Burma’s military junta has insisted that what happened on February 1 “was not a coup” and has urged citizens to “not be carried away by emotions”, within a new day of protests that has had between its epicenters the vicinity of the United States Embassy.
The spokesman for the board, Zaw Min Tun, has argued that the Armed Forces seized power and expelled the National League for Democracy from Aung San Suu Kyi to enforce the 2008 Constitution and has defended the measures adopted in recent weeks , both to contain the COVID-19 pandemic and to attract foreign investment.
“To guarantee democracy and prosperity, the population should cooperate with us without being carried away by emotions,” Zaw said at the first press conference after the coup. The spokesman has defended that the plan continues to be to call elections and has promised that the authorities “try their best not to be violent,” according to the Bloomberg agency.
The images of repression against protesters, including the use of live fire, have generated suspicion among foreign governments and international organizations. The spokesman for the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, has warned the Army of “serious consequences” for “any heavy-handed response” to the protests.
Zaw Min Tun has assumed the sanctions, already imposed by the United States, as inevitable, but has played down their importance, claiming that Burma has already succeeded in the past despite international isolation. “We will make sure we have good relations with the UN and all countries,” he said.
The spokesman has avoided confirming whether a protester wounded last week in Naipidó was hit by a bullet in the head, as witnessed by local media and Amnesty International have credited. Thus, he has cast doubt on the behavior of the wound: “We will give all the information about what the young woman did to the Police.”
THE PROTESTS CONTINUE
The regime has kept Internet service blocked for the second consecutive night, in an attempt to hinder the call for communications, and has tightened the telecommunications law to punish those who carry out illegal activity in cyberspace with harsher penalties.
The local media have reported new mobilizations in different cities and, in the case of Rangoon, the protesters have gathered together with the United States Embassy and the Central Bank, reports the DPA agency. “We, the people of Burma, fully support any action taken by the UN and the United States,” chanted attendees.
More than 400 people have been arrested since the military coup, including Suu Kyi, who must appear before the judge on Wednesday to be held accountable for an alleged violation of the law on the importation and possession of communication devices. According to spokesperson Zaw Min Tun, the Nobel Peace Prize winner is in “good health”.