Military junta chief Min Aung Hlaing threw a lavish dinner party Saturday while his troops reportedly shot dead more than 100 people in the streets and forced thousands of people to flee into neighbouring Thailand, during a weekend of indiscriminate terror and bloodshed that was widely condemned internationally.
Images posted on social media showed the coup leader dressed in a bow tie and a white, medal-laiden jacket walking a red carpet, greeting attendees and sitting down to a meal to mark Armed Forces Day.
The annual holiday commemorates the beginning of the army’s resistance against Japanese occupation in World War II and the junta staged a show of force with a military parade. Saturday was also the full moon day of Tabaung, the end of Myanmar’s lunar calendar and an important time in Buddhism that should have been celebrated with festivals and visits to pagodas.
Instead, soldiers and police embarked on a rampage, killing at least 114 people — including children — in 44 towns and cities across the country on Saturday, according to a tally by the independent Myanmar Now news outlet. It was the deadliest day since the army seized power in a coup and overthrew the country’s elected government on February 1.
United States President Joe Biden joined a chorus of international condemnation Sunday, saying the situation in Myanmar was “terrible,” and described the actions of the military as “absolutely outrageous.” The US has imposed sanctions on several of the generals, including Min Aung Hlaing, and two military-owned conglomerates. On Monday, the Biden administration announced the suspension of all diplomatic trade engagement with Myanmar.
Throughout Monday, crackdowns and shootings continued across the country and at least 14 people were shot dead, the Advocacy group the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) said. At least 510 people have been killed since the coup, according to AAPP.
“Amidst crackdowns in Kyauk Myaung, Tamwe township, Yangon Region, people banged pots and pans in protest,” AAPP reported. “At that time, the junta forces told people they will arson neighborhoods if people continue.”
CNN obtained video showing military personnel coming into neighborhoods to stop the banging of pots and pans, which have become a common form of protest.
News Source: News18