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Myanmar: Ousted lawmakers declare the Army as a “terrorist” group!

Myanmar: Ousted lawmakers declare the Army as a “terrorist” group!

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Virendra Pandit 

New Delhi:  In perhaps a global first, the ousted parliamentarians in Myanmar have declared their own country’s military, which usurped power on February 1, as a “terrorist organization”!

Thousands of people have since been demonstrating every day across Myanmar, particularly its capital Naypyitaw, protesting against the overthrow of the democratically elected government, led by Aung San Suu Kyi. After the coup, she and scores of politicians and lawmakers were thrown behind bars.

Two days ago, the army used snipers to fire on pro-democracy protesters, killing many. It prompted angry lawmakers to denounce the junta as a “terrorist organization”, the media reported.

“The ‘State Administration Council (SAC)’ has been declared as a “Terrorist Group” for its atrocities and acts of terrorism, in contravention of the Counter-Terrorism Law, committed against the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and the citizens,” said self-proclaimed Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH). The words “Pyidaungsu Hluttaw” stand for Myanmar’s Parliament.

The CRPH listed atrocities like shooting, beating, and arresting peaceful protesters, including students and civil servants who joined the Civil Disobedience Movement. It also condemned the military for the “declaration of war on unarmed civilians.”

At least 18 people were killed and more than 30 injured in Myanmar on February 28 as police and military forces “confronted peaceful demonstrations,” the UN Human Rights Office said. These casualties made Sunday the deadliest day since the military seized power on February 1.

Security forces have since launched a violent crackdown on protestors in towns and cities across the country, media reports said.

The UN Human Rights Office said it had “credible information” about the use of deadly force against peaceful protesters in “several locations” in Myanmar.

“Deaths reportedly occurred as a result of live ammunition fired into crowds in Yangon, Dawei, Mandalay, Myeik, Bago, and Pokokku,” its spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said. Tear gas, flash-bang, and stun grenades were also used to quell the protesters.

She condemned the “escalating violence” and urged the military to “immediately halt the use of force against peaceful protesters,” The people of Myanmar have the right to assemble peacefully and demand the restoration of democracy.

“These fundamental rights must be respected by the military and police, not met with violent and bloody repression,” Shamdasani said.

Protests have been held across Myanmar since the military took over. The US and the UK have imposed sanctions against multiple individuals affiliated with Myanmar’s military.



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