YANGON, Myanmar — Authorities in Myanmar arrested the nation’s best-known comic on Tuesday as they proceed to crack down on individuals they accuse of serving to incite nationwide protests towards February’s army coup.
The comic Zarganar was taken from his residence in Yangon by police and troopers who arrived in two military autos, fellow comic Ngepyawkyaw stated on his personal Fb web page. Zarganar, 60, is a sharp-tongued satirist who has been out and in of jail since he was lively in a failed 1988 in style rebellion towards a earlier army dictatorship. He’s additionally well-known for his social work, particularly arranging help for victims of Cyclone Nargis in 2008.
Up to now week, the junta has issued arrest warrants for not less than 60 individuals lively within the fields of literature, movie, theater arts, music and journalism on expenses of spreading data that undermines the soundness of the nation and the rule of legislation. It was not instantly clear what Zarganar, whose actual identify is Maung Thura, has been charged with.
Many peculiar protesters and activists are additionally being arrested day-after-day, in keeping with quite a few stories on social media.
In Mandalay, the nation’s second-biggest metropolis, safety forces used stun grenades and fired weapons Tuesday to interrupt up a march by medical employees who’ve defiantly continued to protest virtually day-after-day towards the Feb. 1 coup that ousted the elected authorities of Aung San Suu Kyi. The military’s takeover set again Myanmar’s gradual return to democracy after 5 a long time of army rule.
A participant who requested to stay nameless for his personal security informed The Related Press that medical doctors, nurses and medical college students had been attacked as they gathered at about 5 a.m. by safety forces who additionally used vehicles to run into protesters on motorbikes. The net information website The Irrawaddy reported that 4 medical doctors had been arrested.
Not less than 570 protesters and bystanders, together with 47 youngsters, have been killed within the crackdown because the takeover, in keeping with the Help Affiliation for Political Prisoners, which screens casualties and arrests. The group says 2,728 individuals, together with Suu Kyi, are in detention.
Activists have begun organizing a boycott of subsequent week’s official celebration of Thingyan, the nation’s conventional New Yr, often a time for household reunions and merry-making.
In leaflets and social media posts, they’re imploring individuals to not maintain any Thingyan celebrations, saying it might be disrespectful to “fallen martyrs” to benefit from the competition.
The leaders of Brunei and Malaysia introduced Monday that leaders of the Affiliation of Southeast Asian Nations will meet to debate the scenario in Myanmar.
No date was given within the announcement, issued throughout a go to by Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to Brunei. He and Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah stated they “expressed severe concern on the continuing disaster in Myanmar and the rising variety of fatalities.” Indonesian President Joko Widido had proposed a summit on Myanmar final month.
There was no phrase on whether or not the ASEAN leaders would take part in particular person or by video, or if Myanmar, one of many group’s 10 members, would attend.
Myanmar’s junta additionally has been battling in some border areas the place ethnic minority teams preserve their very own armed forces. A number of main teams, most notably the Karen and the Kachin, have expressed solidarity with the anti-coup motion and vowed to guard protesters within the territory they management.
The Kachin within the nation’s north have engaged in fight with authorities forces, however the Karen within the east have borne the brunt of the junta’s army assaults.
The world the place the Karen Nationwide Union holds sway has been topic to air assaults by the Myanmar army from March 27 by means of Monday, stated David Eubank of the Free Burma Rangers, a humanitarian group that has for a few years offered medical help to Karen villagers. Burma is one other identify for Myanmar.
Eubank stated his group has verified that 14 civilians died and greater than 40 had been wounded within the air strikes. He stated Tuesday that Myanmar’s army is mounting a floor offensive into Karen territory, driving villagers from their houses and growing the variety of displaced individuals within the space to greater than 20,000, lots of whom have to cover in caves or the jungle and are in determined want of meals and different requirements.
“The scenario now appears, from our perspective, to be all-out struggle to the end,” Eubank wrote Monday in an emailed message. “Except there’s a miracle, the Burma Military is not going to maintain again of their try and crush the Karen and another ethnic group that stands towards them, simply as they haven’t held again killing their very own Burman individuals within the cities and plains of Burma.”