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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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Latest News USA

Junta moves Suu Kyi to ‘unknown location’

Yangon: Myanmar’s junta has moved the nation’s civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and ex-president Win Myint from their residences in the capital to an “unknown location,” according to allies who’ve expressed serious concerns for their safety, Bloomberg reported.

The two have been held by the country’s powerful military since it seized power in a coup on Feb 1.

“We’ve heard from reliable sources that President Win Myint and State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi have been moved to another unknown location,” the shadow government formed by Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party and allies, also known as the National Unity Government said in a statement.

Suu Kyi, who once defended the military’s brutal crackdown on Rohingya minorities at the International Court of Justice, is facing six criminal charges including violating state secrets and incitement. Win Myint is also charged with incitement and breaching Covid-19 restrictions.

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International Latest News

Over 800 Killed by security forces since coup: Activists

Yangon: More than 800 people have been killed by Myanmar‘s security forces since a wave of protests broke out across the country after the military seized power in a coup in February, an activist group said.

Myanmar has been in turmoil since the army ousted Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government and detained her and officials of her National League for Democracy party.

The military has responded to protests by pro-democracy supporters in cities and towns with lethal force, while there has been an upsurge in fighting between the army and ethnic rebels in border areas and newly formed militia forces.

As of May 17, 802 people had been killed in the junta’s crackdown on its opponents, according to the activist group the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.

“This is the number verified by AAPP, the actual number of fatalities is likely much higher,” the group said in its daily briefing.

It detailed six additional fatalities including in towns in Chin state and in districts of the main cities of Mandalay and Yangon.

The activist group said 4,120 people were currently being detained, including 20 who had been sentenced to death.

Some of the most intense fighting since the February 1 coup has emerged in recent days in Mindat, about 100 km (60 miles) from the Indian border in Chin state as the army battles local militias.

Martial law was declared in Mindat last week before the army launched its assault, using artillery and helicopters against a newly formed Chinland Defense Force. The militia, armed mainly with hunting rifles, said it had pulled back to spare civilians from being caught in the crossfire.

A UN General Assembly vote on May 18 on a draft resolution calling “for an immediate suspension of the direct and indirect supply, sale or transfer of all weapons and munitions” to Myanmar has been postponed, diplomats said. (The Wire)

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International Latest News

‘Myanmar could be heading towards full-blown conflict’

Nay Pyi Taw: The UN rights chief warned Myanmar could be spiraling towards a “full-blown” Syrian-style conflict, after a two-month crackdown that a local monitoring group says has already claimed more than 700 lives.

Myanmar is in chaos and its economy has been paralyzed since the military seized power from civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1.

Warning of possible crimes against humanity, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet urged countries to take immediate action to push Myanmar’s military to stop its “campaign of repression and slaughter of its people.”

At least 710 civilians have been killed as of late April 12, including 50 children, according to a local monitoring group.

“I fear the situation in Myanmar is heading towards a full-blown conflict,” Bachelet said in a statement.

 “There are clear echoes of Syria in 2011,” she warned, referring to the start of a civil war that over the past decade has killed nearly 4,00,000 people and forced more than six million to flee the country.

In recent weeks, several of Myanmar’s ethnic rebel groups in some lawless border territories have stepped up attacks on the military and police, raising fears of a broader civil conflict.

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International Latest News

Myanmar violence outrageous, US working on sanctions: Biden

Washington: US President Joe Biden has called the military violence in Myanmar “absolutely outrageous” and said Washington was working on reacting with sanctions.

The situation in Myanmar, which has seen almost daily protests since a military coup in February, was “terrible,” Biden said in comments reported by journalists travelling with the US President on his return from Delaware to Washington, DPA news agency reported.

Asked whether the US would respond with sanctions, Biden said “we’re working on that now.”

The bloodiest day of violence so far on March 27 – which marked Armed Forces Day in Myanmar – reportedly left 114 people dead.

Recently, the European Union approved sanctions against individuals tied to the Myanmar coup at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels.

Among those sanctioned was junta chief Min Aung Hlaing, who has been slapped with an assets freeze and visa ban blacklist.

Myanmar’s military conducted a coup on February 1, overthrowing the government of State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi.

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International Latest News

Thousands protest in Myanmar, police use water cannons

Nay Pyi Taw: Thousands of people continued their protest in Myanmar’s capital Nay Pyi Taw, against the recent military coup, forcing police to use water cannons in an effort to disperse the demonstrators.

The protesters are demanding the release of former de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who was detained along with other senior government leaders on February 1 shortly before the military took control of the South Asian nation over the disputed results of the 2020 parliamentary elections, the BBC reported.

Besides the coup, the military also declared a year-long state of emergency and handed over the state power to Commander-in-Chief of Defense Services Sen-Gen Min Aung Hlaing.

According to a report by BBC Burmese, a day after the country witnessed its largest protest in over a decade, thousands of people from all walks of life gathered in the capital city for the strike.

A video has gone viral showing the police water cannon being used to disperse protesters.

Kyaw Zeyar Oo, who took the video, told the BBC that “two vehicles sprayed protesters with no prior warning while the crowd was peacefully protesting”.

Meanwhile, state TV has warned the protesters that action will be taken if they threaten public safety or the “rule of law”.

Suu Kyi, former President U Win Myint, and other senior members of the National League for Democracy (NLD) party are currently under house arrest.

In November 8, 2020 parliamentary polls, the former de facto leader’s NLD party obtained more than 80 per cent of the seats and increased its parliamentary majority.

The military or the Tatmadaw had called for an investigation into voting lists, alleging fraud and discrepancies.

But the Union Election Commission rejected the allegations of election fraud on January 29.

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International Latest News

Suu Kyi calls for protests over Myanmar coup

Nay Pyi Taw: Myanmar’s de facto leader and State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi has asked people to protest against the coup staged by the military, hours after it detained her and other senior members of her ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) party.

The military seized control of the South Asian nation following escalated tensions between the government and the army that erupted due to the outcome of the November 2020 parliamentary polls, the first to be held since the end of the Army’s rule in 2011.

In a statement issued under Suu Kyi’s name, she said: “I urge people not to accept this, to respond and wholeheartedly to protest against the coup by the military.”

She added that the development has put the country back under dictatorship, the BBC reported.

According to a declaration signed by First Vice President U Myint Swe, who is currently serving as the Acting President, and issued following the coup, the state power will be handed over to Commander-in-Chief of Defense Services Min Aung Hlaing because of “election fraud”.

According to the declaration, which was first announced on the military-owned Myawady TV, a state of emergency has also been declared for a period of one year.

In a televised statement following the declaration, the military said that it will again hold the multi-party general elections after the emergency period expires.

According to a BBC news report citing family members, soldiers also visited the homes of Chief Ministers in several regions and took them away.

Telecommunications in capital city of Nay Pyi Taw and some other regions and states had also been cut off.

In the disputed elections, the NLD won 83 per cent of the available seats in Parliament, enough to form a government.

But the military-backed opposition Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) claimed that the result was fraudulent.

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International Latest News

Suu Kyi’s party wins big in Myanmar polls

Yangon: Myanmar’s ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) party, headed by incumbent State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, pledged to fulfil the needs and aspirations of people after winning a landslide majority in the November 8 general elections.

In its first message to the public after the official announcement of the poll results, NLD party said that it will continue implementing its three goals mentioned in the election manifesto: to strive for ethnic affairs and internal peace; a constitution that can create a democratic federal union; and sustainable development and security, Xinhua news agency reported.

It also committed to be dutiful in response to the trust and support of people to the party in the general elections, saying that the party managed to achieve public support for over 30 years since 1990 general elections.

The NLD party won a sweeping victory by grabbing a majority of seats in three levels of parliament in this year’s general elections.

According to a result announcement by the Union Election Commission, the NLD party secured 920 seats, out of 1,117 contested parliamentary seats in the elections.

The party won 396 seats in the two Houses of the Union Parliament, passing the target seats to form a new government while securing 501 seats in the Regional or State Parliaments and 23 ethnic minority seats in the Regional or State Parliaments, respectively.

The NLD won over 83 per cent of all constituencies contested in the 2020 general elections, up from 80 per cent in 2015 elections while the party won over 95 per cent of the contested seats in 2012 by-elections and over 82 per cent in 1990 elections, according to the party’s message to the public.

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Business Latest News

Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi wins parliamentary seat

Yangon: Aung San Suu Kyi, Chairperson of Myanmar’s ruling National League for Democracy (NLD), has won a seat in the House of Representatives (Lower House) for the next parliament in the recently-held general elections, the Union Election Commission (UEC) said on Tuesday.

Suu Kyi, the current State Counsellor of Myanmar, competed in Yangon’s Kawmhu constituency against rival candidates from the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), the Union Betterment Party, United Nationalities League for Democracy, Phalon-Sawaw Democratic Party and one independent runner, reports Xinhua news agency.

A total of 5,639 candidates including 1,106 candidates from the ruling NLD party and 1,089 from the USDP vied for the 1,117 parliamentary seats in Sunday’s election.

Suu Kyi, the 75-year-old Nobel laureate, had contested a seat in the Lower House in Kawmhu township in the 2012 by-election and 2015 general elections.

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