Anti-coup protests broke out again across Myanmar early Monday as popular acts of defiance against the military junta continue despite the regime’s violent and increasingly deadly pushback.
Hundreds of demonstrators marched along a main road in Mandalay before dawn, many of them doctors, nurses, students and other medical personnel wearing white coats, repeating a similar demonstration carried out the night before.
Scores of motorists in the commercial capital of Yangon honked their car horns in response to a call on social media, according to Reuters.
Myanmar has been in turmoil ever since the military jailed de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other members of the democratically elected civilian government on February 1. At least three people were killed Sunday in violent clashes between police and civilians, including two in Mandalay, Myanmar’s second-largest city and a major hub of opposition.
An activist group, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, said nearly 250 people have been killed since the coup, with more than 2,000 people detained.
Australian authorities confirmed Sunday that two of its citizens, businesspeople, were detained in Myanmar. Australia’s government declined to provide further details, citing the privacy of the concerned parties.
Singapore’s Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan will visit Brunei Darussalam on Monday before going to Malaysia and Indonesia as part of a regional diplomatic push to bring an end to the crisis in Myanmar, Reuters reported.
On Monday, the European Union’s (EU) foreign policy chief Josep Borrell who is in Brussels for EU foreign ministers meeting said the EU will impose sanctions in connection with the violence. “We are going to take sanctions against 11 persons involved in the coup and the repression of the demonstrators.”
The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres strongly condemned the continuing brutality of the Myanmar military, after at least eight anti-coup demonstrators were killed in the central town of Aungban in eastern Shan state.
“The killing of peaceful demonstrators and arbitrary arrests, including of journalists, is utterly unacceptable,” Guterres’ spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters Friday. “The military continues to defy calls, including by the [U.N.] Security Council, to end violations of fundamental human rights and return to the path of democracy.”
He said that a firm, unified international response is urgently needed.
“The secretary-general will continue to stand with the people and their aspirations to achieve a peaceful, stable and prosperous Myanmar,” Dujarric added.
VOA Burmese Service contributed to this report.