Myanmar Junta Holds Parade on Major Holiday, Announces Prisoner Amnesty

YANGON (Reuters) – Myanmar’s junta confirmed off its army energy with a parade within the capital Naypyitaw on Saturday, with its chief Min Aung Hlaing defending final 12 months’s coup as mandatory to guard the nation from enemies, each home and international.

Celebrating Myanmar’s Union Day, which marks independence from British colonial rule in 1947, the federal government additionally introduced that 814 prisoners could be pardoned. Pardons are sometimes granted on main holidays.

It was not instantly clear if Australian Sean Turnell, an financial adviser to deposed Myanmar chief Aung San Suu Kyi and who has been detained for greater than a 12 months, was amongst these pardoned.

The day started with cellular web blackouts from 4.00 a.m. native time, with the parade of military items and civil servants going down later within the morning. Additionally collaborating had been delegations from Myanmar’s Karen, Chin, and Kayah states, the place ethnic and anti-military armed conflicts rage.

Min Aung Hlaing denounced resistance to the brand new regime.

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“The violence in Myanmar is inflicting chaos and individuals are struggling,” he mentioned on the televised ceremony.

The junta spent at the very least $5 million on the ceremony, an area media outlet reported.

One of many fundamental teams behind the protests, the Normal Strike Committee of Nationalities, mentioned on Fb that political prisoners being held at Insein jail in Yangon had begun a starvation strike on Saturday. It was not clear what number of prisoners had begun the starvation strike.

A decade of democratic reforms and financial progress in Myanmar got here to an finish with the Feb. 1 2021 coup.

Min Aung Hlaing repeated the junta’s assertions that it took energy as a result of it believes Nobel Peace laureate Suu Kyi’s Nationwide League for Democracy (NLD) fraudulently gained the 2020 election. The NLD says it gained democratically.

The junta has arrested 1000’s together with Suu Kyi, who stays in detention in an undisclosed location going through authorized prices that might result in sentences including as much as 150 or extra years in jail.

Safety forces have killed at the very least 1,547 individuals who resisted the takeover, based on a tally by the Help Affiliation for Political Prisoners (AAPP).

The junta says the AAPP numbers are exaggerated and troopers have additionally been killed in battles.

(Reporting by Reuters employees; Modifying by Edwina Gibbs)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.

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