Myanmar’s UN envoy fired by military govt. over anti-coup speech

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Myanmar’s ambassador to the UN was fired by the country’s military junta government after making an emotional speech at the UN General Assembly on Friday, urging the world body to use “any means necessary” to restore democracy and return power to the people.

State television announced on Saturday that the envoy had “betrayed the country and spoken for an unofficial organization which doesn’t represent the country and had abused the power and responsibilities of an ambassador”.

In an emotional speech, Kyaw Moe Tun said he was representing Ms. Suu Kyi’s ousted government and no one should cooperate with the military until it handed back power to the democratically elected government.

“We need further strongest possible action from the international community to immediately end the military coup, to stop oppressing the innocent people, to return the state power to the people and to restore the democracy,” he said.

The speech was met with applause and Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the new US envoy to the body, was among those praising his remarks as “courageous”.

In a further show of defiance, Kyaw Moe Tun held up three fingers, a gesture against authoritarian rule that has been adopted by anti-coup protesters in the country.

On Saturday, further protests were held in several cities in Myanmar, with water cannon reportedly deployed and journalists among dozens detained.

In the main city of Yangon, crowds of protesters were advanced upon by police firing tear gas. Witnesses who spoke to the Reuters news agency said people were arrested and beaten by police, who also reportedly fired into the air, with similar clashes reported in the second city of Mandalay.

A number of local media outlets reported that a woman had been shot at a protest in the central city of Monwya, close to Mandalay. Images and an alleged identity circulated on social media but have not been independently confirmed.

An ambulance service official later told the Reuters news agency she was in hospital, contradicting other reports she had died.

A medic in the town told the AFP news agency he had also seen a man “severely injured” in his leg with at least 10 others treated for more minor injuries. Local media there also reported alleged beatings by plainclothes officers.

Protesters in some places, including Yangon, were seen building makeshift barricades to try and hinder the crackdown against them.

General Min Aung Hlaing has defended the coup he led, but at least three protesters and one policeman have died so far in violence against it.

According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners monitoring group, more than 770 people have been arrested and sentenced since the coup began.

At least three journalists were detained on Saturday including a photographer from the Associated Press, the AFP news agency reported. (Source: BBC)

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