YANGON, Myanmar (AP) – Protesters gathered across Myanmar again on Sunday, the day after security forces shot dead two people at a protest in the country’s largest city. The funeral of a young woman killed by the police was also held a few days earlier.
Mya Thwet Thwet Khine was the first confirmed death among thousands of people who have taken to the streets to protest the February 1 coup that toppled the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi. The woman was shot on February 9, two days before her 20th birthday, at a protest in the capital of Naipyidó, and died on Friday.
About 1,000 people in cars and bicycles gathered Sunday morning outside the hospital where his body was in the midst of strong security measures. Even the victim’s grandparents, who had traveled from Yangon, five hours away, were denied entry. When his body was handed over to the family, a long procession of vehicles began towards the cemetery.
In Yangon, the country’s largest city, a thousand people paid tribute to the woman under an elevated highway.
“I want to say through the media to the dictator and his collaborators that we are peaceful protesters,” said protester Min Htet Naing. “Stop the genocide! Stop using lethal weapons! “
There was another march in Mandalay, where police shot two people dead on Saturday near a pier as security forces tried to force workers to load a boat. Longshoremen, as well as railroad workers, truck drivers and many public employees, have participated in a campaign of civil disobedience against the military junta.
Shots were fired after residents of the neighborhood went to the Yadanabon dock to try to support the longshoremen in their resistance. One of the victims, described as a teenager, was killed instantly by a gunshot to the head, while another person died on the way to hospital from a gunshot to the chest.
Other injuries were also reported. Witness statements and shell photos indicated that the officers used live ammunition in addition to rubber bullets, water cannons and slingshots.
The deaths provoked a harsh and swift condemnation of international condemnation.