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March 5, 2024

Myanmar military arrests six politicians as protests continue

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Myanmar’s military has arrested at least six more members of the country’s ousted government of de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, including one of her close advisers, the daily, The Irrawaddy reported on Thursday.

The high-ranking politicians were detained on Wednesday evening, after members of Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party had openly supported the mass protest against a recent military coup, the report said.

The 75-year-old Suu Kyi is said to be under house arrest but has not been seen in public since the coup and has reportedly been charged under the country’s import-export law for walkie-talkies found in her home.

The military junta has since imposed a one-year state of emergency and appointed a new cabinet, citing election fraud in the recent November polls, which the NLD had won with a decisive majority, as reason for overturning the government.

Meanwhile, demonstrations continued on Thursday for a sixth consecutive day, despite a violent police crackdown on protesters on Tuesday including arrests and injuries.

A large rally was held in front of the Chinese embassy in Yangon, with participants accusing Beijing of supporting the military junta. “The world is us, but China is behind the military regime,” a poster read.

In the northern city of Mandalay, colourfully dressed artists took to the streets to demand the restoration of civilian rule, while bank and railway employees also took part in demonstrations.

In addition, several ethnic minority groups joined the protests according to reports on social networks.

The U.S. Treasury Department announced on Thursday that it had sanctioned individuals and entities from Myanmar responsible for the military coup that took place in the country on Feb. 1.

Min Aung Hlaing, the commander-in-chief of Myanmar’s military forces, is one of the individuals sanctioned.

U.S. President Joe Biden had announced punitive measures on Wednesday.

Calls are also growing louder in Germany for the government to follow the U.S.’ lead and sanction Myanmar.

The Society for Threatened Peoples, a human rights group, said Foreign Minister Heiko Maas should push for sanctions at the German and European level.

“The military must go back to the barracks, the putsching generals must be deprived of their power and sanctioned,” said Jasna Causevic, the group’s expert on genocide prevention. (dpa/NAN)

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