Protesters in Myanmar returned to the streets to press their demands for a return to democracy, just a day after the murder of security forces more than 100 people the bloodiest day since last month’s military coup.
Demonstrations took place on Sunday in Yangon and Mandalay, the country’s two largest cities, as well as elsewhere. Some of the protests met with law enforcement again.
At least 114 people were killed on Saturday as security forces cracked down on protests against the February 1 coup that toppled Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government, according to the Myanmar Now online news service. The reported deaths included several children under the age of 16.
Similar counts of the death toll were published by other Burmese media and researchers, far exceeding the highest death toll on March 14. The number of murders since the coup is now over 420, according to several charges.
The coup reversed years of progress towards democracy after five decades of military rule and once again made Myanmar the center of international scrutiny.
The killings by police and soldiers on Saturday took place across the country as the Burmese military celebrated the annual Armed Forces Day with a parade in the country’s capital, Naypyidaw.
The bloodshed quickly drew international condemnation, both diplomatic missions in Myanmar and abroad.
Human rights group Amnesty International has rekindled criticism that the international community was not doing enough to end state violence in Myanmar.
“The continued refusal of UN Security Council member states to act meaningfully against this endless horror is despicable,” said Ming Yu Hah, the organization’s deputy regional director of campaigns.
The Security Council condemned the violence but did not call for concerted action against the military government.