Myanmar's use of lethal weapons against unarmed civilians 'inexcusable': MFA

Police and soldiers are seen during a protest against the military coup in Mandalay on Feb 20, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - The use of lethal weapons against unarmed civilians by Myanmar's security forces during protests is inexcusable, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said in a statement on Saturday (Feb 20).

"We are dismayed by the reports of civilian casualties following the use of lethal force by security forces against demonstrators in Myanmar. The use of lethal weapons against unarmed civilians is inexcusable," said MFA.

"We strongly urge the security forces to exercise utmost restraint to avoid further injuries and loss of lives, and take immediate steps to de-escalate the situation and restore calm. The authorities must prevent further violence and bloodshed."

Three people have died so far during the protests against the Feb 1 coup by the military. Police fired gunshots, tear gas and water cannons to quell demonstrations throughout the country which saw hundreds of thousands of protestors.

Twenty-year-old student Mya Thwate Thwate Kaing died on Friday in Naypyitaw, the first fatality in the unrest. A bullet had struck her in the head. At least 20 protestors were injured.

Two people were killed in the second largest city Mandalay on Saturday, with another 20 injured, according to media reports.

MFA said: "All parties should seek a political solution for national reconciliation, including a return to Myanmar's path of democratic transition, through dialogue without resorting to violence."

"If the situation continues to escalate, there will be serious adverse consequences for Myanmar and the region," it added.

The ministry also said that the Singapore embassy in Yangon has been in touch with Singaporeans in Myanmar.

"In view of the volatile situation, Singaporeans in Myanmar are advised to remain indoors as far as possible and avoid unnecessary travel to areas where protests are occurring," it added.

MFA reminded Singaporeans to remain vigilant and monitor local news closely. They should take necessary precautions for their personal safety, and register immediately at this website, so that the ministry can contact them should the need arise.

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