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Myanmar activists hold shoe protests; another banned celebrity




Emerging markets

Reuters staff

(Reuters) – Myanmar security forces on Thursday arrested Paing Takhon, a model and actor who spoke out against the coup, his sister told Reuters, as activists placed flower-filled shoes in parts of Yangon to commemorate protesters. dead.

The shoes are seen during the Marching Shoe Strike in honor of the people who have been killed since the start of the military coup, in Yangon, Burma April 8, 2021. Photo taken by REUTERS
Photograph Photograph: Anti-coup protesters burn Chinese flag in Yangon, Burma April 5, 2021. REUTERS / Stringer
The shoes are seen during the Marching Shoe Strike in honor of the people who have been killed since the start of the military coup, in Yangon, Burma April 8, 2021. Photo taken by REUTERS

Troops opened fire on pro-democracy protesters Wednesday, killing at least 15 people and injuring dozens, activists and media said.

Nearly 600 civilians have been killed by security forces in riots since the junta took power from Aung San Suu Kyi-elected government in February, the Association for the Relief of Political Prisoners (AAPP) said on Wednesday.

The advocacy group said 2,847 were being held in custody.

A spokesman for the junta could not be reached for comment.

Arrest warrants have been issued for hundreds of people, with the junta this week following many influential people, entertainers, artists and musicians.

Paing Takhon, 24, a well-known model and actor in Myanmar and Thailand, was one of the last to be banned among celebrities in the country. He had condemned the taking of armies and had pledged support for Suu Kyi.

His sister, Thi Thi Lwin, told Reuters that the military stopped her brother at 4.30am at their parents’ home in Yangon, where he had stayed for several days while he was not well.

Security forces came with 8 military trucks and about 50 soldiers and it was unclear where he was taken, she said

Paing Takhon had suffered from malaria and a heart condition, his sister said.

The country’s most famous comedian, Zarganar, was arrested on Tuesday, media reported.

Blocked outside the embassy

Across the sea, diplomatic clashes resumed on Wednesday.

Myanmar’s ambassador to London Kyaw Zwar Minn said he had been locked up outside the embassy, ​​with sources saying his deputy had locked him up and taken responsibility on behalf of the military.

Kyaw Zwar Minn has broken ranks with the ruling junta in recent weeks, demanding the release of arrested civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

“It’s kind of a coup, in the middle of London … you can see they occupy my building,” he told Reuters.

There have also been similar allegations against embassies in other global centers and at the United Nations.

Meanwhile, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, the leader of the military coup on February 1, said in a statement Wednesday that the civil disobedience movement, or CDM, had shut down hospitals, schools, roads, offices and factories.

CDM is an activity to destroy the country, he said.

Fitch Solutions said in a report that Western sanctions targeting the military were unlikely to succeed in restoring democracy, but said the military was losing control.

It envisioned a violent revolution that pitted the military against an armed opposition made up of members of the anti-coup movement and ethnic militias.

The escalating violence against civilians and ethnic militias shows that Tatmadaw (the army) is increasingly losing control of the country, he said.

The vast majority of people support the ousted Suu Kyis government, she added.

Suu Kyi and leading figures in her National League for Democracy party, which won an election in November that was overturned by the coup, are currently in custody facing various charges.

The UN special envoy to Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener, hopes to visit the country in the coming days, a UN spokesman in New York said.

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