In the aftermath of a severe warning from the United Nations envoy against a risk of ” civil war “ and of “Imminent bloodbath” in Burma, the former Burmese leader detained since the military coup of 1is February presented itself, Thursday 1is April, in court. Aung San Suu Kyi, 75, appeared by video conference in a court in Naypyidaw (the capital) for a hearing on administrative issues such as the formal designation of the eight lawyers for his defense team.
She appeared in ” good physical condition “, said one of them. She was “Brilliant and charming as always”, commented lawyer Khin Maung Zaw. Her defense team had seen her the day before by video and under police surveillance for the first time since the putsch. “She requested a meeting between her and her lawyers – a private meeting to instruct her defense and discuss the case without outside interference from the police or the armed forces.”, he added.
The next hearing is set for April 12. The 1991 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate is being sued for four counts, including “Incitement to public disturbances”. Charges of collecting over a million dollars and eleven kilograms of gold in bribes are added, but she has yet to be charged with « corruption ». She faces long years in prison, risking being banned from political life.
Autodafe of the Constitution
Members of his party, the National League for Democracy (LND), announced on Wednesday the training during the first week of April of“A new civil government” resistance. In hiding since the coup, they also announced that the 2008 Constitution drafted by the previous military regime was “Canceled”.
Protesters burned a stack of copies of the text on Thursday on a street in Yangon, the economic capital, where two army-owned supermarkets were set on fire overnight. A 31-year-old protester was killed in Monywa (center) and ten others injured, a rescuer told Agence France-Presse. Candlelight vigils and silent prayers were held in memory of « martyrs » dead in the past two months and protesters marched through Yangon with “Tears of blood” painted on the face. Tens of thousands of civil servants and private sector employees are still on strike.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies accused security forces of targeting rescuers. “Red Cross doctors and rescuers in Burma have been wrongfully arrested, intimidated or injured, and Red Cross property and ambulances have been damaged. This is unacceptable “, said the organization’s regional director for Asia-Pacific, Alexander Matheou.
More than 535 people, including many students, adolescents and young children, were killed by security forces in two months, according to the Association for Assistance to Political Prisoners (AAPP). Hundreds of others, held incommunicado, are missing.
Divisions in the Security Council
During an emergency closed-door meeting of the UN Security Council on Wednesday requested by London, UN envoy for Burma Christine Schraner Burgener warned against “A risk of civil war at an unprecedented level”, urging to “Consider all the means at its disposal to (…) avoid a multidimensional disaster in the heart of Asia ”.
But its fifteen members remain divided. While Washington and London have defended the implementation of sanctions by the UN, Beijing, a traditional ally of the Burmese military, has strongly rejected the idea, while calling for “Return to a democratic transition”. The United Kingdom on Thursday sanctioned a second conglomerate linked to the army, Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC), a week after joint sanctions with Washington targeting Myanmar Economic Holdings Ltd (MEHL).
The violence against civilians has sparked anger among some 20 rebel ethnic factions in Burma. Some have launched attacks against the police and the army, the latter responding with air raids. The army had in recent years concluded a ceasefire with several of these groups fighting against the government since independence in 1948 but, since the putsch, a few of them have supported the uprising. popular and resumed arms or threatened to do so.
Get the latest news delivered to your inbox
Follow us on social media networks