More than 500 people have been killed in the Myanmar junta’s brutal crackdown on protests against its coup to exterminate civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, a local monitoring group said on Tuesday.
The gloomy road passed as the world powers increased their condemnation of the military’s ruthless campaign against the movement demanding the restoration of democracy and the release of Suu Kyi.
Washington suspended a trade pact with Myanmar and UN chief Antonio Guterres called for a united global front to put pressure on the junta after more than 100 protesters were killed in a bloody weekend of violence.
Daily rallies across Myanmar of unarmed protesters have been met with tear gas, rubber bullets and live rounds.
The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) said it had confirmed a total of 510 civilian deaths, but warned that the real road was likely to be significantly higher.
UN Secretary-General Guterres called on the Myanmar authorities to carry out a “serious democratic transition”.
“It is absolutely unacceptable to see violence against people at such high levels, so many people killed,” Guterres told a news conference.
“We need more unity … (and) more commitment from the international community to put pressure on to turn the situation around,” he said.
US President Joe Biden’s administration announced on Monday that the 2013 framework agreement on trade and investment, which set out ways to increase business but was not a full-fledged business, would remain repealed until democracy is restored.
“The United States strongly condemns the brutal violence by the Burmese security forces against civilians,” said US Trade Representative Katherine Tai, using Myanmar’s former name Burma.
The statement effectively removes Myanmar from the generalized system of preferences, where the United States provides duty-free access to certain imports from developing countries if they meet important standards.
On Saturday, the military saw its annual armed forces with a large parade of troops and armor in the capital Naypyidaw.
But the day also saw bloody repression of protests around the country, with at least 107 killed, including seven children.
Despite the bloodshed, protesters showed up again on Monday, mourning at funerals that defiantly showed the three-fingered greeting that has become symbolic of the movement.
The UN Security Council will meet on Wednesday to discuss the situation, diplomatic sources said, after Britain called for an emergency call.
France condemned the violence as “blind and deadly” and China voiced a chorus of international concern on Monday, demanding restraint from all quarters.
The Kremlin said it was “very concerned” about growing civilian accidents, despite acknowledging that it was building ties with the military authorities.
The United States, Britain and the EU have imposed sanctions in response to coups and aggregation, but so far diplomatic pressure has not persuaded the generals to ease.