Protesters in Myanmar have returned to the streets to press their demands for a return to democracy, just a day after security forces killed more than 100 people on the bloodiest day since last month’s military coup.
Protests were held on Sunday in Yangon and Mandalay, the country’s two biggest cities, as well as elsewhere. Some of the demonstrations were again met with police force.
At least 114 people were killed on Saturday as security forces cracked down on protests against the February 1 coup that overthrew Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government, according to the online news service Myanmar Now. The reported fatalities included several children under 16 years old.
Similar tallies of the death toll were issued by other Myanmar media and researchers, far exceeding the previous highest death toll on March 14. The number of killings since the coup is now more than 420, according to multiple counts.
The coup reversed years of progress towards democracy after five decades of military rule and has again made Myanmar the focus of international scrutiny.
The Saturday killings by police and soldiers took place throughout the country as Myanmar’s military celebrated the annual Armed Forces Day holiday with a parade in the country’s capital, Naypyidaw.
The bloodshed quickly drew international condemnation, both from diplomatic missions within Myanmar and from abroad.
The human rights group Amnesty International revived criticism that the international community was not doing enough to end the state violence in Myanmar.
“UN Security Council member states’ continued refusal to meaningfully act against this never-ending horror is contemptible,” said Ming Yu Hah, the organisation’s deputy regional director for campaigns.
The Security Council has condemned the violence but not advocated concerted action against the military government.