Myanmar military designates shadow gov’t as ‘terrorist’ group

May 9, 2021

Myanmar’s military rulers have branded a group of deposed lawmakers running a shadow government as “terrorists”, and blamed it for bombings, arson and killings, state-controlled media said on Saturday.

Since the military seized power in a February 1 coup, detaining and deposing civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, a nationwide uprising has refused to back down on its demands for a return to democracy.

Bombings are reported daily and local militias have been formed to confront the army while anti-military protests have been maintained across the Southeast Asian country and strikes by opponents of the coup have paralysed the economy.

The National Unity Government (NUG), which operates under cover and itself describes the army as a “terrorist force”, announced this week that it would set up a People’s Defence Force to protect its supporters from violence instigated by the military government.

Myanmar state television MRTV announced that the NUG, a committee of deposed lawmakers known as the CRPH, and the new force would all now be covered by the anti-terrorism law.

“Their acts caused so much terrorism in many places,” the announcement said.

“There were bombs, fires, murder and threats to destroy the administrative mechanism of the government,” the announcement said.

Meanwhile, anti-coup protesters again marched against the military government across the country on Saturday.

At least 774 civilians have been killed by security forces and 3,778 are in prison, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners activist group.

The military government disputes those figures and says at least two dozen members of the security forces have been killed in protests.

Fighting has also flared on Myanmar’s periphery with ethnic armies that have been fighting for decades, some of which have rallied behind the protesters. State television said the army had advanced against the Kachin Independence Army in northern Myanmar, but there was no independent confirmation.

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