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Myanmar: More than 50 protesters were killed; widespread strike

On Monday, a series of stores, factories and banks ceased operations in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, after trade unions called for the economy to be shut down as part of an anti-protest protest. back to the country’s military rulership.

The military fired multiple aerial shots at several locations and conducted car inspections in central Yangon to prevent protesters from gathering, witnesses said.

However, crowds of protests against the coup continued to gather in Yangon as well as the second largest city, Mandalay, and in Monywa, a town in the west, according to a video posted on Facebook.

Protesters waved flags made of htamain (women’s sarongs, also known as longyi) in some places or hung them on street ropes to mark International Women’s Day while protesting against authorities. Walking under women’s sarongs has traditionally been considered unlucky for men. Protesters believe this can hold police and soldiers off for a while.

State media said security forces are maintaining a presence in hospitals and universities as part of law enforcement efforts.

At least nine unions covering sectors such as construction, agriculture and manufacturing have called on “all Myanmar people” to stop working to protest the February 1 coup and demand that the government be restored. Aung San Suu Kyi’s pregnancy.

Unions claimed that if business and economic activity continued, it would benefit the military. “The time has come to take action to protect our democracy.”

Witnesses said only a handful of small teahouses opened in Yangon. Major shopping malls were closed and factories shut down.

Protest leader Maung Saungkha on Facebook urged women to strongly oppose the coup, while Nay Chi, one of the organizers of the women’s dress-up movement, described the women as “the stylist. network ”.

“Our people have no weapons but are very wise. They [the military] try to rule us with fear, but we will fight that fear, ”she told Reuters.

Police and the military have opened fire, killing more than 50 people to quell protests and daily strikes since the coup took place, according to data from the United Nations.

Meanwhile, figures from the Political Prisoners Association advocacy group show that as of Sunday, nearly 1,800 people have been detained below by the military authorities.

Among those dead, there was an official and campaign manager for Suu Kyi’s National Coalition for Democracy (NLD) party – Mr. Khin Maung Latt. Mr. Khin died in police custody.

Ba Myo Thein, an deposed lawmaker, said reports of the bruises on Khin Maung Latt’s head and body raised suspicions that he had been “severely tortured”.

The military says it is dealing with the protests legally. In a statement on Monday, the military said it had arrested 41 people the previous day.

A military announcement posted on the front page of the state-run Global New Light of Myanmar on March 8 threatened to take “actions” against anyone directly or indirectly working for a committee of overthrown lawmakers. This commission has declared itself the legal authority of the country.

The notice states that the commission operates illegally and has committed a serious “treason” offense.

The United States and several other Western countries have imposed limited sanctions on the Myanmar military. On Sunday, Australia severed defense ties with Myanmar, saying it would only work with non-government groups in Myanmar.

Myanmar’s giant neighbor China on Sunday said it was ready to join “all sides” to defuse the crisis and take no side.

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