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Western countries step up pressure on Myanmar junta as protesters defy warnings By Reuters

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© Reuters. Protest in opposition to the navy coup, in Yangon

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(Reuters) – The European Union mentioned it’s contemplating sanctions on Myanmar whereas the United States penalised two extra generals for hyperlinks to the navy coup, as Western countries sought to press the junta to keep away from a violent crackdown after weeks of protests.

Junta chief General Min Aung Hlaing referred to as for vitality to be put into reviving the ailing financial system, state media reported, a day after a normal strike shut companies and big crowds gathered regardless of a warning from authorities that confrontation may get individuals killed.

U.N. Special Rapporteur Tom Andrews mentioned hundreds of thousands had marched on Monday in a “breathtaking” turnout, regardless of the junta’s menace.

“The generals are losing their power to intimidate and with it, their power. It is past time for them to stand down, as the people of Myanmar stand up,” Andrews mentioned on Twitter.

Crowds gathered once more on Tuesday although in a lot smaller numbers. There had been no experiences of confrontations with safety forces.

Overnight, EU governments confirmed help for these in search of to reverse the Feb. 1 coup and the discharge of elected chief Aung San Suu Kyi.

“We are not prepared to stand by and watch,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas mentioned in Brussels, including that sanctions may comply with if diplomacy failed.

The European Union is contemplating sanctions that may goal companies owned by the military, however the bloc dominated out any curbing of its commerce preferences to keep away from hurting poor employees.

The safety forces have proven extra restraint for the reason that coup than in earlier confrontations with these pushing for democracy in virtually half a century of direct navy rule.

Even so, three protesters have been killed – two shot useless within the second metropolis of Mandalay on Saturday, and a girl who died on Friday after being shot greater than per week earlier within the capital, Naypyitaw.

The military has mentioned one policeman died of accidents sustained through the protests. It has accused protesters of scary violence.

Late on Sunday, state-owned media MRTV warned that confrontation may value lives.

Min Aung Hlaing mentioned authorities had been following a democratic path and police used minimal power, such as rubber bullets, to deal with the protests, state media reported.

The military seized energy after alleging fraud in Nov. 8 elections by which Suu Kyi’s get together trounced a pro-military get together, detaining her and far of the get together management. The electoral fee dismissed the fraud complaints.

U.S. TARGETS TWO GENERALS

In Naypyitaw, the place the navy is headquartered, police detained dozens of protesters on Monday after they broke up a procession, a rights group mentioned.

Overall, 684 individuals had been arrested, charged or sentenced for the reason that coup, the group mentioned.

The United States on Monday imposed sanctions on two members of the junta – Lieutenant General Moe Myint Tun and General Maung Maung Kyaw – and warned it may take extra motion.

The administration of President Joe Biden has beforehand imposed sanctions on the performing president of Myanmar and a number of other navy officers, as properly as three firms within the jade and gems sector.

“The military must reverse its actions and urgently restore the democratically elected government,” the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control mentioned.

Britain, Germany and Japan have additionally condemned the violence in Myanmar and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged the navy to cease repression.

Myanmar has denounced interference in its affairs.

Coup chief Min Aung Hlaing, in a gathering of the ruling council, referred to as for state spending and imports to be lower and exports elevated to spice up the financial system.

INDONESIAN PUSH

Indonesia is pushing Southeast Asian neighbours to agree on a plan that may preserve the junta to its promise of holding elections, with displays to make sure they’re honest and inclusive, three sources aware of the proposal mentioned.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi has been rallying help amongst Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) members for a particular assembly on the disaster.

But the plan from the most important regional nation would fall wanting protester calls for for the speedy launch of Suu Kyi and recognition of the November election outcome.

A protester put up an indication exterior Indonesia’s embassy in Yangon saying: “We don’t need another election!! Respect our votes.”

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