Amid foreign concerns, no let up in protests against Myanmar junta

G7 countries condemn crackdown on peaceful protesters

Protesters against the military’s seizure of power in Myanmar were back on the streets of cities and towns on Tuesday, a day after a general strike shuttered shops and brought huge numbers out to demonstrate.

In Mandalay, the country’s second-biggest city, a funeral was held for 37-year-old Thet Naing Win, one of two protesters shot dead by security forces on Saturday.

Numbers were down from Monday’s massive crowds, but groups of demonstrators in Yangon, the country’s biggest city, assembled again at various venues on Tuesday for peaceful protests.

Protesters trained their ire on a new target on Tuesday, gathering outside the Indonesian Embassy in response to a news report that Jakarta was proposing to its regional neighbours that they offer qualified support for the junta’s plan for a new election next year. The demonstrators demand that the results of last year’s election, won in a landslide by Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party, to be honoured.

Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Teuku Faizasyah denied the report, saying on Tuesday that it “is not Indonesia’s position at all to support a new election in Myanmar.”

There is continuing international concern over Myanmar, with Foreign Ministers from the Group of Seven nations on Tuesday issuing their second statement since the coup.

“Anyone responding to peaceful protests with violence must be held to account,” they said. The group also condemned restrictions on freedom of expression, including arrests and the blocking of internet access, and called for the release of Suu Kyi and her colleagues.

The U.S. and several Western governments have called for the junta to refrain from violence, release detainees and restore Suu Kyi’s government.

On Monday, the U.S. said it was imposing sanctions against more junta members because of the killing of peaceful protesters by security forces.

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