A funeral for a Myanmar woman who became the first to be killed among the protesters against the Feb. 1 coup was held near the capital Naypyitaw on Sunday, as demonstrations continued across the country.
Over 10,000 people came out to see the motorized funeral procession for 20-year-old Mya Thwet Thwet Khine, who was shot in the head while participating in a Feb. 9 demonstration, according to local reports.
A funeral car heads to a graveyard in the suburbs of Naypyitaw, Myanmar, on Feb. 21, 2021, carrying the coffin of a young woman who was killed after riot police opened fire on anti-coup protesters in the capital on Feb . 9. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo
The woman was protesting with her elder sister and others when she was shot. She died Friday after being on life support for 10 days. Use of a live round by security forces is strongly suspected.
More than 1,000 cars and motorcycles were seen around the hearse carrying the victim’s body along a roughly 20-kilometer route from a hospital in the capital to a cemetery to the north. The body was later cremated.
In central Yangon, the largest city, her portraits were displayed at numerous places, with people laying flowers in front of them.
In the country’s second-largest city Mandalay, where two male protesters were shot dead by police the previous day, people held a rally and condemned the military, which seized power in the coup, for the deaths.
Local media reported that a man patrolling the streets was shot to death in the suburbs of Yangon on Saturday night. Some reports said police fired the shots.
The international community swiftly condemned the shooting deaths of the protesters in Mandalay.
“Use of force employing guns against a peaceful demonstration is unacceptable,” Japanese Foreign Ministry spokesman Tomoyuki Yoshida said Sunday, calling for an “immediate stop” to violence against civilians.
The spokesman repeated Tokyo’s calls for the release of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other detainees and Myanmar’s early return to democratic governance.
U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Twitter that the U.S. government is “deeply concerned by reports that Burmese security forces have fired on protestors.”
“We stand with the people of Burma,” he added, using another name for Myanmar.
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab condemned the shooting, indicating that Britain will consider additional sanctions against Myanmar’s military members.
Raab said in a statement that the incident places the military “further beyond the pale” and Britain will “consider further measures, with our international partners, to hold to account those responsible for crushing democracy and choking dissent.”
In ousting Suu Kyi’s elected government, the military has alleged massive voter fraud in last November’s general election, in which Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party won another resounding victory.
The military says a new election will be held after a state of emergency is lifted, with power transferred to the winning party.
But people have taken to the streets daily to protest the coup and are calling for those detained following the takeover to be released. Large protests have been held every day since Feb. 6.