One day after the first rounds of rubber bullets and live ammunition among demonstrators calling for an end to the “military dictatorship” in Burma, the protests again brought large numbers of marches across the country with 100,000 people on the street advertising in the capital, Rangoon. News came from Naypyidaw, where a hospital was seriously injured on Tuesday, that the demonstrators were hit with metal bullets – not rubber, as was first reported.
A woman was hospitalized after being hit in the head: a doctor quoted by Human Rights Watch said she had “a projectile in the head showing significant loss of brain function” and described the injuries as compatible with ammunition. Real. In another report received from the Burmese NGO Fortify Rights, a doctor says the protester is brain dead. Doctors heard by the BBC Burmese report that another protester arrived with identical injuries to his chest.
The police first used water cannons against the demonstrators who had gathered in Naypyidaw on Tuesday. These did not disperse and warning shots would have followed before rubber bullets were fired at the crowd. But ammunition is also fired in the midst of these shots.
There were also injured protesters in Mandalay, the country’s second largest city, where police arrested around 200 people on Tuesday, and other cities.
Across the country, security forces’ stance on demonstrations against the February 1 military coup that overthrew the civilian government of Aung San Suu Syi on Tuesday intensified, prompting the United Nations and the United States to condemn the use of force.
The State Department has announced that it will review support for Burma to ensure that those responsible for the coup will have “serious consequences” and the United Nations has urged security forces to respect Burma’s right to peaceful protest. “The use of disproportionate force against demonstrators is unacceptable,” said Ola Almgren, the UN representative in the country.
The Burmese response was to take to the streets in even greater numbers. The protests on Wednesday drew closer to the gigantic crowds on Monday a week after the coup.
“We can’t be calm,” said Esther Ze Naw, who the agency describes as one of the competition’s young leaders, told Reuters. “If there is bloodshed during our peaceful protests, there will be more if we let them take control of the country.”
At the same time, many officials are still seeing the streets to join the campaign against civil disobedience, in which teachers, doctors, lawyers, firefighters and nurses have been participating since Friday.
In Loikaw, capital of Kayah state, a video posted on social media showed around 40 police officers joining the protests and displayed a banner that read, “Members of the Burmese police are with civilians”. Other agents hold up a poster that says, “We don’t need a military dictatorship”. From Mawlamyine, the fourth city in the country, there are pictures of an agent approaching the demonstrators alone.
Despite the violence, many of those who take to the streets use humor and irony in the posters they take away. In a square in central Yangon, where gatherings of more than five people are prohibited, hundreds of young people camped in groups of four and five on the lawn and sang, “We are young, we all have a future,” the local magazine describes Frontier Myanmar.
“Our marriage cannot wait, and neither can democracy,” reads a poster transformed by a young couple. She is wearing a wedding dress, he actually is, in a photo in Rangoon that is shared on Twitter. In the same city, around 100 protesters, almost all university students or graduates, decided to go out dressed as “Disney Princesses”. “We want to show that girls also take part against the coup. We thought these clothes were the most obvious way to do it, ”one of the protesters told the Frontier Myanmar journalist.
Despite martial law and the ban on gatherings in various cities and districts that came into force on Monday evening, the demonstrators adhered to the curfew, which was imposed between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m., and decided to beat pots on the windows.
So far, on this fifth day of protest, there have been no reports of violence, but soldiers have occupied a clinic treating the wounded in Naypyitaw. Also on Tuesday evening, police forced entry into the headquarters of the National League for Democracy (NLD), Suu Syi’s party, in Yangon.
The NLD was preparing to begin its second term on the day of the coup, having won the November elections by an absolute majority – Min Aung Hlaing, until now chief of the general staff, said he acted precisely on the widespread fraud who voted, but no evidence to support the charges.
In addition to calling for an end to the coup and the release of Suu Kyi, who has been imprisoned since the 1st, and around 150 NLD leaders and MPs, the demonstrators are calling for the 2008 constitution to be abolished, which guarantees the generals a sizable Amount retained power (including a quarter of the seats in parliament and control of three ministries) while the door to civil government is opened. Given the good results in November, the party planned to attempt a revision of the current constitution.
A federal system is also called for on the streets, in a party that is very different from an ethnic point of view – the massacre and persecution of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims orchestrated by the military in the face of the indifference of Suu Kyi has tarnished the international one Reputation of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize in recent years. In Burma, however, the former human rights activist remains overwhelmingly popular and protests quickly reached regions where minorities are concentrated, who claim that their governance has marginalized them.