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Suu Kyi confronted with sedition charge on 2nd day of trial

Bangkok: The trial of Myanmar’s deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi entered its second day on June 15, with the prosecution presenting arguments that she incited public disorder and flouted coronavirus restrictions, part of a package of charges the ruling junta is seen as using to discredit her and consolidate its control.

Suu Kyi and other members of her government and party were arrested by the military after the February 1 coup, with criminal charges brought against some of the top figures on litany of charges that both their supporters and independent observers say are bogus.

The coup reversed years democratic reforms in Myanmar after decades of military rule and sparked widespread protests and international condemnation.

Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy party had been due to start a second five-year term of office after winning a landslide victory in a general election last November.

Suu Kyi has not been seen in public since her arrest and her lawyers say they don’t know exactly where she is currently being held.

The sedition charge, which is sometimes described as incitement, calls for up to two years’ imprisonment for anyone found guilty of causing fear or alarm that could cause an offense against the state or public tranquility.

The trial covered charges she had illegally imported walkie-talkies that were for her bodyguards’ use; unlicensed use of those radios; and violating the Natural Disaster Management Law by allegedly breaking pandemic restrictions during last year’s election campaign, her lawyers said.

Suu Kyi also faces more charges that have yet to go to trial, among them accepting bribes. (New Indian Express)

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Myanmar marks 100 days of junta rule with protests

New Delhi: Protesters rallied in towns and cities around Myanmar on May 11, to denounce its military rulers, 100 days after the generals’ overthrow of an elected government plunged the country into its biggest crisis in decades.

Demonstrators took part in marches, motorcycle convoys and flash protests to evade security forces, some making three-finger gestures of defiance as anti-coup groups renewed calls for the toppling of a junta condemned around the world for killing hundreds of civilians.

The junta has struggled to govern Myanmar since seizing power on February 1, with protests, strikes and a civil disobedience campaign crippling businesses and the bureaucracy, in an overwhelming public rejection of the return of military rule.

Protesters in the biggest city Yangon carried a banner saying “Yangon strikes for complete removal of the enemy,” while demonstrators in Hpakant in northern Kachin State marched chanting “the revolution must prevail”.

Demonstrators elsewhere held signs in support of strikes and a National Unity Government (NUG), a coalition of anti-junta elements that has declared itself Myanmar’s legitimate authority.

The military arrested elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi hours before a coup that it said was to protect the country’s fledgling democracy after a November election which it said was marred by fraud. Suu Kyi’s party, which won in a landslide, has rejected that.

Despite the imposition of limited economic sanctions by the United States, the European Union and others, the junta has shown no sign of compromise. It has the tacit support of neighboring China, a major investor and a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.

Security forces have killed 781 people since the coup, including 52 children, and 3,843 people are in detention, according to monitoring group the Association for Political Prisoners, whose figures are being used by the United Nations. (India Today)

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Suu Kyi hit with more charges as protests continue in Myanmar

Yangon: Ousted Myanmar civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi was slapped with two new criminal charges when she appeared in court via video link on March 1, a month after a military coup triggered relentless and massive protests.

The military took charge on February 1 and declared a year-long state of emergency following a general election which Suu Kyi’s NLD party won by a landslide. The armed forces had backed the opposition which was demanding a rerun of the vote, claiming widespread fraud.

Suu Kyi has been reportedly under house arrest in Naypyidaw, an isolated city that the military built during a previous dictatorship.

She faces obscure criminal charges for possessing unlicensed walkie-talkies, as well as violating coronavirus restrictions by staging a campaign event during last year’s election. She is now also accused of a violation of communications laws as well as intent to incite public unrest. Many other NLD officials have also been detained.

On Feb 28, Myanmar saw the biggest escalation in the protests in which at least 18 people died as troops and police fired live bullets at demonstrators in cities across Myanmar, according to the United Nations.

Hundreds of thousands of people have taken to streets regularly over the past month to oppose the coup. The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a reliable monitoring group, estimated that about 30 people had been killed by security forces since the coup on February 1. More than 1,100 people have been arrested, charged, or sentenced since the coup, according to The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners. (Hindustan Times)

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