Amid protests, Myanmar junta imposes curfew

Yangon, February 8

Myanmar’s military government imposed a curfew and bans on gatherings of more than five persons in the country’s two biggest cities on Monday as protests against last week’s coup showed no sign of abating.

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The decrees covering Yangon and Mandalay were issued on a township-by-township basis, and those which have become public so far have the same restrictions. At least seven have been issued, and more are expected for other areas.

Rallies and gatherings of more than five persons, along with motorised processions, are banned, and a 8 pm to 4 am curfew is imposed. The measures are effective until further notice.

The decrees say they were issued in response to people carrying out unlawful actions that harm the rule of law.

Demonstrations against the coup had intensified Monday and spread to more parts of the country.

Police fired a water cannon at hundreds of protesters in Myanmar’s capital who were demanding the military hand power back to elected officials.

Protesters also rallied at a major downtown intersection in the country’s largest city, Yangon, raising a three-finger salute that is a symbol of resistance and carrying placards. There were also reports of new demonstrations in towns in the north, southeast and east of the country, as well as in the city of Mandalay, where there was a procession of marchers and motorbikes.

The growing wave of defiance, particularly in the capital Naypyitaw where such protests are unusual, was striking in a country where demonstrations have been met with severe force in the past.

“We do not want the military junta. Nobody wants it. All the people are ready to fight them,” said Daw Moe, a protester in Yangon. — AP

UK, EU for special UNHRC session

Geneva: Britain and the EU said on Monday they were requesting that a special session of the UN Human Rights Council be held to address the crisis.“The detention of politicians and civilians has grave implications for human rights,” said UK’s ambassador to the UN. Reuters

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