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Myanmar Coup

Myanmar coup latest: Death toll in Bago crackdown rises to 85

Militias kill 14 police officers in Shan State; military tribunal sentences 19 to death

Security officers walk down the street during crackdown in Bago, Myanmar April 9.   © Reuters

YANGON/BANGKOK -- Myanmar's military on Feb. 1 detained State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint in the country's first coup since 1988, bringing an end to a decade of civilian rule.

The Suu Kyi-led National League for Democracy had won a landslide in a general election in November. But the military has claimed the election was marred by fraud.

For all our coverage, visit our Myanmar Coup page.

Read our in-depth coverage:

-- Myanmar junta reaps millions in gem sales as economy crumbles

-- Malaysia envoy's meeting with Myanmar junta sparks uproar

-- Myanmar protesters test values of their Japanese employers

-- Myanmar army kills eight near India border in dawn ambush

-- How Myanmar's post-coup violence is transforming a generation

-- US broadens Myanmar sanctions beyond military with trade move

-- Myanmar junta shamed by foreign defense chiefs over civilian deaths

-- After 50 days in power, Myanmar's junta is flailing desperately

-- Who is Myanmar junta chief Min Aung Hlaing? 5 things to know

-- Myanmar: Inside the coup that toppled Aung San Suu Kyi's government

Follow the latest developments here (Yangon time):

Saturday, April 10

10:00 p.m. The United Nations in Myanmar says it is monitoring continued escalation of violence against civilians in Bago with "heavy artillery."

The U.N. in Myanmar calls on "the security forces to allow medical teams to treat the wounded," citing reports that medical treatment is being denied to the injured.

6:00 p.m. Myanmar's ethnic armed groups attack a police station in Shan State, in northeast Myanmar, killing 14 police officers, a local media outlet Irrawaddy reports. The site is located along a highway linking Mandalay, the country's second largest city, and Musee, a city on the Chinese border. If the clashes continue in this area, it could affect trade with China.

According to media reports, the attack was carried out by a joint force of the Arakan Army, the Ta'ang National Liberation Army and the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army. The three forces issued a statement at the end of March saying that they will cooperate with the protesters for "self-defense against the Myanmar army" if killing of civilians is continued.

5:00 p.m. The death toll from Friday's military crackdown in Bago rises to 82, local media Myanmar Now reports, citing a source close to Bago charities counting the casualties. Some residents say bodies are piled up inside a school and pagoda compound.

10:30 a.m. Fresh economic data from private research groups suggest that Myanmar's economy is deteriorating more sharply than feared after the Feb. 1 coup, with heightened risks of soaring inflation, collapsing trade and increased poverty.

10:00 a.m. Multiple local media outlets report at least 60 civilians were killed and many injured in a military crackdown in Bago on Friday. Not a few residents of the city fled from their homes to nearby villages as forces continued shooting into the night. Bago is said to have become the city with the highest number of casualties since the military coup.

1:20 a.m. Myanmar's military turns down a request by U.N. special envoy Christine Schraner Burgener to visit the country. She is currently in Bangkok.

"I regret that Tatmadaw answered me yesterday that they are not ready to receive me," she says on Twitter, referring to the Myanmar military. "I am ready for dialogue. Violence never leads to peaceful sustainable solutions."

United Nations headquarters in New York.   © Reuters

Friday, April 9

11:00 p.m. A military tribunal sentenced 19 people to death for killing one military member and injuring another in Yangon, the country's largest city, state military television reports. The defendants cannot appeal the verdict after martial law was declared in areas of the city last month.

According to state television, the death sentence was handed down on Thursday. The two military personnel and others were attacked with knives and sticks in Yangon's North Okkalappa district on March 27, when the country marked Armed Forces Day. Of the 19 people sentenced to death, 17 are still at large.

10:58 p.m. The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations calls for "concrete action" against the junta, noting that "statements alone are not enough to stop the military from threatening the security of the region."

"These steps include sanctions against the military, its holding companies, and anyone who seeks to profit off the violence," Linda Thomas-Greenfield says at a U.N. Security Council Arria-Formula Meeting on Burma. "They include maintaining an arms embargo on Burma. And they include ensuring that members of the military who engage in atrocities and other abuses against their own people will be held to account."

10:58 p.m. The United Nations director at Human Rights Watch urges Russia and China -- permanent members of the Security Council -- to do more to condemn the junta at the Arria-Formula Meeting on Burma.

"Myanmar security forces have killed more than 600 protesters since the coup," says Louis Charbonneau. "When it comes to a vote on a resolution, China and Russia should consider whether their global standing will benefit by siding with a military accused of genocide and committing new atrocities every day."

8:50 p.m. Celebrity acting couple, Pyay Ti Oo and Eaindra Kyaw Zin, are arrested at their home on a charge of supporting the civil disobedience movement against the junta, State Media MRTV announces. The arrest comes after the junta last week began publishing a most-wanted list of celebrities who had declared their support for protesters on social media.

7:30 p.m. At least 40 people are reportedly killed in the latest round of the military's crackdown to stop ongoing protests, although a accurate death toll is uncertain because the bodies cannot be collected due to incessant shooting, accordingly to local media reports.

Meanwhile in Bago, thousands of residents flee their homes to escape the violence.

5:45 p.m. Elections will be held in within two years to return the country back to democracy, Junta spokesperson Zaw Min Tun says.

An image posted on social media shows a metallic part said to have been found on Friday in the Bago region close to Yangon.

3:30 p.m. Protesters in Myanmar exchange photos of a metallic fragment found on the ground in the Bago region, an hour's drive from Yangon. Some say on social media that the fragment looks like a part of a rocket and was used to shoot protesters in Bago, while a local journalist says a similar part was found in 2019 in the southwestern state of Rakhine where the military and a local militant group had fought in 2016-2018.

3:00 p.m. Junta spokesperson Zaw Min Tun says in a press conference that government operations will soon return to normal, adding the military council is working to achieve peace and security in the whole country and that ministries will be up and running soon.

2:30 p.m. Sasa, an envoy of the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, has said at a video conference with the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan that "one phone call from Beijing, one phone call from Moscow can stop these military generals." He added: "That's what we are asking them to do before this bloodbath happens in the coming days."

The military is said to have used SU-30 fighter jets supplied by Russia to conduct airstrikes in Karen State, hitting villages and schools and killing civilians.

12:30 p.m. Britain will allow Kyaw Zwar Minn, Myanmar's ousted ambassador to the U.K., to stay on while he decides his future after being locked out of his own embassy, Reuters reported, citing the foreign office.

10:00 p.m. Thailand-based satellite company PSI has announced that "DVB TV channel and Mizzima TV channel were cut off temporarily for public security." Authorities and ward administrators are expected to announce that all the PSI satellites dishes and devices found in civilian possession will be confiscated.

Thursday, April 8

11:44 p.m. The United Nations secretary-general's special envoy for Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener, will travel to Southeast Asia this week, the U.N. chief's spokesperson says.

Schraner Burgener will first travel to Thailand to meet with officials there, Stephane Dujarric tells reporters. She is "consulting on visits to other ASEAN countries as well as other neighboring countries," he adds.

A Myanmar citizen holds a picture of leader Aung San Suu Kyi during a rally outside the United Nations venue in Bangkok on Feb. 7.   © Reuters

The envoy "of course stands ready to resume dialogue with the military" and is prepared "to visit Myanmar at any time," the spokesperson also says, adding the Schraner Burgener hopes to have access to detained leaders including President U Win Myint and State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi.

Dujarric also voices concern over fighting between government forces and ethnic armies in northeastern and southeastern parts of Myanmar.

10:25 p.m. At least six Myanmar lawmakers belonging to Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy are taking shelter in India, Reuters reports, sight an adviser to the ousted civilian government.

9:57 p.m. The U.S. Treasury Department adds a Myanmar state-run supplier of jade, a key money maker, to its financial blacklist.

The action, the latest by the Biden administration to restrict the junta's funding sources, targets Myanma Gems Enterprise, also known as Myanmar Gems Corp.

Mineral-rich Myanmar holds deposits of jade and rubies, as well as gold, copper, tin and marble.

An investigation by corruption watchdog Global Witness estimated the size of Myanmar's jade industry at up to $31 billion in 2014, or nearly half of the country's gross domestic product, with most of the money going to the military and other elites that control the trade, according to a 2015 report.

According to the World Bank, major export markets for Myanmar's in minerals in 2016 were China, Indonesia, Thailand and India.

Jade merchants inspect a piece of the precious stone being sold by a private company.   © Reuters

6:34 p.m. Local media reports that security forces are confiscating PSI satellite dishes and devices from residential houses and shops in Mon State and Ayeyarwady Region.

The Democratic Voice of Burma and Mizzma, which have had their licenses revoked by the junta, can be viewed on television with PSI satellites.

5:48 p.m. The Irrawaddy reports that the Chinese embassy in Myanmar has made contact with the CRPH, a committee representing elected lawmakers from the ousted National League for Democracy government.

The reported contact comes amid Beijing's repeated calls for all parties in its southern neighbor to seek a political resolution to the current crisis through dialog.

The phone call is the first contact between Chinese officials and elected lawmakers since the Feb. 1 military takeover.

During the call, a counselor from the embassy in Yangon reiterated the Chinese ambassador's earlier comments that the current situation is not what China wants to see, and expressed concern for the safety of Chinese citizens and investments in Myanmar amid the escalating violence.

4:54 p.m. Malaysia's government is under fire from the opposition and outside observers after its envoy to Myanmar met with a minister from the military junta in Naypyitaw, forcing an explanation from the Foreign Ministry.

3:00 p.m. San Marlar Nyunt, a lawyer on the legal team representing Aung San Suu Kyi, tells Nikkei Asia that power of attorney had not been granted for the jailed democracy leader's second court hearing reportedly scheduled for today. According to the lawyer, the next hearing will be held on April 22.

12:50 p.m. Myanmar's KBZ Bank announces that "customers can now check which KBZ ATMs are available" using its KBZ Connect app.

11:00 a.m. BBC Burmese reports that a court hearing of detained democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi will be held in Yangon today. The hearing is expected to be about charges relating to the country's official secrets law. It will be her second court since the Feb. 1 coup.

10:00 a.m. VOA Burmese reports that yesterday's military crackdown resulted in at least 12 civilians killed in Kalay and five in Taze.

5:00 a.m. Male model celebrity Paing Takhon has been arrested, his manager says on Facebook. Paing Takhon had been included in a list of celebrities the junta claimed were "spreading news to affect State stability." With the sixth release of the list, which began on April 2, the total number of celebrities included hit 120 last night.

A well-known Myanmar model, Paing Takhon, takes part in an anti-coup protest in front of Chinese Embassy in Yangon on Feb. 12.

1:30 a.m. Myanmar's ambassador to the U.K. has been locked out of his country's Embassy in London, Reuters reports, weeks after he broke with the military government by calling for the release of detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

A person walks past the Embassy of Myanmar, in London on March 28.   © Reuters

"An ambassador is a diplomat," Ambassador Kyaw Zwar Minn wrote in a statement dated March 8 and published on the Embassy's website. "He therefore chooses the diplomatic path. The answer to the current crisis can only be at the negotiation table."

"Diplomacy is the only response and answer to the current impasse," the ambassador also wrote. The statement remains on the Embassy website.

A Twitter video purportedly shows the scene outside the Embassy on Thursday local time.

Wednesday, April 7

10:15 p.m. Myanmar's junta has placed at least 100 celebrities on its wanted list for allegedly inciting protests against its seizure of power, taking aim at those with big social media followings.

The Global New Light of Myanmar reserves a full page for the day's 20 wanted celebrities, publishing the links to their Facebook pages and their profile photos. The tactic suggests the junta is closely monitoring the social media postings of prominent people to discourage support for the protests against the Feb. 1 coup.

A Myanmar local walk past the Myanmar Plaza shopping mall in March 2016 in Yangon. A small explosion, sounds like grenade, reportedly occurs on Wednesday.   © Getty Images

4:00 p.m. A small explosion has been reported in Myanmar Plaza, a major shopping mall in Yangon, BBC Burmese has reported. No injury has yet been reported, and the explosion sounded like a grenade, according to the BBC citing a mall tenant.

10:30 a.m. Security forces launch a morning raid using heavy arms in the township of Kalay in the country's northwest, killing at least eight civilians. Kalay is close to the border with the Indian states of Manipur and Mizoram.

9:00 a.m. State-owned media announces an additional list of celebrities who have been charged for "spreading news to affect state stability." This is the fifth release of the lists, which began on April 2. Each list contains the names of 20 people and shows the Facebook account and profile photo of each "suspect," indicating the military's intent to curb dissent published on social media.

1:15 a.m. A sign of how new forms of media are springing up in the face of government restrictions.

1:00 a.m. The Myanmar-based Assistance Association for Political Prisoners says 581 people have been killed by security forces since the Feb. 1 coup, with 2,750 people currently detained.

Myanmar's junta leader, Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, rides in a parade on Armed Forces Day in Naypyitaw on March 27.   © Reuters

Tuesday, April 6

11:00 p.m. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian says the European Union is preparing sanctions that can "be applied very quickly" against the Myanmar military's economic interests.

Le Drian spoke to lawmakers in France's legislature.

5:20 p.m. Security forces have arrested one of Myanmar's best-known comedians, the Associated Press reports, amid a crackdown on those the junta considers to be inciting protests. The comedian known as Zarganar, who is 60 and has a history of activism, was taken from his home in Yangon on Tuesday, according to a fellow entertainer cited by AP.

Meanwhile, some protesters splashed red paint around the country's largest city, as a reminder that the junta has blood on its hands. Earlier this morning, authorities broke up a protest by medical workers in Mandalay, AP reports.

Myanmar comedian and activist Zarganar in 2011: He was reportedly arrested at his home in Yangon on April 6.   © AP
Red paint is splashed on a Yangon street on April 6 -- protesters' way of highlighting the bloodshed at the hands of security forces.   © AP

11:10 a.m. Youth groups from eight townships in Yangon ask the public not to celebrate the annual water festival called Thingyan until the Southeast Asian country's democracy is restored. The festival is scheduled for April 13-16 and marks the beginning of the country's lunar New Year.

9:00 a.m. Myanmar's state-owned newspaper says the government is providing vaccinations for diplomats from several countries, including India, Brunei, North Korea, Nepal, the Philippines and Qatar. The article adds the vaccines were purchased through "public finance" and are offered "free of charge under the leadership of the Ministry of Health and Sports."

2:45 a.m. Internet access in Myanmar has been restricted for a 51st straight night, according to NetBlocks, which describes itself as the "Internet's Observatory."

Meanwhile, in an episode that illustrates the effects of these shutdowns, a university in Hong Kong has apologized for initially refusing to accommodate a Myanmar-based student's request for flexible test times, the Apple Daily reports. The student had complained to the lecturer of unreliable internet access.

A Myanmar national who said he fled to India shows his mobile phone with a picture of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Internet access in Myanmar has been cut night after night.   © Reuters

Monday, April 5

11:20 p.m. The United Nations Human Rights Office "has received credible reports of at least 568 women, children and men who have been killed since the military seized control of the government" in Myanmar on Feb. 1, says Stephane Dujarric, the spokesperson for the U.N. secretary-general.

The office says the actual number "may be significantly higher," Dujarric tells reporters.

Christine Schraner Burgener, the secretary-general's special envoy for Myanmar, is still working on her plans for traveling to the country, the spokesperson says.

Young demonstrators flash the three-fingered symbol of resistance during an anti-coup mask strike in Yangon, Myanmar, Sunday, April 4.   © AP

3:30 p.m. Protests in Yangon have become slightly calmer as demonstrators have increasingly relied on new tactics since last week. One of those is to gather, wave banners demanding the restoration of democracy, and disperse within as short as 10-15 minutes before security forces arrive.

Protesters are also using umbrellas imprinted with the symbolic three-finger salute. They are also wearing masks that reflect the message that they believe China's influence in the U.N. Security Council has silenced the body from speaking out on their behalf, said a Yangon resident.

Protesters hold umbrellas with a three-finger salute gesture drawn, while take part in an anti-coup protest on April 5 at downtown, Lanmadaw Township, Yangon, Myanmar.

2:30 p.m. Brunei, this year's chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, has backed calls for the bloc's leaders to hold a summit on the Myanmar crisis. A joint statement with Malaysia says the countries have instructed ministers to undertake "necessary preparations for the meeting that will be held at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia."

Sunday, April 4

11:00 p.m. Easter eggs, painted with messages of defiance against the coup and shared as social media images, are the latest medium used by Myanmar's youth-led demonstrators to keep up momentum in the second month of protests.

An Easter egg painted with a three-finger salute is seen in this picture posted on social media in Yangon.   © Reuters

In his Easter message from St. Peter's Basilica, Pope Francis voices support for the pro-democracy movement in Buddhist-majority Myanmar.

"I express my closeness to young people throughout the world and, in these days, especially to the young people of Myanmar committed to supporting democracy and making their voices heard peacefully, in the knowledge that hatred can be dispelled only by love," the pontiff says.

10:30 p.m. French energy major Total has not reached the point where it will halt production at a massive offshore natural gas field that supplies much of Myanmar's energy, CEO Patrick Pouyanne says.

"Should we then stop gas production from the Yadana field in Burma?" Pouyanne writes in an opinion piece for France's Le Journal du Dimanche. "Of course, we will if we consider that we can no longer produce under safe conditions that respect our rules. This is not the case today."

"Those who are worried that Total is indirectly financing the junta's repression should know: We have not paid any taxes or duties to the military junta since the start of the crisis in February, quite simply because the banking system is no longer functioning," the CEO also writes.

10:00 p.m. China holds the key to stabilizing Myanmar, the Financial Times writes in an editorial:

"China is Myanmar's biggest trading partner and investor, shares a border and -- while it cares little about a reversal of democracy -- has a vested interest in keeping the country stable. Despite its 'cold war' with the U.S., those factors in theory give Beijing reason to send a unified message with Western democracies and India to the regime in Naypyidaw. If it does not, Myanmar may already be on the way to becoming a failed state."

5:00 p.m. South Korea raises its travel alert against Myanmar to the second highest among four tiers, KBS reported. The foreign ministry also advises South Koreans to cancel or postpone trips to the region.

Saturday, April 3

4:15 p.m. China logs 26 new COVID-19 cases on April 2, up from nine a day earlier, Reuters reports citing the country's national health authority and local media. Seven of the new cases were local infections in Yunnan Province, where a COVID-19 cluster has emerged in the city of Ruili bordering Myanmar. Genetic analysis of cases in Ruili suggest they stemmed from viruses imported from Myanmar and are not related to other recent localized outbreaks in China.

Villagers march during a protest against the military coup, in Launglon township, Myanmar, on April 3.   © Reuters

11:00 a.m. The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) activist group says the death toll since the Feb. 1 coup has reached at least 550, including 46 children, according to Reuters.

9:00 a.m. The Karen National Union, representing the Karen ethnic minority, issues a statement condemning air strikes by the Myanmar military against villages near the Thai border between March 27 and 30.

It calls on the international community to "block the sale of all explosive weaponry large and small, any advanced technology used for propagating war, and jet fighters."

Protesters gather behind a barricade during a protest against the military coup, in Monywa, Myanmar, on April 3.   © Reuters

Friday, April 2

9:00 p.m. Myanmar authorities issue arrest warrants for 20 celebrities including singers, actors, social media influencers and activists, according to a news report on military-owned television. The celebrities are accused of inciting civil servants to participate in the civil disobedience movement and supporting the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, a group formed by elected parliamentarians ousted in the coup. The group has been labeled an "unlawful association" by the junta.

6:00 p.m. Local reports say several citizens who granted interviews to CNN Chief International Correspondent Clarissa Ward and her crew were arrested on Friday.

11:30 a.m. The Global New Light of Myanmar, a state newspaper that serves as a government mouthpiece, publishes an official statement calling on citizens to return to their native areas of the country. The statement is directed at "some student youths, state service personnel and citizens" who fled to areas controlled by ethnic armed organizations or foreign countries due to alleged "intimidation" by National League for Democracy members and other supporters of the former elected government.

It says the State Administration Council, the official name of the junta that seized power in the Feb. 1 coup, "will arrange their returns ... to various regions of Myanmar" and promises they can travel back "without facing action taken in accord with the law."

The Global New Light of Myanmar, a state newspaper, published this statement from the junta urging people to return to their home areas.

Meanwhile, a source recounts being told by an NLD member that "around 50 young protestors in Sanchaung were surrounded by the security forces" today. The forces allegedly fired 20 times and "at least two people died."

10:00 a.m. The U.N. Security Council condemns the use of violence against peaceful protesters in Myanmar and the deaths of hundreds of civilians. Its press statement, approved by all 15 council members after intense negotiations, expresses "deep concern at the rapidly deteriorating situation" and reiterates "the need to fully respect human rights and to pursue dialogue and reconciliation in accordance with the will and interests of the people of Myanmar." The Council also called for "the immediate release of all detainees, including State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint."

But the council dropped a threat of possible future action against the country's military.

9:00 a.m. Witnesses in Yangon say seven demonstrators who set fire to booklets containing the constitution were arrested by police the previous day.

Myanmar's 2008 constitution is set on fire during a protest against the military coup in Yangon on April 1.   © Reuters

The seven demonstrators were among a number of protesters across the country who welcomed the move by the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), the parallel parliament recognized by the Myanmar public, which announced the abolition of the 2008 constitution on Wednesday.

A screen grab taken from a social media video obtained by Reuters shows a man being beaten by security forces and carried away during a night raid in Yangon on April 1.   © Reuters

7:00 a.m. A 14-year-old Rohingya girl who was illegally residing in India's northeastern state of Assam had been scheduled for deportation to Myanmar, according to Indian media. She is said to be the first Rohingya repatriated from India after the Southeast Asian country's military staged a coup on Feb. 1. The girl entered India two years ago, in the aftermath of the military's repression against Rakhine state's Rohingya population. Her family, fearing persecution, fled to a refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. But Reuters later reported the girl is actually 16 years old, and Indian authorities have halted her deportation.

Thursday, April 1

6:18 p.m. Members of Tokyo's growing Myanmar immigrant community gather with civil society groups in the capital on Thursday to demand stronger action from the Japanese government on the military regime.

Migrants protesting against the military junta in Myanmar hold a picture of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi, during a candlelight vigil at a Buddhist temple in Bangkok on Sunday.

6:06 p.m. Aung San Suu Kyi has been charged along with four of her allies with violating the country's colonial-era official secrets act, her chief lawyer says.

Suu Kyi, three of her deposed cabinet ministers and her detained Australian economic adviser, Sean Turnell, were charged a week ago in a Yangon court, Khin Maung Zaw tells Reuters by phone, adding he learned of the new charge two days ago.

Suu Kyi has been detained since the Feb. 1 coup and is also charged with violating coronavirus protocols, illegally possessing two-way radios and has been accused by the ruling military council of bribery.

4:48 p.m. The U.K. sanctions a Myanmar conglomerate for its close links to the military leadership which Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said is wantonly killing innocent people including children.

Britain imposes sanctions on the Myanmar Economic Corporation for involvement in serious human rights violations by making funds available to the Myanmar military, as well as its association with senior military figures.

"The Myanmar military has sunk to a new low with the wanton killing of innocent people, including children," Raab says.

4:40 p.m. The lawyer representing ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi and detained President Win Myint says the pair appeared in good health during a court hearing but it was not clear if they were aware of the current situation in the country.

Min Min Soe says she was not able to inform them about what was happening outside and is not allowed to meet her clients in person.

Their hearing was adjourned until April 12, Min Min Soe tells reporters.

Ruby Mart is engulfed in flames, in Yangon, Myanmar in this still image taken from social media video obtained by Reuters, April 1.   © Reuters

11:57 a.m. The Gandamar Wholesale Shopping Center and Ruby Mart in Yangon went up in flames hours before dawn. No one has claimed responsibility. But speculation is swirling over how the fires started. Both properties are said to be owned by the country's military, and Gandamar Wholesale is located in a highly secure area controlled by the security forces.

Local observers have expressed doubt on social media that anyone not associated with the military could approach the buildings after the 8 p.m. curfew. The implication is that the security forces may be looking for additional reasons to clamp down on pro-democracy protesters in the city.

Smoke rises from Gandamar Wholesale Shopping Center as it is engulfed in flames, in Yangon, Myanmar in this still image taken from social media video obtained by Reuters, April 1.   © Reuters

9:30 a.m. Following a United Nations Security Council meeting, the U.K.'s permanent representative at the U.N. has told reporters that the council will "continue to discuss next steps."

"We think it's important, as we have been able to do so far, for the council to speak with one voice, to continue our calls for an end to violence, the release of those arbitrarily detained and a return to democracy," says Ambassador Barbara Woodward. "We'll give careful consideration to what further steps the council can take to prevent the tatmadaw [the military] from perpetuating this crisis, and we want to consider all measures that are at our at our disposal at this stage."

China's permanent representative, Zhang Jun, explained Beijing's position during the council's closed-door session, according to the Chinese Mission to the United Nations.

Protesters use slingshots while taking cover behind a barricade in Monywa, Myanmar, on March 29.   © Reuters

"We hope that all parties in Myanmar can keep calm, exercise restraint, and take actions with a constructive attitude to deescalate and cool down the situation," the mission quotes Zhang as saying.

China is working with all parties in Myanmar and is "actively engaged in Security Council consensus-building," according to Zhang. "China emphasizes that all parties in Myanmar should take up the responsibility of maintaining national stability and development, act in the fundamental interests of the people, strive to find a solution to the crisis within the constitutional and legal framework through dialogue and consultation, maintain political and social stability, and continue to advance the democratic transition in Myanmar."

2:30 a.m. The special envoy of the United Nations secretary-general on Myanmar urges the Security Council to take action in a closed-door session.

"I appeal to this council to consider all available tools to take collective action and do what is right, what the people of Myanmar deserve and prevent a multi-dimensional catastrophe in the heart of Asia," Christine Schraner Burgener says, according remarks obtained by Nikkei.

She says she hopes to visit the region next week to continue consultation with members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and other leaders.

"I firmly believe that no ASEAN countries or others sharing their borders with Myanmar would want a failed state as their neighbor," the envoy says," according to the remarks. "I count on these regional actors to play their unique and important roles to convince the military what they are aiming for will not work and help navigate an orderly and peaceful way out of this situation."

2:20 a.m. The U.S. continues to urge China "to use its influence to hold to account those responsible for this military coup," State Department spokesperson Ned Price tells a news briefing.

"What the junta has done in Burma is not in the interests of the United States," Price says. "It's not in the interest of our partners and allies. And it's not in the interest of Beijing."

Price says the Myanmar crisis was discussed by the American and Chinese sides in their Alaska meeting as well as by the U.S. with its allies Japan and South Korea.

"I think when it comes to Beijing, the government in Beijing can certainly do more, they can say more, knowing that [China] does have a good deal of influence," the spokesperson says.

2:00 a.m. Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi have "called for a de-escalation of the situation, a cessation of violence and the commencement of constructive dialogue among all sides," according to statement from China's Foreign Ministry on their meeting Wednesday.

Wang notes that Myanmar is an important member of the ASEAN family. He said he was pleased to see and support the bloc's efforts to maintain its "non-interference" principle and play a positive role in promoting the stability of the situation in Myanmar through the "ASEAN approach," according to China's statement.

China is the focus of a flurry of diplomacy this week, as foreign ministers from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines as well as South Korea make successive visits against the backdrop of the Myanmar crisis.

In this picture taken on Feb. 4, Yangon men bang on pots to make a noisy protest against the military coup.   © Reuters

Wednesday, March 31

11:30 p.m. The Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), the parallel parliament recognized by the Myanmar public, has just announced the abolition of the 2008 constitution, in a move that could to improve the chances of support from ethnic armed organizations, who have long demanded the charter be withdrawn.

The CRPH calls for a national "unity government," outlined in a federal charter that the body said would draw together ethnic armed organizations, lawmakers elected political and civil society groups.

8:00 p.m. The military announces another unilateral ceasefire, this time from April 1 to April 30, to hold peace talks with ethnic groups and celebrate the Thingyan water festival, a New Year holiday in Myanmar. But it gives an exception of "defending from actions that disrupt government security and administration."

Ko Bo Kyi, joint secretary of the Myanmar-based Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, expresses skepticism about the announcement.

"Illegal Military did not announce ceasefire with people even though they announced ceasefire with armed groups," he says in a tweet. "They are still killing and torturing the unarmed people."

6:00 p.m. The Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), made up of lawmakers from the ousted government, issues a "final call" for civil servants to participate in the Civil Disobedience Movement, or CDM.

CRPH's statement says the deadline for the CDM is midnight tonight. A "public government" is to emerge in the first week of April, according to the statement.

5:00 p.m. Yangon suffered a blackout after 1:44 p.m., owing to a technical accident, according to a Facebook post from Yangon Electricity Supply Corp. The electricity supply was restored in Yangon around 4:30 p.m.

Power outages were also reported in Naypyidaw and Mandalay. This is the second nationwide blackout since the coup, following an incident on March 5.

4:50 p.m. People in Yangon banged pots and pans on Wednesday in a show of defiance against the ruling junta as a heavily armed convoy escorted a CNN news crew in Yangon. "The phone doesn't pick the sound well but people were banging pots and pans as our heavily armed convoy drove past," CNN Chief International Correspondent Clarissa Ward wrote in a social media post.

One Twitter user, identified as San San, wrote that she believed Ward would be shown false evidence by the junta keen to give the impression that the situation was under control. "We are banging pots and pans simultaneously at 1 p.m. to show her peacefully that we all are against the military coup and we are actually not OK!" she tweeted.

1:28 p.m. Khin Maung Zaw, the leader of Aung San Suu Kyi's defense team says that Min Min Soe, an attorney, has met the detained leader at 11 a.m. virtually. A message from Khin Maung Zaw shared with Nikkei Asia says that Suu Kyi's "physical situation... seemed good," citing Min Min Soe. At the meeting, Suu Kyi "officially appointed six lawyers for her defense in cases against her," the message reads.

It was the first time that Suu Kyi had met any of her defense team since she was detained in the coup on Feb. 1.

Khin Maung Zaw also tells Nikkei the virtual meeting between Suu Kyi and the attorney lasted about 30 minutes, and Suu Kyi seems detained at her own residence. "From the background of the video conference on the screen, it seems to be her own residence [in Naypyidaw]," the leader of defense team adds.

2:50 a.m. Global companies should consider cutting their capital ties with the Myanmar military's sprawling business interests, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken urges.

"Some countries and some companies in various parts of the world have significant investments in enterprises that support the Burmese military," Blinken tells a news conference. "They should be looking at those investments and reconsidering them as a means of denying the military the financial support it needs to sustain itself against the will of the people."

1:20 a.m. Presenting the Myanmar military with an ultimatum, however good the international community's intentions, risks inflaming violence in the country, Russia's first deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, Dmitry Polyanskiy, says in a tweet.

Russia, which sent Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin to Myanmar for the weekend Armed Forces Day celebration, has maintained at the U.N. that the Southeast Asian nation's crisis is an internal affair that needs to be resolved by the Myanmar people.

Tuesday, March 30

11:00 p.m. The Karen National Union, one of Myanmar's biggest armed ethnic groups, joins other such armies in declaring it will defend itself from government troops. .

"There is no legitimate reason to kill, harm and terrorize innocent people, including women, elders and children, in the dead of night," the statement says.

The KNU urges the international community "to cut all ties with [Myanmar's armed forces], including military and economic relationships."

2:10 p.m. The Committee Representing Union Parliament (CRPH) issues a statement welcoming an announcement by three armed ethnic insurgent groups denouncing the ongoing military violence and pledging to protect the people. "CRPH has called on them to work together for the success of the revolution and establishment of a federal democratic union," the CRPH statement says.

11:30 a.m. Ethnic armed groups of the northern alliance -- Arakan Army, Ta'ang National Liberation Army and Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army -- issue a joint statement saying they "strongly condemn the actions of the Myanmar military against unarmed civilians." The three groups demanded the "Myanmar military to stop killing and violating [the rights of] unarmed civilians and to find a political solution." They also announced that they will defend the people if the military continues its brutality against civilians.

10:30 a.m. The Committee Representing Union Parliament (CRPH), comprised mainly of former National League for Democracy lawmakers who were elected last November, is asking people to donate money through crowdfunding to support the resistance. So far, the organization has raised $9.2 million, according to a crowdfunding website.

9:00 a.m. Activists call for a "courage strike day," urging people to throw trash on the streets to express their opposition to the coup.


To catch up on earlier developments, see the last edition of latest updates.

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