Despite bloody government repression, protests continued May 17 in Mandalay, Myanmar’s second-largest city, above, demanding the military junta that seized power in the country Feb. 1 stand down. Police and soldiers had broken up a protest march in Mandalay’s Pyigyidagun neighborhood May 12 before it could start, arresting more than 30 people.
The president of the Confederation of Trade Unions Myanmar, Maung Maung, told a May 12 online program that “dismissals are taking place, not in hundreds, but in thousands,” as the regime works with the bosses to fire striking workers and union activists.
The junta declared martial law May 13 in the small town of Mindat, where some residents had joined the recently formed Chinland Defense Force to resist the regime, arming themselves with homemade hunting rifles. Army units occupied the town after attacking it with artillery, rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons, forcing opposition fighters to withdraw.
As of May 16 more than 796 people have been killed by the junta. More than 4,000 people are in jail. Many of those killed were tortured to death after being detained.