Myanmar coup latest: NLD members risk treason charges

Author : jumptmp
Publish Date : 2021-03-06 11:03:30

Myanmar coup latest: NLD members risk treason charges

YANGON/BANGKOK -- On Feb. 1, Myanmar's military detained State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint in the country's first coup since 1988, bringing an end to a decade of civilian rule.

The Suu Kyi-led National League for Democracy had won a landslide in a general election in November. But the military has claimed the election was marred by fraud.

For all our coverage, visit our Myanmar Coup page.

Read our in-depth coverage:

-- Myanmar suffers more deaths than in 2007 crackdown

-- Myanmar coup sparks unprecedented unity of ethnic groups

-- China treads lightly on Myanmar coup with billions at stake

-- Myanmar's Suu Kyi appears in court as junta blocks comeback path

-- Myanmar's infantry tied to protester deaths: Five things to know

-- Who is Myanmar junta chief Min Aung Hlaing? 5 things to know

-- Myanmar: Inside the coup that toppled Aung San Suu Kyi's government

Follow the latest developments here (Yangon time):

Saturday, March 6

2:00 p.m. Hundreds of anti-coup protesters gather in Sanchaung, in the center of Yangon. Police fire teargas to disperse the crowd.

9:30 a.m. The Global New Light of Myanmar, a state newspaper that serves as a government mouthpiece, publishes an official statement declaring the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), or the Committee of Representatives to the Union Parliament, to be illegal.

The CRPH is mainly made up of members of the National League for Democracy elected to parliament in a landslide general election victory in November, and has described itself as a "provisional government." The party is led by Aung San Suu Kyi, who served as de facto head of state from 2016 in the specially created position of state counsellor -- an office already abolished by the State Administration Council, the ruling junta.

The announcement warns that attempts to act "like public administrative organizations" violate Section 122 of the penal code "for high treason ... to be punished with death or transportation for life or 22 years of imprisonment." The CRPH on Tuesday appointed nine acting ministers, including foreign minister, a position previously held by Suu Kyi.

The State Administration Council is the official name of the junta that seized power in a coup on Feb. 1. 

1:15 a.m. "The messages and measures of the international community should be conducive for the parties in Myanmar to bridge differences and resolve problems, and avoid escalating tensions or further complicating the situation," China's permanent representative to the United Nations says in a statement after Security Council consultations.

Reiterating that China is "a friendly neighbor of Myanmar," Ambassador Zhang Jun says the international community should support dialogue and reconciliation "on the premise of respecting Myanmar's sovereignty, political independence, territorial integrity and national unity."

"The military and various political parties are all members of the Myanmar family, and should all take up the historical responsibility of maintaining the country's stability and development," Zhang says.

1:00 a.m. Estonia's permanent representative to the United Nations, Sven Jurgenson, says his country "continues to strongly condemn the military coup in Myanmar and the violent repression by the Myanmar security forces against peaceful protesters."

"Estonia reiterates that there needs to be accountability for all those responsible for violations of international human rights law," the ambassador says in a statement on the U.N. Security Council consultations on Myanmar. "It is important to immediately secure the safe and unhindered access to humanitarian aid to ensure that the basic needs of the most vulnerable groups, including Rohingya and populations in Chin, Kachin, Rakhine, and Shan state."

Estonia is one of the current non-permanent members of the Security Council.

Friday, March 5

11:45 p.m. The U.K.'s ambassador to the United Nations, Barbara Woodward, says Britain is in discussion with Security Council partners on a new council product -- a statement, for instance -- but she stopped short of committing to a sanctions resolution or arms embargo.

"Any further measures would require the approval of all council members," Woodward tells a virtual news conference after a Security Council meeting. She says it is important for the council "to speak with one voice."

This includes veto-wielding China and Russia, which have characterized the events in Myanmar as an internal matter for the country to resolve on its own.

Britain, for its part, "stands ready to consider other measures under the U.N. Charter" should the situation in Myanmar continue to deteriorate, Woodward says.

10:15 p.m. The special envoy of the United Nations secretary-general on Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener, says she hears from the civil society that "the hope they have placed in the United Nations and its membership is waning" as they await an international response to the coup.

"I receive every day around 2,000 messages, for international action to reverse a clear assault on the will of the people of Myanmar and democratic principles," the envoy tells the U.N. Security Council.

"There is an urgency for collective action," she says. "How much more can we allow the Myanmar military to get away with?"

"Allow me to reiterate that the international community should not lend legitimacy or recognition" to Myanmar's military government, she says. "Instead, this council should hear the voices of the people of Myanmar, provide a platform for elected representatives and civil society leaders to share directly with you the ground situation, which is rapidly deteriorating."

10:00 p.m. Louis Charbonneau, the United Nations director at Human Rights Watch, calls for a global arms embargo on Myanmar.

"The UN Security Council needs to take real action in the form of targeted sanctions against military leaders responsible for the bloodshed and a global arms embargo. No country should be selling a single bullet to the junta after its abuses against Myanmar's people," Charbonneau says in a statement.

9:00 p.m. The United Nations Security Council will discuss the crisis in Myanmar during a meeting today.

This will be the council's first meeting on the Feb. 1 coup during the monthlong U.S. presidency in March.

This week, the new American ambassador to the U.N., Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said the international community needs to "ramp up the pressure" on Myanmar's military.

8:25 p.m. Indian security forces increase patrols along the border with Myanmar to stop any entry of refugees, Reuters reports, citing officials.

Some Myanmar police have reportedly fled to India to avoid orders handed down by the military government.

2:30 p.m. Police open fire in Mandalay, killing one person, witnesses and media say. The young man was shot in the neck, media report. Earlier in the day, a big crowd had marched peacefully through the city, chanting, "The stone age is over, we're not scared because you threaten us."

1:30 p.m. Electric power goes out in many parts of Myanmar because of a technical failure, says a utility official in the biggest city, Yangon. Residents of cities from the capital, Naypyitaw, to Yangon and Mawlamyine in the south report the power going off in the early afternoon. "It happened because of a system breakdown. We didn't cut the power. It'll be back in the evening," says a utility official in Yangon.

11:30 a.m. YouTube removes five channels of Myanmar's military-run television. "We have terminated a number of channels and removed several videos from YouTube in accordance with our community guidelines and applicable laws," a YouTube spokeswoman says in a statement. The channels taken down include the state network Myanmar Radio and Television as well as the military-owned Myawaddy Media, MWD Variety and MWD Myanmar.

11:00 a.m. Citizens prepare barricades against security forces in a Yangon area where a major crackdown took place on Wednesday. A 60-year-old protester tells Nikkei Asia: "Nowhere is safe."

10:00 a.m. Singapore's foreign minister says it is a "national shame" for the armed forces of a country to use weapons against their own people, as he called on Myanmar's military rulers to seek a peaceful solution to the unrest. "It is the height of national shame for the armed forces of any country to turn its arms against its own people," said Vivian Balakrishnan, repeating that Singapore was appalled by the violence.

4:35 a.m. The U.S. unveils new penalties to punish Myanmar's army for its coup, adding the country's ministries of defense and home affairs and its top military conglomerates to a trade blacklist.

2:39 a.m. A clash over who represents Myanmar at the United Nations in New York after a Feb. 1 military coup was averted -- for now -- after the junta's replacement quit and the Myanmar U.N. mission confirmed that Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun remained in the job.

1:52 a.m. Myanmar's military rulers attempted to move about $1 billion held at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York days after seizing power, prompting U.S. officials to put a freeze on the funds, reports Reuters, citing three people familiar with the matter.

1:10 a.m. Myanmar's embassy in Washington said it was "greatly distressed" over the deaths of civilians during peaceful demonstrations against the country's military coup, according to a statement posted on the embassy's Facebook page, reports Reuters.

The embassy, following the country's permanent representative to the United Nations in breaking with the military government that seized power on Feb. 1, called on authorities in Myanmar to "fully exercise utmost restraint through minimum use of force."

12:28 a.m. The United Nations human rights investigator on Myanmar urges the Security Council -- which meets on Friday -- to impose a global arms embargo and targeted economic sanctions on the junta and refer alleged atrocities to the International Criminal Court for prosecution.

States should impose sanctions on Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise, now controlled by the military and its largest source of revenue, Thomas Andrews says in a report to the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Thursday, March 4

6:44 p.m. More people have died so far than in the crackdown on pro-democracy protests in 2007 that were largely led by monks. At least 54 people have been killed, compared to 31 in the 2007 crackdown.

6:20 p.m. The number of reported Myanmar police defections to India has jumped to 19 from three, according to Reuters, which cites a local police official. They are reported to be lower-level officers.

Meanwhile, the news agency also reports that the European Union has suspended its support for development projects in Myanmar to avoid assisting the military.

5:40 p.m. The United Nations' human rights chief says in a statement that more than 1,700 people have been arbitrarily detained since the coup began, and that arrests are escalating, according to Reuters. Michelle Bachelet says at least 54 people have been killed by the actual toll could be higher. "Myanmar's military must stop murdering and jailing protesters," she says.

5:20 p.m. Hundreds of mourners gathered for the funeral of a 19-year-old protester who was shot in the head in Mandalay the previous day, Reuters reports.

Images of the young woman, named Angel or Kyal Sin, quickly spread on social media, highlighting the T-shirt she was wearing at the time of her death. It read: "Everything will be OK."

Despite t

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