MANDALAY, March 14: The civilian leader of Myanmar’s government in hiding vowed to continue supporting a “revolution” to oust the military that seized power in last month’s coup, as security forces again met protesters with lethal forces, killing at least seven.
Mahn Win Khaing Than, who was named the acting Vice President by Myanmar’s ousted lawmakers and is a member of deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s party, addressed the public on Saturday for the first time since the February 1 military takeover.
“This is the darkest moment of the nation and the moment that the dawn is close,” he said in a video posted on the shadow government’s website and social media.
“In order to form a federal democracy, which all ethnic brothers who have been suffering various kinds of oppressions from the dictatorship for decades really desired, this revolution is the chance for us to put our efforts together,” he said.
He added: “We will never give up to an unjust military but we will carve our future together with our united power. Our mission must be accomplished.”
At the end of the message, he flashed a three-finger salute that has become a symbol of resistance to the military rule.
Earlier on Saturday, security forces opened fire at demonstrators, killing four in Mandalay, the second-biggest city, two in Pyay in south-central Myanmar, and one in Twante, a suburb of Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city. Details of all seven deaths were posted on multiple social media accounts, some accompanied by photos of the victims.
The actual death toll is likely to be higher, as police apparently seized some bodies, and some of the victims suffered serious gunshot wounds that doctors and nurses working at makeshift clinics will be hard-pressed to treat. Many hospitals are occupied by security forces, and as a result are boycotted by medical personnel and shunned by protesters. – AP