Myanmar security forces resort to night raids to crack down on protesters


Myanmar’s security forces have been conducting house to house night time raids in the main city Yangon after breaking up the latest anti-junta protests on Saturday.

Sporadic demonstration was reported across Myanmar Saturday and local media reported that police fired tear gas shells and stun grenades to break up a protest in the Sanchaung district of Yangon.

There were no reports of casualties.

Late at night, residents said soldiers and police moved into several districts of Yangon, firing shots.

They arrested at least three people in the Kyauktada Township, residents there said. They did not know the reason for the arrests.

“They are asking to take out my father and brother. Is no one going to help us? Don’t you even touch my father and brother. Take us too if you want to take them,” one woman screamed as two of them, an actor and his son, were led off.

Soldiers also came looking for a lawyer who worked for Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD), but were unable to find him, a member of the now dissolved parliament, Sithu Maung, said in a Facebook post.

Reuters was unable to reach police for comment. A junta spokesman did not answer calls requesting comment.

According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners advocacy group, over 1,500 people have been arrested under the junta. The association and the United Nations say that more than 50 protesters have been killed.

Meanwhile, Myanmar authorities on Saturday said they had exhumed the body of 19-year-old Kyal Sin, who has become an icon of the protest movement after she was shot dead in the city of Mandalay on Wednesday wearing a T-shirt that read “Everything will be OK”.

State-run MRTV said a surgical investigation showed she could not have been killed by police because the wrong sort of projectile was found in her head and she had been shot from behind, whereas police were in front.

Photographs on the day showed her head turned away from security forces moments before she was killed. Opponents of the coup accused authorities of an attempted cover-up.

The killings have drawn anger in the West and have also been condemned by most democracies in Asia. The United States and some other Western countries have imposed limited sanctions on the junta.

Since the military coup on February 01 that ousted the party of State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, daily demonstrations and strikes have choked business and paralysed the administration of the Southeast Asian nation.

Protesters are demanding the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and the recognition of November’s election, which her party won in landslide, but which the army rejected. The army has said it will hold democratic elections at an unspecified date.

China, meanwhile, has said the priority should be stability and that other countries should not interfere. (Source: CNA)