The United Nations has come to the rescue of Myanmar masses as the world body issued a stern warning to military junta of “severe consequences” if it came harsh on the protesters.
The Myanmar masses have been protesting against February 1 military coup that overthrew the ruling NLD party of Aung San Suu Kyi on unproven fraud charges in November elections.
The military junta, however, justified the coup anew on Tuesday with protests continuing across the country.
“Ms Schraner Burgener has reinforced that the right of peaceful assembly must fully be respected and that demonstrators are not subjected to reprisals,” UN spokesman Farhan Haq said in New York, referring to the UN special envoy who spoke to the deputy head of the junta.
“She has conveyed to the Myanmar military that the world is watching closely, and any form of heavy-handed response is likely to have severe consequences,” Haq added.
Meanwhile, Myanmar’s army said Soe Win, the second in command in military regime, had discussed with UN envoy the administration’s plans and information on “the true situation of what’s happening in Myanmar”.
Despite the UN warning, the spokesman of the coup leaders later said the military’s action was justified.
“Our objective is to hold an election and hand power to the winning party,” Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun said on Tuesday, without giving timeframe for the election.
Earlier, Myanmar was plunged into a second internet blackout on Monday night after the 10th day of demonstrations against the coup and an increased presence of troops and military vehicles. Police used force against protesters in Mandalay, the country’s second-biggest city, inflicting injuries on many people.
Internet monitoring group NetBlocks said the blackout came into force at 1am local time for eight hours. As the day became brighter, people again began gathering in Yangon, and other cities across the country on Tuesday.
The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), which is tracking detentions, expressed concern that the military could use the internet blackouts to “commit unjust activities, including arbitrary arrests.”
It said at least 426 people had been detained since the coup and 391 remained in custody.
The army has been carrying out arrests at night and has given itself enhanced search and detention powers through amendments to the colonial-era Penal Code.