Myanmar military ruler addresses nation as protests intensify | Incredible Solutions Tech

Senior General Min Aung Hlaing says the military will hold an election and hand over power to the winning party.

Myanmar’s military ruler has said the military will hold a new election and transfer power to the winner, as protests against last week’s coup continued to grow.

Addressing the country on live television for the first time since the February 1 putsch, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing called on the public to prioritise facts and not feelings and repeated the claim that there were irregularities in November’s election that were ignored.

Monday’s remarks to the nation were his first since he removed Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government in a move that has sparked widespread protests. Tens of thousands of people joined a third day of street demonstrations in towns and cities across Mynamar to denounce the military for its seizure of power.

Police warned protesters to disperse or face force to stifle the demonstrations against the coup and the arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi, whose National League for Democracy (NLD) party won the November election.

The detention of the country’s civilian leader and dozens of other members of the NLD ended 10 years of civilian rule in Myanmar and triggered international condemnation.

The generals had previously tried to justify their takeover on the grounds of election fraud and had promised a new poll.

Min Aung Hlaing reiterated that position in his address on Monday, saying the military government would form a “true and disciplined democracy” different to previous eras of military rule.

Growing protests

In the capital Naypyidaw, three lines of police in riot gear stood on the road as protesters chanted anti-coup slogans and told police they should serve the people, not the military, according to media and a live feed of events.

Police placed a sign on the road saying that live ammunition could be used if demonstrators breached the third line of officers.

In Yangon, nurses, teachers, civil servants and monks joined anti-coup demonstrations. Some held signs denouncing the coup and calling for democracy, as others flew multicoloured Buddhist flags alongside red banners, the colour of the NLD.

People demand the release of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi in Yangon [Stringer/Reuters]

Kyaw Zin Tun, an engineer protesting in Yangon, told the AFP news agency he was at the protest because he remembered the fear he felt growing up under the military rule during his childhood in the 1990s.

“In the last five years, under democracy government, our fears were removed. But now fear is back again with us, therefore, we have to throw out this military junta for the future of all of us,” the 29-year-old said.

UK, EU propose UN special session

Separately on Monday, the United Kingdom and the European Union requested that the United Nations Human Rights Council hold a special session in response to the continuing political crisis in Myanmar.

“The United Kingdom would like to inform all colleagues that together with the European Union, we have submitted a request for a special session on the human rights implications of the crisis in Myanmar,” Julian Braithwaite, the UK’s ambassador in Geneva, told a council organisational meeting.

People hold up placards as they join a rally to protest in Yangon [Stringer/Reuters]

Braithwaite said the call was “in response to the state of emergency imposed in Myanmar, the arbitrary detention of democratically elected politicians and civil society by the military”, which he said had “grave implications for human rights in the country”.

“We must respond urgently to the plight of the people of Myanmar and the rapidly deteriorating human rights situation there,” he said.

Braithwaite said the backers of the special session call would inform other council members soon about the drafting of a resolution on the issue.

He said the motion had the support of an additional 19 of the council’s 47 members.

That means in principle that the request would fulfil the requirement for the backing of at least a third of the council’s members, paving the way for a special session before the next regular council session, which kicks off on February 22.

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