Myanmar Protest


Myanmar anti-coup protesters have staged more rallies after the military reportedly shot dead nine people a day earlier and as the World Bank warned the country's economy could slump 10 percent this year due to the turmoil.

In a bid to increase pressure on the junta over the February 1 coup, the United States and Britain imposed sanctions on conglomerates controlled by the military, with Washington calling it a response to the military's "brutal repression".

Candle-lit protests took place across the country overnight including in the Mandalay and Sagaing regions, as well as in Karen and Chin states, media reports said

In Myanmar's second city of Mandalay, protesters marched on Friday morning in front of a "civil disobedience movement" banner, Mizzima news reported.

Over 300 killed

The death toll for protesters confirmed killed since last month’s coup has surpassed 300, a group that verifies details of deaths and arrests announced on Friday.

Myanmar’s Assistance Association for Political Prisoners said its tally of 320 dead includes only documented cases, with the actual number of casualties “likely much higher.”

 It said 11 people were killed on Thursday, when it also managed to verify 23 deaths that occurred previously.

The group also said that as of Thursday, 2,981 people had been arrested, charged or sentenced in the crackdown since February 1.

Daily protests

Myanmar has been rocked by almost daily protests since the army overthrew Aung San Suu Kyi's elected government and installed the junta. Suu Kyi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for her campaign to bring democratic civilian rule to Myanmar, and other members of her National League for Democracy (NLD) are being held in detention.

At least 320 people have been killed in the subsequent crackdown, according to figures compiled by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) activist group.

The World Bank on Friday slashed its forecast for Myanmar's economy to a 10 percent contraction in 2021 from the growth expected previously.

Myanmar "has been heavily affected by protests, worker strikes, and military actions; reductions in mobility; and the ongoing disruption of critical public services in addition to banking, logistics, and internet services", it said.

Both are part of a military-controlled network which spans sectors from mining to tourism and has enriched the generals. Representatives for the two entities had no immediate comment.

"These actions will specifically target those who led the coup, the economic interests of the military, and the funding streams supporting the Burmese military's brutal repression," US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

In a move coordinated with the United States, former colonial power Britain said it would also target Myanmar Economic Holdings Ltd, citing human rights violations against civilians and its association with senior military figures.

The European Union announced sanctions on 11 individuals on Monday and is expected to target the conglomerates soon.

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