Crowds mourn young Myanmar protester | Ralph-Lauren

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Large crowds have taken to the streets in Myanmar to mourn the death of a young woman who was killed during protests against the country’s military coup.

Just before her 20th birthday, supermarket worker Mya Thwet Thwet Khine was shot in the head during a protest in the capital Naypyitaw.

She died in hospital on Friday, taken off life support 10 days after she was shot.

Thousands gathered on the streets of Naypyitaw on Sunday to mourn Mya as her coffin was carried to a crematorium by a black and gold hearse.

Many silently raised their hands in three-fingered salutes, a sign of defiance and resistance adopted from Thailand.

Inside the crematorium hall, the lid on the coffin was partially removed to allow a last glimpse of her head resting on a bed of red and white roses before she was cremated.

Members of the crowd outside chanted “Our uprising must succeed!”

Protesters elsewhere in Myanmar gathered again on Sunday for protests that have been going on for more than two weeks.

In Yangon, Myanmar’s biggest city, about 1000 demonstrators began the day by honouring Mya at a ceremony under an elevated roadway.

“I want to say through the media to the dictator and his associates, we are peaceful demonstrators,” said protester Min Htet Naing.

“Stop the genocide! Stop using lethal weapons!”

There were also protests in Myawaddy, on the border with Thailand, and at Inle Lake, a popular scenic tourist attraction, where dozens of its famous long-tailed wooden boats were moored and those aboard chanted anti-coup slogans.

Demonstrators also turned out in force in Mandalay, the country’s second-biggest city, where security forces shot dead two people on Saturday.

They were shot near a dockyard where authorities had been trying to force workers to load a boat.

The workers, like railway workers and truckers and many civil servants, have joined a civil disobedience campaign against the junta.

The new deaths drew quick and strong reaction from the international community.

Germany’s foreign ministry condemned the violent crackdown, and called for the immediate release of all of those arrested, in particular ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Singapore, which together with Myanmar is part of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, issued a statement condemning the use of lethal force as “inexcusable”.

Urging “utmost restraint” on the part of security forces, Singapore warned that “if the situation continues to escalate, there will be serious adverse consequences for Myanmar and the region”.

The military authorities have continued arrests that began on the day of the February 1 coup, when Nobel peace laureate Suu Kyi and members of the government were detained.

The junta took power after detaining Suu Kyi and preventing parliament from convening, saying elections last November were tainted by voting irregularities.

The election outcome, in which Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party won by a landslide, was affirmed by an election commission that has since been replaced by the military.

The junta says it will hold new elections in a year’s time.

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