Thousands of Burmese once again filled the streets of the country’s main cities after the first death was confirmed as a result of the crackdown on demonstrations. At least two people were killed this Saturday by police shooting in Mandalay, Burma’s second city, during a protest against the military junta that took power in a coup on February 1, which now amounts to three the number of fatalities from the repression since the coup.
According to witnesses, the first deceased was hit in the head, and his body lay on the ground, inert. This is a young man who came to support striking shipyard workers for joining the protest movement and whom the authorities wanted to force to work. Both his death and that of the second deceased were certified by medical services, according to the witnesses, who specified that at least five other people have been injured in the incidents.
Witnesses claimed that the police suppressed the protest using live ammunition and rubber bullets, tear gas bombs, and also slingshots made metal bolt projectiles. “It’s like a war zone,” they said. With these two deaths, there are now three deaths due to the police repression against the protesters who in recent weeks have taken to the streets of the main cities to protest against the takeover of the military. The country was still shocked by the death of Mya Thwe Thwe Khine, a 20-year-old participant in the civil disobedience movement who was shot dead by live ammunition by the Police, according to reports from various human rights groups.
The protesters today paid tribute to the victim with flowers at various points in Rangoon and painted a message on one of the main arteries calling for democracy and the release of political leaders to challenge the military’s takeover. The image of the young woman, who died on the night from Thursday to Friday after spending 10 days in critical condition due to the shot she received, has become a symbol of the civil disobedience movement. The streets of the country have been filled these days with Massive protests against the military uprising and security forces have sometimes responded with water cannons, rubber balls, and even live ammunition.
The military junta has also tried to quell the civil disobedience movement, which includes strikes in the administration and other sectors, with the deployment of soldiers in the streets, daily internet blackouts, and various laws that have undermined the rights of citizens. The Army justified the seizure of power by alleged electoral fraud in the elections last November in which the National League for Democracy, the party led by Suu Kyi, swept away, as it did in 2015.