Thousands of people took part in marches to protest against military coup in Myanmar on Sunday, a day after the bloodiest day of police violence that killed two.
Demonstrations and civil disobedience campaigns against the coup and the detention of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and others continued even though the military issued stern warnings against dissent.
Tens of thousands of people massed peacefully in the second city of Mandalay, where Saturday’s killings took place, witnesses said.
“They aimed at the heads of unarmed civilians. They aimed at our future,” a young protester told the crowd.
The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that despite “unlawful demonstrations, incitements of unrest and violence, the authorities concerned are exercising utmost restraint through minimum use of force to address the disturbances”, adding they were maintaining public safety in line with domestic laws and international practices.
In the main city of Yangon, thousands of mostly young people gathered at different sites to chant slogans and sing.
In Myitkyina in the north, people laid flowers for the dead protesters. Big crowds marched in the central towns of Monywa and Bagan, in Dawei and Myeik in the south, Myawaddy in the east and Lashio in the northeast, posted pictures showed.
At the tourist spot of Inle Lake, people including Buddhist monks took to a flotilla of boats holding aloft portraits of Suu Kyi and signs saying “military coup – end”.
Massive demonstrations took place across Myanmar, scenes from Myawaddy, Kayin State, show a river of people demanding democracy. #Feb21Coup #SaveMyanmar #VoiceofMyanmar #WhatsHappeninglnMyanmar pic.twitter.com/HbOjrkOvbD
— Anonymous (@YourAnonCentral) February 21, 2021
Western nations have condemned the coup decried the violence against protesters.
U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said the United States was “deeply concerned”. France, Singapore, Britain and Germany also condemned the violence and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said lethal force was unacceptable.
Sunday’s Foreign Ministry statement reiterated the junta’s stance that the takeover was constitutional and said remarks by some embassies and foreign countries “are tantamount to flagrant interference in internal affairs of Myanmar”.
The giant funeral cortege today for 20-year-old Myanmar protester Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing. She was the first to be killed when security forces broke up a demonstration. Two more were killed yesterday. #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar pic.twitter.com/Tj64gGbPHX
— Matthew Tostevin (@TostevinM) February 21, 2021