CHIANG MAI, KOMPAS.com – Myanmar’s ethnic armed faction says it will not stand idly by if military junta forces continue to kill protesters.
It was reported by the media and local witnesses that at least a dozen protesters were killed by security forces across Myanmar when the junta celebrated the annual celebration of Armed Forces Day on Saturday (27/3/2021).
“Myanmar Armed Forces Day is not armed forces day, it is more like the day they kill people,” General Yawd Serk, chairman of the Shan State Restoration Council / Army of the Southern Shan State (RCSS), told Reuters.
Serk denied the junta’s claim that it would protect democracy. On the other hand, he considered that the military had shown how they were destroying democracy.
“If they keep shooting at protesters and oppressing people, I think all ethnic groups will not just sit around and do nothing,” he stressed.
RCSS, which operates near the Thai border, is one of several armed ethnic groups to denounce the coup.
RCSS promised to stand with the protesters. Two dozen or more ethnic armed factions control much of the country.
Speaking at an earlier military parade, junta leader Min Aung Hlaing said the army’s job is to protect the people and promote democracy.
He also repeated his promise of new elections, which come after the army took power on February 1.
The junta claims the November 8 vote, which Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) won, was rigged. As a result, the military was forced to take control.
Today’s casualties take the total death toll to more than 340, due to the army’s efforts to stamp out widespread resistance by Myanmar civilians to the coup.
Many protesters are calling for the creation of a federal army and Yawd Serk says he supports that.
“The armed ethnic groups now have common enemies and we need to join hands and injure those who hurt the people. We need to join together,” he said.