Myanmar faces growing isolation

19 March, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Myanmar faced growing isolation on Thursday with increasingly limited internet services and its last private newspaper ceasing publication as the military built a case against ousted elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, reports Reuters.

Nobel peace laureate Suu Kyi was overthrown and detained in a Feb. 1 military coup, triggering mass protests across the country that security forces have struggled to suppress with increasingly violent methods.

The documented total of those killed in the unrest stood at 217, but the actual toll was probably much higher, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners activist group said.

Western countries have condemned the coup and called for an end to the violence and for the release of Suu Kyi and others. Asian neighbours have offered to help find a solution, but the military has a long record of shunning outside pressure.

Large parts of an economy already reeling from the novel coronavirus have been paralysed by the protests and a parallel civil disobedience campaign of strikes against military rule, while many foreign investors are reassessing plans.

The U.N. food agency warned this week that rising prices of food and fuel could undermine the ability of poor families to feed themselves.

“Whatever happens in Myanmar over coming months, the economy will collapse, leaving tens of millions in dire straits and needing urgent protection,” historian and author Thant Myint-U said on Twitter.  While the security forces have focused on stamping out dissent in Yangon and other cities, small demonstrations have erupted elsewhere day after day.


Top