US Ambassador Asks Myanmar’s Military Deputy Chief to Stop Violence Against Protesters
By The Irrawaddy 5 March 2021
YANGON — In the wake of the regime’s deadly crackdowns on protesters – that saw at least 49 people killed – the US ambassador to Myanmar has urged the military’s second-in-command to stop all violence.
During a phone call with Deputy Commander-in-Chief Vice Senior General Soe Win on Friday, Thomas Vajda called for the release of all detainees, according to the US Embassy in Yangon.
The military staged a coup on Feb 1, claiming the November general election was marred by fraud and detained President U Win Myint and State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
Anti-regime protests have erupted across the country, demanding the release of the elected leaders and restoration of democracy.
However, the junta has ordered shooting into largely unarmed protesters with live ammunition and blocked the internet.
At least 49 protesters have been killed since protests broke out on Feb. 6 and more than 1,500 people have been detained.
Vajda mentioned the widespread domestic opposition to the military’s actions and the economic damage and international isolation caused by the coup, urging the military to reverse course.
The embassy said the ambassador called for an end to detentions, communication blackouts and the restoration of the democratically elected government.
Protests were held at the US Embassy, urging Washington not to turn a blind eye to events.
After numerous civilian deaths on Sunday,, the US Embassy said its staff were heartbroken to see the loss of so many lives and that people should not face violence for opposing the coup.
“Targeting of civilians is abhorrent,” said Sunday’s statement.
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