Top Military Officers from a Dozen Countries Strongly Condemn Myanmar Crackdown

Defense chiefs from a dozen countries, including the United States, issued a rare joint statement Saturday condemning Myanmar’s use of lethal force against pro-democracy, unarmed people.“A professional military follows international standards for conduct and is responsible for protecting — not harming — the people it serves,” the statement said.“We urge the Myanmar Armed Forces to cease violence and work to restore respect and credibility with the people of Myanmar that it has lost through its actions.”The statement released after the violence in the country on Saturday, is backed by defense chiefs from Australia, Britain, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, South Korea and New Zealand.More than 100 people were killed Saturday as the military junta backed by police continues a brutal, countrywide crackdown on pro-democracy protesters on Armed Forces Day, marking the deadliest day of protests since the Feb. 1 military coup.In reaction to Saturday’s killings, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ spokesperson said Guterres, “condemns in the strongest terms the killing of dozens of civilians, including children and young people, by security forces in Myanmar” and urged the military to refrain from violence and repression, in a statement issued on March 27.Myanmar Now news site reported late Saturday a nationwide death toll of at least 114, with at least 29 people killed in the northern city of Mandalay, including a boy as young as 5. The Associated Press cited a Yangon-based independent researcher who put the death-toll at 107 — both numbers exceeding what activists have previously been reporting with a high of 90 killings on March 14.Security forces killed civilians in the central Sagaing region, the eastern town of Lashio, the southcentral region of Bago, near Yangon, and in other parts of the country, according to news wires.“They are killing us like birds or chickens, even in our homes,” said Thu Ya Zaw, a resident of the central town of Myingyan, where at least two protesters were killed, according to reports. “We will keep protesting regardless. We must fight until the junta falls.”The military government further escalated the use of deadly force Saturday with fighter jets launching air strikes in an area near the Thai border controlled by an armed ethnic group dedicated to overturning the coup, according to Reuters.The Karen National Union (KNU), an armed political group, said the jets attacked Day Pu Noe village about 8:00 p.m. local time (3:30 UTC), killing two people and forcing residents to take refuge elsewhere.The KNU said earlier Saturday it killed 10 soldiers, including a lieutenant colonel, as it overran an army base.The Myanmar government has not responded to requests for comment on the civilian killings or on reports of the KNU’s killing of soldiers at an army base.In a show of force, the military regime held a massive parade in the capital, Naypyitaw Saturday to celebrate the 76th Myanmar Armed Forces Day, which commemorates the start of local resistance to the Japanese occupation during World War II.

your ad here

leave a reply