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Burmese junta warns protesters they risk dying

The Burmese junta warned the protesters that they risk dying, which has not deterred thousands of people on Monday from returning to the streets to demand the return of democracy and denounce the coup.

Three weeks after the February 1 coup, the pro-democracy mobilization remains alive. On Sunday tens of thousands of people protested and the campaign of civil disobedience disrupts the functioning of the state and the economy.

“The protesters are inciting the people, especially the exalted adolescents and young people to launch themselves on the path of confrontation in which they will die,” warns a statement in Burmese read on the public television channel MRTV, with English subtitles.

The text warns protesters against the temptation of “confrontations and anarchy.”

The UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Burma, Tom Andrews, expressed concern about these threats.

“Warning to the board: unlike in 1988, the actions of the security forces are recorded and they will have to be held accountable,” he warned on Twitter.

The warning from power has not made a dent in the protesters. This Monday thousands of people gathered again in two neighborhoods of Rangoon, the economic capital.

– “I have a lot of anger” –

In Bahan, one of the city’s neighborhoods, protesters sat on the ground and carried banners in support of the deposed head of the civilian government, Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been detained since February 1 in a secret location.

“We are here to participate in the demonstration, to fight until we win,” said Kyaw Kyaw, a 23-year-old student. “We are concerned about the repression but we will continue. We are very angry.”

The inhabitants of Rangoon were able to verify the reinforcement of the security forces, which deployed multitudes of police and army trucks in the streets, while the streets near the neighborhood were cordoned off by the forces of order.

The markets and shops were to remain closed in solidarity with the pro-democracy movement.

There were also demonstrations in the cities of Myitkyina (north) and Dawei (south).

On Sunday, Burmese people paid tribute to the first fatality of the repression, a young woman who has become an icon of the resistance against the military junta.

The funeral of Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing, a gunshot wound to the head and who died ten days after being in intensive care, took place on the outskirts of the capital Naipyidó, in the presence of thousands of people.

On Saturday two people were killed in Mandalay and a third in Rangoon due to police repression.

– EU meeting –

According to the Association for Aid to Political Prisoners, 640 people have been detained since February 1.

The military authorities again cut off internet access in the early hours of Monday for the eighth consecutive night, according to NetBlocks, a specialist UK-based observatory.

In general, the internet cuts end around 09:00 but this Monday they were going to last three more hours.

The Burmese Foreign Ministry on Sunday night called “flagrant interference” in the internal affairs of the country in the condemnations of the international community.

“Despite the illegal demonstrations, incitement to riots and violence, the authorities are showing the greatest restraint by resorting to the least possible force to deal with the disturbances,” the ministry said in a statement.

The foreign ministers of the European Union are scheduled to meet this Monday to analyze possible sanctions.

bur-lpm-qan-jac / ybl / af / dga