On March 27, over 100 people were suspected of being killed in Myanmar by soldiers and police in ongoing attempts to suppress protests since last month’s coup. Notably, the Military in Myanmar was celebrating its annual Armed Forces Day on Saturday while protesters were being killed across the country.
According to Associated Press, Myanmar Now, an online news portal reported that the death toll had reached 114 yesterday. The number was published by an independent researcher who has been compiling the death tolls in over two dozen towns and cities. However, the number could not be confirmed independently by the Associated Press.
Criticism from the world leaders
The killing of the protesters have attracted criticism from world leaders. Several diplomatic missions to Myanmar have released statements that mentioned the killings of civilians, including children, by the armed forces.
Delegation to Myanmar of the European Union said in a tweet that the killing of unarmed civilians, including children, are indefensible acts. They said, “This 76th Myanmar armed forces day will stay engraved as a day of terror and dishonour. The killing of unarmed civilians, including children, are indefensible acts. The EU stands by the people of Myanmar and calls for an immediate end of violence and the restoration of democracy.”
This 76th Myanmar armed forces day will stay engraved as a day of terror and dishonour. The killing of unarmed civilians, including children, are indefensible acts. The EU stands by the people of Myanmar and calls for an immediate end of violence and the restoration of democracy.— EUMyanmar (@EUMyanmar) March 27, 2021
Antony Blinken, Secretary of State, United States, has also condemned the violence. He said “We are horrified by the bloodshed perpetrated by Burmese security forces, showing that the junta will sacrifice the people’s lives to serve the few. I send my deepest condolences to the victims’ families. The courageous people of Burma reject the military’s reign of terror.”
We are horrified by the bloodshed perpetrated by Burmese security forces, showing that the junta will sacrifice the lives of the people to serve the few. I send my deepest condolences to the victims’ families. The courageous people of Burma reject the military’s reign of terror.— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) March 27, 2021
Phil Robertson, Deputy Asia Director, Human Rights Watch, said, “This is a day of suffering and mourning for the #Burmese people, who have paid for the #Tatmadaw’s arrogance and greed with their lives, time and time again.”
“This is a day of suffering and mourning for the #Burmese people, who have paid for the #Tatmadaw’s arrogance and greed with their lives, time and time again” says @hrw about #Myanmar military’s killing of protesters. #SaveMyanmar #WhatsHappeningInMyanmarhttps://t.co/dfIcj8gaxW— Phil Robertson (@Reaproy) March 28, 2021
The number of deaths is increasing in Myanmar steadily as authorities are becoming more forceful to suppress the protests that erupted after the Army ousted the elected government under the leadership of Aung San Suu Kyi. The coup of February 1 brought back the Military rule that lasted for five decades.
Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma) have confirmed on March 27 that 423 people were killed during the protest crackdown since Military Coup. So far, 2428 people have been detained, and arrest warrants have been issued against 119 people.
DAILY UPDATE (27/03)— AAPP (Burma) (@aapp_burma) March 28, 2021
423+ killed by junta coup
2428 are detained
119 have been issued arrest warrants#WhatsHappeningInMaynmar
fatalities https://t.co/Fq56X1TF81 pic.twitter.com/ThkPPSverv
‘Threatening’ announcement on State Television
Junta chief Senior Gen Min Aung Hlaing, during his nationally televised Armed Forces Day speech before thousands of soldiers in Naypyitaw, did not mention anything about the protests. However, he mentioned “terrorism which can be harmful to state tranquillity and social security” and claimed that it was unacceptable.
On March 27, State television MRTV showed an announcement that urged protesters to “learn a lesson from those who have been killed during the demonstrations.” It further added that there is a danger of them being shot in the head or back. The announcement is being seen as a threat as a number of protesters were killed with a shot in the head.
Shots fired outside Cultural centre of US Embassy
On Saturday, shots were fired at American Centre Yangon. In a tweet, the Embassy confirmed that the shots fired and mentioned that there were no injuries. “We are investigating the incident,” they added.
The U.S. Embassy confirms that shots were fired at American Center Yangon on March 27. There were no injuries. We are investigating the incident.— U.S. Embassy Burma (@USEmbassyBurma) March 27, 2021
The Military Coup in Myanmar
The Myanmar Army is in control of Myanmar after staging a coup in the early morning hours of February 1. According to reports, the Myanmar military’s intervention came after weeks of continued friction between the country’s military and the civilian government over allegations of irregularities in the 2020 Myanmar General Elections. The Military had ruled the country for five decades before the power was handed over to democratically elected leaders.