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Myanmar military kills two more protesters after Sunday’s record violence

Myanmar security services killed at least two protestors Tuesday, after killing more than 50 on Sunday — the single-most violent day since the Feb. 1 coup that toppled Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government. The deaths add to the U.N.’s estimated nationwide death toll of 149 since the hostile takeover. Nick Schifrin reports on the daily duel between the country's military and protestors.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    Today in Myanmar, security services killed at least two protesters, after killing more than 50 on Sunday the single most violent day since the military took power in a February coup.

    Nick Schifrin speaks to a Myanmar ambassador who opposed the coup, and reports how the daily duel between demonstrators and the military is becoming deadlier.

  • And a warning:

    Many of these images are disturbing.

  • Nick Schifrin:

    In today's Myanmar, mothers bury their sons.

    Kyi Kyi Khin's child was named Min Khant Soe. Security forces killed him this weekend, the family, one of hundreds who since the coup, forced to grieve.

  • Woman (through translator):

    How brutal, what they did to my son. I want to ask them face to face if they have a heart. Don't they have children, like I have?

  • Nick Schifrin:

    To protest in Myanmar is to risk your life. In Northern Myanmar, one protester was carried away with a head wound. Of the more than 150 killed so far, about one-fifth have been shot in the head.

    In Yangon, a resident filmed cell phone video of a protester shot, his body dragged away by the shooters. Myanmar's security services are shooting into crowds of demonstrators, many armed only with construction helmets.

    But many demonstrators are fighting back, like this one, who posted a GoPro video firing a firework at police, then running away from live ammunition.

    The U.N.'s top human rights body reports security services have detained more than 2,000 people.

  • Ravina Shamdasani:

    We are deeply disturbed that the crackdown continues to intensify, and we again call on the military to stop killing and detaining protesters.

  • Nick Schifrin:

    For six weeks, Myanmar has been under a national state of emergency. The February 1 coup installed army leader Min Aung Hlaing for at least a year, and detained Democratic leaders, including Aung San Suu Kyi. She faces charges that could lead to years of imprisonment.

    But, on Sunday, for the first time, the ruling junta declared martial law in parts of Yangon. Demonstrators fear that could lead to even more violence against a protest movement that shows no signs of waning.

    Thousands of government employees have joined a civil disobedience movement, resisting by refusing to work for the military.

  • Min Kyaw (through translator):

    I think our civil disobedience movement is efficient, because the government officers are joining the protest. And the junta has to ask them to go back to work. We need to keep going with CDM, along with other protests on the streets, to get rid of a military dictatorship from our country.

  • Nick Schifrin:

    Pro-democracy leaders not under arrest have created what they call the legitimate civilian authority, whose vice president is Mahn Win Khaing Than. He spoke for the first time this weekend from a secret location, and called for Myanmar's dozens of ethnic minorities to unite.

  • Mahn Win Khaing Than (through translator):

    In order to form a federal democracy, which all ethnic brothers who have been suffering various kinds of oppressions from the dictatorship for decades really desired, this revolution is the chance. We can put our efforts together.

  • Nick Schifrin:

    The Biden administration has sanctioned military officials and their families, and is allowing Myanmar citizens in the U.S. to apply to remain.

    But many demonstrators and human rights advocates want the U.S. and the international community to go further.

  • Kelley Currie:

    They haven't gone after the major sources of revenue, and they also haven't gone after the banks that continue to finance this regime and allow it to import weapons and continue to pay the soldiers and make and arrange deals with cronies that keep its coalition intact.

  • Nick Schifrin:

    Kelley Currie is a former U.S. ambassador who's worked on Myanmar for 25 years. She says the Myanmar military has its fingers in every aspect of Myanmar's economy, and has used holding companies as veneers for international investors.

  • Kelley Currie:

    As long as they have sources of revenue, including revenue from oil and gas and from gemstones and timber, and these — especially these extractive industries, and then tap into foreign exchange accounts, they can maintain a certain level of survival.

    Once they start to lose those resources and lose access to some of these financial streams, then it makes it much harder for people to continue to stick with them.

  • Kyaw Moe Tun:

    We need for the strongest possible action from the international community.

  • Nick Schifrin:

    Kyaw Moe Tun was Myanmar's ambassador to the U.N., until the military tried to fire him last month, after he denounced the coup, and ended a speech holding up three fingers, the symbol of the democracy movement taken from the novels and movies "The Hunger Games."

    In an interview, he said he sees Myanmar's democrats in the tradition of American democracy.

  • Kyaw Moe Tun:

    I think that is the time that we all have to work together to end a military coup, to end the military regime in the country, and to make the prevailing of democracy in the country.

    The government that we want to see is of the people, by the people, for the people. That is what we want to see.

  • Nick Schifrin:

    After your speech, the Myanmar military fired you, or they tried to fire you. Are you still Myanmar's ambassador to the U.N.?

  • Kyaw Moe Tun:

    I remain the permanent representative of Myanmar to the United Nations. I am representing the civilian government elected by the people. That is what I'm representing.

  • Nick Schifrin:

    On Sunday, Myanmar's military declared martial law in parts of Yangon, the country's largest city. It is the first time that they have done that since the coup.

    Do you fear that the military is about to inflict even more violence?

  • Kyaw Moe Tun:

    That is worrisome for all of us.

    But we have to continue our disagreement with the military regime, our disappointment with the military regime. And we have to work together to end the military coup in Myanmar.

  • Nick Schifrin:

    To accomplish that, the democracy movement has three pillars, the protesters who risk their lives, the civil disobedience movement, and the lawmakers who created the alternative civilian authority, known as the CRPH.

  • Kyaw Moe Tun:

    CRPH can bring democracy back to the country, can bring the state power to the people. So, that is why we need the recognition from the international community on the CRPH.

  • Nick Schifrin:

    He urged the Biden administration's to recognize the CRPH, and target the military's revenues.

  • Kyaw Moe Tun:

    I do appreciate the support extended by the U.S. administration.

    But at the same time, you rightly pointed out that we still need stronger, more action. With regard to the cutting of financial flows into the military, it is really needed now. That kind of action will give a lot, a lot of pressure on the military regime.

    We need to have the coalition, like the group of like-minded countries, to come up with the targeted sanction that is — a coordinated one that is a tougher one, especially financial flows, to be looking at it, and cut it as soon as possible, cut it right away.

  • Nick Schifrin:

    Myanmar's ethnic minorities, including the Rohingya, are calling not only for the coup to be reversed, but a new kind of democracy to be instilled, a more inclusive democracy that gives them some autonomy.

    What do you think the future of Myanmar democracy should look like?

  • Kyaw Moe Tun:

    Yes, that is what we are looking for, is the federal union.

    We all have to be equal. We all have to enjoy all the basic, fundamental rights. There should be no, no kind of discrimination.

  • Nick Schifrin:

    Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, thank you very much.

  • Kyaw Moe Tun:

    I would like to end by saying that democracy must prevail in Myanmar. Our fight must win.

    Thank you so much.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    So important to hear these voices.

    Thank you, Nick Schifrin.

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