More than 500 people have been neutralized in the Myanmar junta’s aggressive crackdown on protests against its coup to depose civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, according to a local monitoring group’s pronouncements today, Tuesday, March 30,
The grim toll was passed as world powers outrightly condemned the junta’s brutal crackdown against protesters demanding the restoration of democracy and release of Suu Kyi.
As a way to sanction, the United States suspended a trade pact with Myanmar. At the same time, UN boss Antonio Guterres called for a united global front to mount pressure on the junta following the death of more than 100 protesters killed in bloody violence over the weekend.
Daily peaceful protests across Myanmar by unarmed protesters have been met with tear gas, rubber bullets, and live rounds.
The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) said it had confirmed a total of 510 civilian deaths but warned the true toll was probably significantly higher.
United Nations chief Guterres urged the Myanmar authorities to undertake a “serious democratic transition.”
“It is absolutely unacceptable to see violence against people at such high levels, so many people killed,” Guterres told a news conference.
“We need more unity… (and) more commitment from the international community to put pressure to make sure that the situation is reversed,” he said.
US President Joe Biden’s administration announced Monday that the 2013 Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, which laid out ways to boost business though it was not a full-fledged deal, would remain suspended until democracy is restored.
The statement effectively removes Myanmar from the Generalised System of Preferences. The United States grants duty-free access to some imports from developing nations if they meet key standards.
On Saturday, the military marked its annual Armed Forces Day with a major parade of troops and armor in the capital Naypyidaw.
Sadly, the day equally experienced bloody repression of protests within the country, with at least 107 lives lost, among them seven children.
Protesters are not threatened by bloodshed as they still came out on Monday, with mourners at funerals defiantly showing the three-fingered salute that has become emblematic of the movement.
Diplomatic sources have confirmed that UN Security Council will meet on Wednesday to discuss the situation after Britain called for emergency talks.
France condemned the violence as “blind and deadly,” and China added its voice to a chorus of international concern on Monday, urging both sides to endeavor to stop the violence.
The Kremlin said it was “very concerned” by growing civilian casualties, despite acknowledging it was building ties with the military officials.
The US, Britain, and the EU have all imposed sanctions responding to the coup and crackdown, but so far, diplomatic pressure has not persuaded the generals to stop.