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Myanmar protesters mark two-month power seize by burning constitution

PROTESTERS in Myanmar marked two months since the military seized power today by once again defying the threat of violence and burning constitution books.

In Yangon, a group of young people kicked off the daily action by singing songs to honour the more than 500 protesters killed in the crackdown since Feburary 1. On Saturday alone, 141 protesters were killed.

The group then marched through the streets chanting slogans calling for the fall of the junta. 

Some of the anti-coup protesters burned constitution books in the Tarmwe region of the city. The junta cites emergency provisions in the charter as giving its takeover constitutional legitimacy.

Protests were also held in Mandalay and other parts of the country. At least two more people were killed, according to media reports.

The demonstrations followed yet another night of violence, including police raids and several fires. 

Several retail shops owned in whole or part by Myanma Economic Holdings Ltd, which is an investment arm of the military, went up in flames in Yangon. The shops have been the targets of boycotts. 

Myanmar’s ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been charged with breaking a colonial-era official secrets law, her lawyer revealed today. 

The new military rule had earlier accused her of multiple minor offences, including illegally importing six handheld radios and breaching Covid-19 protocols. 

Lawyer Khin Maung Zaw told Reuters that Ms Suu Kyi, three of her deposed Cabinet ministers and detained Australian economic adviser Sean Turnell were charged a week ago in a Yangon court under the official secrets law and that he learned of the new charge two days ago.

A conviction under the law can result in up to 14 years imprisonment. 

The crisis has also sparked up clashes between the military and the guerilla forces of the Karen ethnic minority. 

In areas controlled by the Karen, on the border with Thailand, more than a dozen civilians have been killed since Saturday while over 20,000 people have been displaced, according to relief agency Free Burma Rangers. 

And an air strike on a gold mine in the guerilla territory on Tuesday killed as many as 11 more people, according to local news reports. 

UN special envoy Christine Schraner Burgener has warned that the country faces the possibility of civil war and urged the UN Security Council to consider “potentially significant action” to restore democracy.

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