The situation escalated on Army Day. A delegation from Russia came to the parade.
The youngest victim is just a year old. The baby was hit in the right eye with a rubber bullet. The baby’s pictures were shared tens of times on social media on Saturday.
The situation in Burma (Myanmar) continues to escalate. While the army celebrated itself with a parade on Saturday, thousands of Burmese took to the streets again.
The Burmese military television station announced on Friday that the demonstrators would risk headshots. The soldiers took up the threat: at least 114 people, including children, are said to have been killed in several cities.
According to the United Nations, it was the “bloodiest day” since the coup in early February. “The violence is completely unacceptable and must stop immediately,” said a statement. The European Union spoke on social media of a day of “terror and dishonor”. Killing unarmed civilians and children is inexcusable. The US ambassador to Myanmar also condemned the military’s actions: “The bloodshed is horrific,” wrote Thomas Vajda on Twitter. The Myanmar military has brought shame on itself by shooting at “unarmed civilians,” wrote British Ambassador Dan Chugg on Twitter.
The new protests took place on Army Day, which the military marked with a parade in the capital, Naypyidaw. The generals had unwaveringly held their annual Army Memorial Day parade. Representatives of the Russian military had also traveled – according to Reuters, the only delegation from abroad.
Russian delegation at the parade
According to the state agency Tass, the Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin also took part in the parade. Accordingly, Russia and Myanmar want to strengthen their relations. Both states wanted to develop military and military-technical cooperation. Fomin called Myanmar a “trusted ally and strategic partner in Southeast Asia and the Pacific”. Myanmar’s commander in chief, Min Aung Hlaing, said Russia was a “true friend”, according to the BBC.
Russian media reported that in addition to Russia, countries such as China, India, Pakistan, Vietnam and Thailand had also sent representatives. Russia’s invitation was a reaction to Myanmar’s participation in the military parade in Russia last summer. Russia is reportedly the second largest arms supplier to Myanmar after China. The US, the European Union and the UK imposed sanctions following the February 1st military coup.
The aid organization for political prisoners AAPP had estimated the number of people killed since the coup at at least 328 on Friday evening. With the dead on Saturday, the number would exceed 400. The newspaper “The Irrawaddy” spoke of 59 dead on Saturday, including three children aged seven, ten and 13 years. Independent verification of the data is not possible.
“This war won’t end until we win it,” said an anonymous activist at a demonstration near the famous Sule Pagoda in the largest city of Yangon. “We don’t stop until there is freedom and justice.”
Since the military coup there have been protests against the takeover almost every day. The demonstrators are demanding democracy and the release of the de facto head of government Aung San Suu Kyi. Your National League for Democracy (NLD) party celebrated a landslide victory in the November election. However, the military does not recognize this, as it allegedly had electoral fraud, and at the beginning of February disempowered the civilian government.