NAYPYIDAW (MYANMAR) – The families of large number of people killed in demonstrations against military rule in Myanmar conducted funerals for their loved ones on Tuesday. More and more protesters were seen resisting the security forces and at least one man was shot dead.
The political and economic crisis over the February 1 ouster of the elected government led by Aung San Suu Kyi could also soon mean hunger for the poor who are facing rising food and fuel prices across the country, the UN food agency warned.
Security forces shot dead at least 20 people on Monday after 74 were killed a day earlier, including many in a suburb of Yangon where Chinese-financed factories were torched, according to advocacy group the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP).
On Tuesday, a crematorium in Yangon reported 31 funerals, a mourner at one of the ceremonies said.
Hundreds of young mourners spilled out on to the street at the funeral of medical student Khant Nyar Hein who was killed in Yangon on Sunday, the bloodiest day of the protests.
“Let them kill me right now, let them kill me instead of my son because I can’t take it any more,” the student’s mother was seen saying in a video clip posted on Facebook.
Mourners chanted: “Our revolution must prevail.”
Some families told media the security forces had seized the bodies of loved ones but they would still hold a funeral.
At least 184 people have been killed by the security forces in the weeks of protests, the AAPP said, with the toll rising on Tuesday as one protester was shot dead in the central town of Kawlin, a resident there said.
People held up pictures of Suu Kyi and called for an end to the repression during a small protest in the southern town of Dawei on Tuesday, the Dawei Watch media outlet reported. There was no report of violence.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was appalled by the escalating violence and called on the international community to help end the repression, his spokesman said, while the United States also denounced the bloodshed.
“The military is attempting to overturn the results of a democratic election and is brutally repressing peaceful protesters,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told a news conference in Tokyo.
A junta spokesman did not answer telephone calls to seek comment and Reuters could not independently confirm all the casualties.