Hundreds of Myanmar activists hold flash mob protest against military rule

  • 2 months   ago
Hundreds of Myanmar activists hold flash mob protest against military rule


Diplomacy intensified with Myanmar's junta on Thursday as the head of the International Red Cross met with army ruler Min Aung Hlaing and two Southeast Asian envoys arrived for talks on ending the turmoil since the Feb. 1 coup.

The European Union's foreign policy chief, meanwhile, told Reuters the bloc planned to impose a new round of sanctions on the ruling generals and their economic interests in the coming days.

Myanmar has sunk into chaos since the coup overthrew elected leader Aung Suu Kyi. At least 845 people have been killed by security forces and more than 4,500 jailed, according to an activist group. Anti-junta protests flare daily, ethnic conflicts have resurged and the economy is paralysed by strikes.

ICRC President Peter Maurer was the most senior representative of an international organisation to travel to the capital Naypyidaw to meet Min Aung Hlaing, whose critics say he should be denied international recognition.

"People in Myanmar are in need of urgent assistance and protection," Maurer said, according to an ICRC statement.


He had brought up "the use of force during security operations" and had made the case for better humanitarian access to conflict areas and for the resumption of Red Cross prison visits. Suu Kyi, 75, is herself being tried on various charges.

Reuters was unable to reach the junta's spokesman for comment.

The junta chief was "noncommittal" but he had not refused Maurer's request, the Nikkei news service said, citing people familiar with the meeting.

The junta has said its measures are restrained against those it brands a threat to state security. It says the death toll is lower than those given by rights groups and the United Nations.