Protesters in Myanmar clapped collectively on Monday within the newest present of dissent in opposition to the army junta, as a regional bloc ready for talks on the disaster that has killed almost 600 individuals.

Clapping started in numerous components of the primary metropolis Yangon at 5 p.m. (1030 GMT) in response to a name by protest organisers, residents mentioned.

The gesture would honour “Ethnic Armed Organisations and Gen Z defence youths from Myanmar including Yangon who are fighting in the revolution… on behalf of us,” Ei Thinzar Maung, a protest chief, wrote on Facebook.

Despite the killing of at the very least 564 individuals by the safety forces because the Feb. 1 coup, protesters have been popping out day by day, usually in small teams in small cities, to voice opposition to the overthrow of an elected authorities led by Aung San Suu Kyi and the return of army rule.

The motion, which some protesters are calling a “spring revolution”, has included road marches, a civil disobedience marketing campaign of strikes and quirky acts of revolt organised through social media.

In addition to the crackdown on the streets, the junta has sought to suppress the marketing campaign by shutting down wi-fi broadband and cell knowledge companies.

On Monday, one particular person was killed within the central Sagaing area when safety forces broke up a protest, the Myanmar Now information outlet reported. Earlier, demonstrators with placards of Suu Kyi and indicators calling for worldwide intervention marched by the second-biggest metropolis Mandalay, photos posted on social media confirmed.

Brunei, chair of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), threw its assist on Monday behind a regional leaders’ assembly to debate Myanmar.

After talks between Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Brunei mentioned each international locations had requested their ministers and officers to make the “necessary preparations for the meeting that will be held at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia.”

No date was given.

ASEAN operates by consensus, however the divergent views of its members on how to answer the Myanmar military’s crackdown on civilians and the group’s coverage of non-interference has restricted its capacity to behave.

Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore have all expressed alarm over the killings of demonstrators and assist an pressing high-level assembly on Myanmar. Besides Brunei, the opposite ASEAN members are Myanmar itself, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia.

The United States and different Western international locations have denounced the coup and referred to as for the discharge of Suu Kyi, who gained the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for her marketing campaign in opposition to army rule. She has been charged with violating an official secrets and techniques act that’s punishable by as much as 14 years in jail.

Junta rebuts UN envoy

The junta mentioned on Monday that feedback final week by UN Special Envoy Christine Schraner Burgener about an impending “bloodbath” in Myanmar have been inaccurate and deceptive.

“Ms. Burgener’s remarks contravene the basic principles of sovereignty, and the fact that the United Nations is meant to work towards peace and stability of the world’s nations,” it mentioned in a discover within the state-run Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper.

Schraner Burgener advised the 15-member U.N. Security Council on March 31 that it should take into account “potentially significant action” to reverse the course of occasions as “a bloodbath is imminent,” based on feedback printed by U.N. News.

The junta mentioned the remarks have been a “a far cry from reality and could delay and destabilise the efforts by the State Administration Council to establish a genuine and disciplined multiparty democracy”.

The coup and subsequent crackdown has led to Western sanctions on the army and its profitable companies.

Fitch Solutions mentioned on Monday {that a} conservative forecast for Myanmar’s economic system could be for a 20% contraction within the fiscal 12 months that started in October, as an alternative of the two% seen earlier than the coup.

External stress is rising on the army to cease the violence, with some international locations calling for it to cede energy and free all detainees, and others urging dialogue and new elections quickly.

A complete of two,667 individuals have been detained below the junta, the Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) activist group mentioned on Monday.

The junta on the weekend introduced arrest warrants for about 60 celebrities, social media influencers, fashions and musicians on expenses of incitement.

The army, which dominated with an iron first for half a century till 2011, has additionally seen combating with armed ethnic minorities reignite on at the very least two fronts, elevating fears of rising battle and chaos within the nation.

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