Several hundred teachers and students protested at a Myanmar university Friday as the military widened a dragnet against officials ousted in a coup that has drawn global condemnation and the threat of new sanctions.
The rally took place after the arrest Win Htein, a key aide to de facto leader Aung Sang Suu Kyi, who has not been seen in public since being detained along with president Win Myint early Monday.
A representative of Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy said Friday she was being held at her residence in Naypyidaw, the country’s capital, and was “in good health”.
“As far as I know, she’s under house arrest and has not been taken to another place yet,” NLD press officer Kyi Toe told AFP.
Monday’s putsch ended the country’s 10-year dalliance with democracy that followed decades of oppressive junta rule, and sparked outrage and calls by US President Joe Biden for the generals to relinquish power.
On Friday, around 200 teachers and students at Yangon’s Dagon University staged a rally where they displayed a three-finger salute borrowed from Thailand’s democracy movements and sang a popular revolution song.
“We have to resist this dictatorship,” lecturer Win Win Maw told AFP.
‘Refrain from violence’
The putsch has drawn condemnation globally.
On Thursday, President Biden reiterated his call for the generals to reverse course.
“The Burmese military should relinquish power they have seized, release the advocates and activists and officials they have detained, lift the restrictions in telecommunications, and refrain from violence,” Biden said.
He spoke hours after his National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said the White House was “looking at specific targeted sanctions” on military-linked entities.
The United Nations Security Council took a softer tack, voicing “deep concern” — a step down from a draft Tuesday that had condemned the coup.
Diplomats said veto-wielding China and Russia, Myanmar’s main supporters at the UN, had asked for more time Tuesday to finesse the council’s response.
There have been calls on multinational companies working with Myanmar’s military-linked businesses to cut ties as a way to pressure the generals.
Japanese beer giant Kirin said Friday it was terminating its joint venture with a military-owned conglomerate. Kirin has been under scrutiny for some time over its ties to Myanmar’s army-owned breweries.
The UN Security Council and General Assembly on Thursday launched the recruitment process for the next secretary-general, a post currently held by Antonio Guterres who has announced he will seek a second term.
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