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Myanmar executions: US plans action against military junta

US Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has called upon the Biden Administration to summon its powers and take down the junta if Myanmar's neighbours don't move swiftly enough to help stop the reign of terror. There are 117 more death sentences awarded by the military court pending execution since they came to power last year.

NAYPYIDAW (Myanmar), July 26: The US Government has stated that it is considering action against the Myanmar military junta over the "heinous execution of pro-democracy activists and elected leaders." US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said on Tuesday that "all options" were on the table. The US has also asked China to rein in the junta led by Min Aung Hlaing.

US Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell called upon the Biden administration to use the powers vested in it to take swift action against the human rights violations in case Myanmar's neighbouring countries fail to act against the military junta led by Min Aung Hlaing immediately.

Myanmar's ruling military had announced on Monday that it had executed four pro-democracy activists accused of aiding "terror acts," evoking spontaneous condemnation from international bodies.

There has not been any report on response to the executions from National League for Democracy (NLD) party leader Aung San Suu Kyi who was arrested last year following the coup.

The shadow National Unity Government (NUG) sources have claimed there are protests being held in Insein prison in Yangon where those executed were imprisoned. The NUG which is leading the pro-democracy movement against the junta called for international action to restore democracy in the country.

There were also gunshots heard from a jail in the city of Mandalay which has reported unrest triggered by the killings.

Those executed were Kyaw Min Yu or Jimmy, former lawmaker Phyo Zeya Thaw, Hla Myo Aung and Aung Thura Zaw. The State media that announced the execution did not say when and how they were killed. They were inmates of Yangon's Insein prison. There are 117 more death sentences awarded by the military court since they came to power.

One relative each of the death row convicts were allowed to talk to their loved one through video at the prison last Friday. However, the prison officials did not inform them of the execution plan. The relatives were not handed over the bodies either.

The martyrs were sentenced to death in the months of January and April in closed door trials for participating in pro-democracy movements against the junta that seized power last year.

Myanmar has a chequered history of democratic struggle but an execution has not taken place for several decades. Five of the past six decades military has ruled the former British colony.

Over 2,000 people have been killed in military action against pro- democracy agitations in the last over one year since the military junta came into power on February 1, 2021 through a coup overthrowing a democratically elected Government formed under the leadership of Aun San Suu Kyi.

World condemns Myanmar junta

The ASEAN has denounced the 'highly reprehensible' executions. The executions came just a week ahead of the 10-member body's next meeting.

United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet called the executions a "cruel and regressive step."

The European Union, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, Britain and the United States called the executions as "reprehensible."

Reacting to the executions a media watcher said, "Brutal, inhuman and heartbreaking. What will the world do? Who will ever hold these butchers to account? As individuals, we need to donate to organizations supporting humanitarian efforts and democracy in Myanmar. Boycott countries engaging with the Military economically such as Thailand."

Another quoted Thomas Jefferson, “When Governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the Government, there is tyranny.”

Phyo Zayar Thaw:

Phyo Zayar Thaw, 41, was a former lawmaker from the then-ruling National League for Democracy of ousted state counselor Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar's lower house of parliament. In November 2021, he was arrested for planning attacks on junta under the Counterterrorism Law and the Public Property Protection Act.

Kyaw Min Yu (Jimmy):

Kyaw Min Yu or Ko Jimmy was a prominent student activist during the popular uprising against the then-military regime in 1988. He was in jail for 15 years. He was detained in October 2021 for organizing guerrilla attacks on junta.

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