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Myanmar activists call for non-cooperation campaign

People urged to stop paying electricity bills, farm loans

Activists opposed to Myanmar’s military junta called on people to stop paying electricity bills and agricultural loans from Monday, and to keep their children away from school, scorning the top general’s pledge at a regional summit to end the post-coup crisis.

Scattered protests took place in Myanmar’s big cities on Sunday, a day after Senior General Min Aung Hlaing reached an agreement at a summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Indonesia.

The junta chief did not submit to calls for the release of political prisoners, including the leader of the ousted civilian government, Aung San Suu Kyi, and the ASEAN accord lacked any timeline for ending the crisis.

An activist monitoring group says 751 people have been killed by security forces.

A civil disobedience campaign of strikes has crippled the economy and raised the prospect of hunger, international aid agencies have warned.

Pro-democracy activists have called for an intensification of their effort from Monday by refusing to pay electricity bills and agricultural loans, and for children to stop going to school.

“All of us, people in townships, wards and then regions and states must work together to make a successful boycott against the military junta,” activist Khant Wai Phyo said in a speech at a protest in Monywa on Sunday.

“We don’t participate in their systems, we don’t cooperate with them.”

A spokesman for the junta did not answer calls seeking comment.

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