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Iran Press TV

Myanmar junta threatens civil servants, protesters with 'actions'

Iran Press TV

Thursday, 11 February 2021 6:51 PM

Myanmar's ruling general has ordered demonstrators to return to work or face "effective actions" as a civil disobedience campaign and nationwide protests continue to grow over the last week's military coup.

Army chief General Min Aung Hlaing on Thursday called for civil servants to return to work after days of nationwide strikes supporting the protests.

"Due to unscrupulous persons' incitement, some civil service personnel have failed to perform their duties," said the general, who now holds legislative, judicial and executive powers.

"Effective actions will be taken," he added without elaboration.

The warning comes after a sixth consecutive day of anti-coup rallies condemning the detention of de-facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and senior figures of her National League for Democracy party (NLD).

Demonstrators again marched on Thursday in the capital Naypyidaw as well as Yangon, the largest city and commercial hub, which saw thousands flood into the streets in support of a growing civil disobedience campaign.

"Don't go to the office," chanted a group of protesters outside Myanmar's central bank in Yangon.

"We aren't doing this for a week or a month -- we are determined to do this until the end when (Suu Kyi) and President U Win Myint are released," one protesting bank employee said.

Joining the protest were dozens from ethnic groups, some of whom have faced intense persecution at the hands of the army over the past years.

"Our ethnic armed groups and ethnic people have to join together to fight against the military dictatorship," media outlets quoted Saw Z Net, an ethnic Karen protester, as saying.

In recent days, tens of thousands have demonstrated in major cities in defiance of a ban on gatherings, with police using water cannon, rubber bullets and live rounds against them.

The military on Tuesday night raided Suu Kyi's party headquarters in Yangon.

The junta has warned that it would act against the demonstrators who threatened "stability", but the protesters have ignored the warning.

The United Nations on Thursday condemned the use of force against protesters.

A draft resolution on Myanmar was formally submitted by Britain and the European Union, a day ahead of the UN Human Rights Council holding a special session on the crisis since the February 1 coup.

The language appeared somewhat watered down from an initial draft circulated informally that would have condemned the coup.

The latest text "strongly deplores" the coup and calls for the release of Suu Kyi and other officials, as well as access for UN human rights monitors to the country.

The military has handed power to General Hlaing and promised to hold a new election.

The general on Monday said things would be different from the army's previous 49-year reign, which ended in 2011.

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