News ID: 88672
Publish Date : 17 March 2021 - 21:22
NAYPYITAW (Reuters) -- Myanmar’s most powerful Buddhist monks’ association called on the junta to end violence against protesters and accused an "armed minority” of torture and killing innocent civilians since last month’s coup, media said on Wednesday.
In its most forthright condemnation of the military’s bloody crackdown on demonstrations, the government-appointed organization also said in a draft statement its members intended to halt activities, in an apparent protest.
The State Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee planned to release a final statement after consulting the religious affairs minister on Thursday, the Myanmar Now news portal said, citing a monk who attended a meeting of the committee.
Monks have a long history of activism in Myanmar and were at the forefront of a 2007 "Saffron Revolution” against military rule.
Myanmar has been in turmoil since the military ousted Aung San Suu Kyi’s government on Feb. 1, detaining her and members of her party.
More than 180 protesters have been killed as security forces try to crush a wave of demonstrations, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners activist group says.
Protesters in Yangon confronted security forces over a sand-bag barricade on one street in Yangon. Police opened intermittent fire and one man appeared to get shot in the head, according to footage on social media.
Several hundred people gathered with protest signs in Demoso in the east, Pathein in the Irrawaddy river delta and Dawei in the south on Wednesday, pictures on social media showed.
Residents of the second city of Mandalay and the central town of Monywa also reported protests.
A total mobile internet shutdown made it difficult for protesters to communicate and to verify information. Very few people in Myanmar have access to Wi-Fi.
A team of UN investigators on Myanmar appealed for people to collect and preserve documentary evidence of crimes ordered by the military in order to build cases against its leaders.
Parts of Yangon have been placed under martial law and thousands of residents have fled the industrial suburb of Hlaingthaya where security forces killed 40 people on Sunday and Chinese-financed factories were set ablaze.
Workers said a dispute over pay at a Chinese-owned factory in the industrial zone turned violent on Tuesday after the owner called the security forces, who shot dead a labor leader and then at least four people. Myanmar Now said six people were killed.
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