Security forces in Myanmar opened fire at a funeral on Sunday, a day after they killed more than 100 people, including children, in one of the bloodiest days of anti-coup protests in the country, Reuters reported.
The funeral ceremony was being held in a town near Myanmar’s largest city Yangon, for one of the people killed on Saturday. “While we were singing the revolution song for him, security forces just arrived and shot at us,” a witness told the news agency. “People, including us, ran away as they opened fire.”
There was no immediate information about casualties in the incident, according to the news agency. There people died in firing in other parts of the country, Reuters reported, citing Myanmar media.
Meanwhile, about 3,000 people from Karen in Myanmar fled to Thailand after the army attacked an area controlled by an armed group, Reuters reported, citing the Thai Public Broadcasting Service. At least three civilians were killed in the strike.
The killings in Myanmar drew heavy criticism from the international community. Alice Wairimu Nderitu, United Nations’ special adviser on the prevention of genocide and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet called on the army to stop the killings, CNN reported.
UN Special Rapporteur Tom Andrews said that the Myanmar military should be stopped from accessing arms. “Words of condemnation or concern are frankly ringing hollow to the people of Myanmar while the military junta commits mass murder against them,” he was quoted as saying by Reuters.
Civil society members in Nepal urged their government to support the people of Myanmar. “The Government must help organise a deliberate and integrated international response to force the junta that is led by Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, to immediately reverse its takeover and abide by the results of the November 2020 elections,” the 12 signatories said.
They also called on the international community to help punish the military for its actions. “We request that the UN Human Rights Council, in coordination with the various Special Rapporteurs, begin work on a chargesheet against all those involved in crimes against humanity in Myanmar,” they added. “The dire situation in Myanmar merits strong action by the UN Security Council, invoking the principle of ‘Responsibility to Protect’ approved by the summit of world leaders at the UN General Assembly in 2005.”
The military coup in Myanmar
The military coup in Myanmar followed the landslide victory of the National League for Democracy and Aung San Suu Kyi in the national elections in November last year, with the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party faring poorly in its key strongholds.
The country’s military refused to accept the government, citing unsubstantiated allegations of fraud. It was also announced that the coup was the result of the government’s failure to delay the November election despite the outbreak of the coronavirus.
However, General Min Aung Hlaing said on February 8 that “free and fair” elections will be held after the completion of the emergency period, and the military will hand over power to the winner.