Armed Forces Day in Myanmar, which was marked last Saturday, brought little credit to the country's military after more than 100 people were killed by security forces cracking down on pro-democracy protesters. The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners monitoring group confirmed at least 91 deaths while local media put the figure higher. The Britain-based Burma Human Rights Network says it documented 113 civilian deaths last Saturday, and 466 overall since the coup on Feb 1. Separately, villages of ethnic Karens which lent support to the pro-democracy demonstrators were reportedly strafed by military jets. Rather than subside, the deadly violence in Myanmar is only escalating.
United Nations special rapporteur Tom Andrews called the killings a "mass murder" and said it was time for the world to take "robust, coordinated action" - if not through the UN Security Council, then through an international emergency summit. He also wants the junta to be denied access to weapons, and funds from oil and gas sales. With global condemnation mounting - the United States and European Union have been most vociferous - Myanmar's generals need to know that while Russia and China may use their veto power in the UN Security Council to protect them to an extent, both are also discomfited by the turn of events and do not relish being seen as standing against the popular will in Myanmar.