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Myanmar has proclaimed martial law in order to ‘legitimize’ its strategies.

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Myanmar has proclaimed martial law in order to ‘legitimize' its strategies.
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Myanmar has proclaimed martial law in order to ‘legitimize' its strategies.

Myanmar has proclaimed martial law in order to ‘legitimize’ its strategies.

 

Myanmar’s ruling junta declared martial law in parts of the country’s largest city on Monday, a day after at least 38 people were killed in the country’s bloodiest crackdown on opposition to the military coup last month.

RESTRICTIONS ARE NOT THE FIRST RESTRICTIONS

The military declared a nationwide state of emergency and granted itself broad powers after the February 1 coup that deposed Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government. It also placed martial law-like controls in hundreds of townships throughout the country, but with fewer restrictions.

Those earlier laws, which were based on Section 144 of the penal code, had two key effects: a ban on gatherings of more than five people, which was largely ignored, and an 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew, which demonstrators started defying in large numbers last week.

Anything ELSE FALLS BEFORE MARTIAL LAW.

Martial law effectively supersedes all other laws, giving the military complete control of the designated territory, including all administrative, judicial, and law enforcement functions.

In legal terms, the imposition of martial law in six townships of Yangon legitimizes military steps that had already been taken to stop the demonstrations. The immediate cause appeared to be escalating abuse, mainly by security forces, but with indications that at least some protesters are beginning to use aggressive self-defense tactics such as burning tires at temporary barricades.

Martial law was proclaimed on Monday to “take more effective measures for the security, rule of law, and community peace and tranquility,” according to the official order.

According to local news outlet Eleven Media, those who disobey military orders will now be prosecuted in military courts and face penalties as severe as death or life imprisonment. It stated that the minimum penalty was three years in prison with hard labor and a fine.

Eleven Media’s article seemed to be based on martial law declarations in 1989 and 1974. After a failed popular rebellion against a military regime in 1989, martial law was proclaimed and stayed in effect for three years.

Security OF COMMERCIAL INTERESTS

Two Yangon townships that are industrial zones and home to garment factories, a major source of Myanmar’s export earnings, were the first two locations where martial law was proclaimed. Hlaing Thar Yar, one of those townships, was the scene of the worst violence on Sunday, with at least 22 protesters killed. Later, the order was expanded to three other townships in Yangon, including another heavily industrial township.

The announcement comes after news that at least two Chinese-owned factories were set on fire on Sunday night. The cause of the fires was unknown.

Several Chinese-owned factories were burnt, according to a statement released by the Chinese Embassy on Sunday, and multiple Chinese workers were injured and trapped.

According to the declaration, “China requires Myanmar to take additional effective steps to stop all violent actions, investigate and prosecute relevant offenders in compliance with the law, and ensure the safety of Chinese enterprises and staff in Myanmar.”

Many factories in Myanmar are owned or operated by Chinese companies. Many Myanmar citizens are angered by China’s political and economic clout in the region, accusing it of manipulating the country’s natural resources and shielding the military from foreign repercussions.

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