Anti-Coup Protests Grow In Myanmar, Curfew In 30 Cities

Days after the military coup in Myanmar, as many as 90 townships in 30 cities across the country have been placed under curfew.

According to a report by The Myanmar Times, 90 townships in 30 cities, including 44 townships in Yangon, have been placed under an 8 pm to 4 am curfew since February 8. Besides, the residents have been banned from gathering in groups of more than five in public.

The affected areas include — Nay Pyi Taw, Lewe, Tatkone, Zeyar Thiri, Mandalay, Magwe, Sagaing, Monywa, Shwebo, Kalay, Waingmaw, Bamaw, Mokaung, Shweku, Monyin, Hpakant, Loikaw, Mawlamyine, Thanphyu Zayat, Ye, Kyaikhto, Kengtung and Taunggyi.

As per the order issued by each town’s General Administration Department, public gatherings of more than five people, delivering speeches and protests have been banned.

Action can be taken against the violators under Section 144 of the Penal Code, The Myanmar Times reported.

However, the curfew has failed to deter the people from participating in protest marches across the country calling for the release of detainees.

Earlier today, Myanmar’s political parties had rejected the Tatmadaw, also known as military locally, government’s invitation to take part in the Tatmadaw-formed peace talks committee.

According to The Myanmar Times, the military has informed the ethnic armed groups that future peace talks will be continued only with the military-formed peace committee.

“We have been informed that the NRPC has been abolished…If there is any need for talks, we should only discuss with the group formed by the military. The members of the Northern Alliance have yet to show any clear stance on the situation,” said Lamai Gum Ja, a member of the Peace-Talk Creation Group (PCG).

As things stand, the Tatmadaw government has disbanded the National Reconciliation and Peace Centre (NRPC), the leading internal peace process mechanism of the previous government and arrested some of its civilian leaders.

Myanmar’s military arrested the chief ministers of Karen State and Sagaing Region on Monday from the government residences where they were under house arrest after they posted videos supporting the protest.

Moreover, Myanmar’s military regime has warned anti-coup protesters that legal measures will be taken to prevent any offences harming the stability of the state, public safety or the rule of law. The military has issued a written order and banned the assembly of more than five people. Besides, it has imposed a night curfew (8 PM to 4 AM) in parts of Yangon, Mandalay, Monywa, Loikaw, Hpasaung, Taunggyi, Kalay, Yaykyi and Meikhtila.

Earlier today, US President Joe Biden discussed the situation in Myanmar in a call with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. A White House readout of their call stated that the two leaders ‘resolved that the rule of law and the democratic process must be upheld in Burma’.

The United States’ ambassador to Myanmar Thomas Vajda in a statement has supported peoples right to protest and called again for the military regime to restore the democratically elected National League for Democracy (NLD) government, restore telecommunications and release all detainees.

At the United Nations, the UN Human Rights Council will hold a special session on the situation in Myanmar on coming Friday following a request for a meeting by the UK and European Union supported so far by 47 countries.

According to media reports cited by UN, scores of people took to the streets in Yangon last week to protest the military’s takeover and the arrest of several elected leaders, including State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint.

The military takeover followed escalating tensions between the military and the government after the November 2020 elections, which was won by San Suu Kyi-led NLD. (ANI)

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