Myanmar military leader declares self PM, pushes back elections | DW News

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Southeast Asia’s top diplomats are meeting to discuss the ongoing violence in Myanmar. The foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are also hoping to finalize an emergency plan to help control the pandemic there. On Sunday Myanmar’s military leader declared himself prime minister and extended military rule until August 2023. As we report, some protesters are determined to keep fighting back despite the risks. A warning to our viewers – you may find some of the footage in this report disturbing.

Big protests have become too risky. In their place, flash mobs – often lasting only a few minutes – have been breaking out in Yangon and other cities.

They yell “Down with the dictatorship, we must overcome” – a brief battle cry before they disappear into the back streets. Six months after the coup, Myanmar has become a full-fledged military state.

Its leader and self-declared Prime Minister, Min Aung Hlaing has extended the state of emergency, and pushed back long-promised elections until August 2023.

Likely to be missing from the list of candidates: Aung San Suu Kyi. The deposed leader is facing a slew of charges in what many observers are calling a sham trial.

Adding to the political and economic turmoil, the country is seeing a sharp spike in COVID-19 cases –

pushing the health care system closer to the brink of collapse, as people wait in line to get oxygen.

With many medics part of the civil disobedience movement, they’ve become a target of violent abuse by the military. Human rights organizations are calling on the international community to act.

Activists say they will never be able to trust the military. That’s a sentiment echoed by many around the country.

Six months after the coup, Myanmar increasingly looks like a tinderbox waiting to explode.

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