Myanmar activists conducts more rallies against the junta on Friday as South Korea said it would halt defence exchanges and give development aid to the nation a rethought because of the military’s harsh clampdown on the protests.
Friday’s rallies came in the wake of a rights group said security forces killed 12 protesters and as the lawyer of deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi criticised new bribery allegations against her.
The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) advocacy group said that the number of people killed in the protests since the coup touched more than 70.
South Korea’s foreign ministry said in a statement, “Despite repeated demands of the international community, including South Korea, there are an increasing number of victims in Myanmar due to violent acts of the military and police authorities.”
It said Seoul would suspend defence exchanges, impose ban on arms exports, restrict exports of other strategic items. It would give a second thought to development aid and grant humanitarian exemptions permitting Myanmar nationals to stay in South Korea until there is an improvement in situation.
Thursday marked one of the deadliest days since the military seized power. The AAPP said that eight people were killed in the central town of Myaing when security forces fired on a protest.
In Yangon, protester Chit Min Thu was killed in the North Dagon district. His wife, Aye Myat Thu, told he continued to insist on joining the protests in spite of her appeals that he stayed at home for the sake of their son.
She said through her tears, “He said it’s worth dying for. He is worried about people not joining the protest. If so, democracy will not return to the country.”
The bloodshed also came after the UN Security Council had called the army to exert some restraint, which has been trying to suppress daily anti-coup protests and paralysing strikes.
UN human rights investigator Thomas Andrews told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva the military may have ended up committing crimes against humanity. He emphasised on multilateral sanctions on the junta and the state energy firm, Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise.
Junta spokesman Zaw Min Tun reiterated the military would only be in charge for a certain period before conducting an election. The junta has said a state of emergency will continue for a year, however, has not set a date for the election.