The images of the mass protests against the military in Myanmar are impressive – and go around the world as well as images of the police violence. Internationally, the generals are severely condemned and sanctioned. Citizens are now asking for blue helmet soldiers.
Given the mass protests in Myanmar and the increasingly brutal reaction of the military, international pressure on the new junta is growing. Since the demonstrations began three weeks ago, emergency services have shot at least three participants. Hundreds of demonstrators were arrested. The G7 strongly condemned the violence on Tuesday and demanded the release of the de facto Prime Minister Aung San Suu Kyi. The US government imposed sanctions on two senior military officials. Meanwhile there are calls in the country for a United Nations peacekeeping mission.
“The military and the police must exercise extreme restraint and respect human rights and international law,” stressed the foreign ministers of the group of seven leading economic powers in a statement published in London. “The use of live ammunition against unarmed people is unacceptable.” Those who use violence against peaceful demonstrators will be held accountable. The G7 emphasized that they were on the side of the people of Myanmar “in their pursuit of democracy and freedom”.
In Southeast Asian Myanmar, formerly Burma, the army couped back to power on the night of February 1 and took Suu Kyi and many members of her government into custody. The junta declared a year of emergency. Democratic reforms had only started ten years ago. Before that, the military had ruled the country with an iron hand for almost 50 years.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called for the generals to stop suppressing peaceful protests, release those wrongly arrested and return to democracy. The sanctions that have now been imposed are directed against Lieutenant General Moe Myint Tun and General Maung Maung Kyaw, who are part of the new command apparatus. At the beginning of February, the US had already imposed sanctions on ten coup leaders. All US property owned by affected individuals and companies will be frozen. US companies and individuals are also prohibited from doing business with them.
Meanwhile there are calls for concrete help. Citizens are increasingly talking about the deployment of UN peacekeeping forces in social networks. “Sir, just yesterday the military arrested more than 100 peaceful demonstrators in Naypyidaw,” tweeted a woman to the address of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. It is time to send blue helmet soldiers to restore peace. “Please save us,” wrote the woman. A doctor wrote on Twitter: “As far as I know, UN peacekeeping forces are used all over the world to stop the spread of violence and conflict.” It is time for such a mission in Myanmar.
In many parts of the country there were again demonstrations against the generals on Tuesday. Hundreds of thousands took part in a general strike on Monday. The rallies on the streets, for example in the former capital, Rangoon, and in the large city of Mandalay in the north were among the largest since the coup three weeks ago.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.