second biggest city. A funeral was also held for a young woman killed earlier by police.
Mya Thwet Thwet Khine was the first confirmed death among the many thousands who have taken to the streets to protest the Feb. 1 coup that toppled the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi. The woman was shot on Feb. 9, two days before her 20th birthday, at a protest in the capital Nayptitaw, and died Friday.
About 1,000 people in cars and bikes gathered Sunday morning at the hospital where her body was held amid tight security, with even the victim's grandparents who had traveled from Yangon, five hours away, denied entry. When her body was released, a long motorised procession began a drive to the cemetery.
In Yangon, Myanmar's biggest city, about 1,000 demonstrators honoured the woman under an elevated roadway.
I want to say through the media to the dictator and his associates, we are peaceful demonstrators," said protester Min Htet Naing. Stop the genocide! Stop using lethal weapons!
Another large protest took place in Mandalay, where police shot dead two people on Saturday near a dockyard as security forces were trying to force workers to load a boat. The workers, like railway workers and truckers and many civil servants, have been taking part in a civil disobedience campaign against the junta.
Shooting broke out after neighbourhood residents rushed to the Yadanabon dock to try to assist the workers in their resistance. One of the victims, described as a teenage boy, was shot in the head and died immediately, while another was shot in the chest and died en route to a hospital.
Several other serious injuries were also reported. Witness accounts and photos of bullet casings indicated that the security forces used live ammunition, in addition to rubber bullets, water cannons and slingshots.
The new deaths drew quick and strong reaction from the international community.
The shooting of peaceful protesters in is beyond the pale, said British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on Twitter. We will consider further action, with our international partners, against those crushing democracy & choking dissent.
Britain last week froze assets of and imposed travel bans on three top Myanmar generals, adding to already existing targeted sanctions.
Singapore, which together with Myanmar is part of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, issued a statement condemning the use of lethal force as inexcusable.
Urging utmost restraint on the part of security forces, it warned that if the situation continues to escalate, there will be serious adverse consequences for Myanmar and the region.
Another shooting death took place Saturday night in Yangon in unclear