Thu. May 26th, 2022

A nationwide strike in Myanmar on Tuesday marked the one-year anniversary of the army’s seizure of power, as sporadic protests and violence across the country raised further international concern over the ongoing struggle for power.

(csmonitor.com)

Photos and video on social media showed that a countrywide “silent strike” had emptied out streets in Myanmar’s largest city of Yangon and other towns as people stayed home and businesses shut their doors in a show of opposition to army rule.

Clashes and violence were reported as well, as the country faces an insurgency that some U.N. experts now characterize as a civil war.

Local media said an explosion killed at least two people and injured dozens at a pro-military rally in a town on the eastern border with Thailand. The cause of the blast was not immediately clear.

The military’s takeover on Feb. 1, 2021, ousted the elected government of Aung Suu Kyi, whose National League for Democracy party was about to begin a second term in office after winning a landslide victory in the previous year’s November election.

Widespread nonviolent demonstrations followed the army’s takeover, but armed resistance arose after protests were put down with lethal force. About 1,500 civilians have been killed but the government has been unable to suppress the opposition.

The anniversary has also attracted international attention, especially from the United States and Western nations critical of the military takeover.

President Joe Biden in a statement called for the military to reverse its actions, free former leader San Suu Kyi and other detainees, and return Myanmar on a path to democracy.

The U.S. on Monday imposed new sanctions on Myanmar officials, adding to those already applied to top military officers. The measures freeze any assets the listed officials may have in U.S. jurisdictions and bar Americans from doing business with them. Britain and Canada announced similar measures.

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