Myanmar – Opposition leader calls for revolution

At least twelve other people were killed in protests against the military rulers in Myanmar on Saturday. Meanwhile, in his first public speech, the executive chief of the deposed civilian government called on all sections of the population to continue the protests. “This revolution is the chance for us to combine our efforts,” said Mahn Win Khaing Than in a speech posted on Facebook.

In Mandalay, the second largest city in the country, the police opened fire on a sit-in, as eyewitnesses reported to the Reuters news agency. Five people were killed and several others were injured. Local media reported about more deaths in the economic metropolis of Yangon in the city of Pyay, where the police also shot. Protesters commemorated the anniversary of the death of a student who was killed in 1988. This sparked an uprising against the military at the time.

Despite a night curfew, numerous people across the country took to the streets again on Friday evening to protest against the military junta. Thousands of people with candles gathered for a vigil in the Hledan neighborhood of Yangon, the Irrawaddy newspaper and other local media reported. Many held posters in their hands demanding the release of the disempowered and arrested Prime Minister Aung San Suu Kyi.

Vigils for killed demonstrators

Before the clashes, hundreds of people across the country had gathered for vigils for protesters killed – from Hpakant in the north to Myeik in the south of Myanmar. In Yangon, protesters sat at an intersection, where they sang and prayed. On Saturday morning, numerous people in Yangon took part in a memorial service for Chit Min Thu, who was killed on Thursday. Many participants held up three fingers in the air as a sign of protest.

Since the military seized power and overturned the civilian government in early February, there have been mass demonstrations practically every day. The protests demand the release and reinstatement of the ousted de facto head of government Aung San Suu Kyi. Win Khaing Than replaced San Suu Kyi, who was arrested after the military coup, as a leading member of the former ruling National League for Democracy (NLD), and more than 70 people have been killed so far, according to human rights activists. (apa)

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