Undeterred by the military junta’s threats, anti-coup protesters gathered in major cities on Monday morning. Meanwhile, the UN condemned regime for using force against peaceful demonstrators.
Protesters in Yangon, Monywa and Myitkyina held candlelight vigils and prayer ceremonies on Sunday night to pay tribute to the two people killed on Saturday when forces used live bullets to disperse demonstrators.
Just after midnight, Myanmar plunged into an eighth straight night of internet blackouts, monitoring group NetBlocks confirmed.
In Yangon, more than a thousand protesters gathered near the US Embassy, while 20 military trucks with riot police had arrived nearby.
The crowds gathered on the call of Civil Disobedience Movement, a loosely organised group leading the resistance, on Monday’s date for a “Spring Revolution”.
The protest movement has been peaceful with occasional skirmishes with police.
But the regime blamed protesters for inciting violence. A statement carried on state television also blamed criminals for past protest violence, as a result of which “the security force members had to fire back”. Three protesters have been shot dead so far.
The authorities overnight also blocked key streets with barriers, including tractor-trailers with flattened tires, but they were swept aside by protesters.
In Yangon, military trucks were parked in the streets on Sunday night and people were warned against attending gatherings of five or more people on Monday.
Meanwhile, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres condemned the use of “deadly violence” against the crowd in Mandalay.
“The use of lethal force, intimidation & harassment against peaceful demonstrators is unacceptable,” Guterres wrote on Twitter.
Later, addressing the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, the secretary general said: “We see the undermining of democracy, the use of brutal force, arbitrary arrests, and repression in all its manifestations.”
“Restrictions of civic space. Attacks on civil society. Serious violations against minorities with no accountability, including what has rightly been called ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya population. The list goes on,” he continued.
“Today, I call on the Myanmar military to stop the repression immediately. Release the prisoners. End the violence. Respect human rights, and the will of the people expressed in recent elections,” said Guterres.