Myanmar residents call on Japan to recognise anti-military body as legitimate govt

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Representative Image

Tokyo [Japan], May 3 (ANI): Thousands of Myanmarese residents in Japan took the streets to call upon Tokyo to recognise the National Unity Government (NUG), an organisation set up in opposition to the February 1 military coup, as Myanmar's legitimate governing body.

According to Kyodo News, similar events took place in South Korea and Taiwan and were scheduled in the United States, Britain and other European countries in what participants called "Global Myanmar Spring Revolution Day".

The participants painted three fingers of both hands in red to symbolise the blood of about 750 peaceful demonstrators and other citizens killed by security forces in Myanmar., according to an activist monitoring group.

"Free, free our leaders," they chanted, in reference to detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior members of her party, the National League for Democracy. "Recognise, recognise the NUG."

"We, the young people of Myanmar, took the lead in holding anti-junta demonstrations around the world today... We would like the Japanese government to take specific action such as suspending all ODA (official development assistance) projects that benefit the Myanmar military," said a 28-year-old woman, one of the organisers of the Tokyo event.

The NUG is demanding that the junta immediately cease its violent crackdowns on protestors, release Suu Kyi and other detainees, and restore the democratically elected government, Kyodo News reported.

Lae Lae Lwin, a Myanmar nurse working in Japan, said separately that it would not make sense for Japan not to endorse the NUG as the rightful government because Tokyo has condemned the coup and is urging the junta to release Suu Kyi and other detainees and restore Myanmar's democratic political process.

"We would not want Japan to dismiss the will of the Myanmar people... We want Japan to side with us, not the military," she said.

On February 1, the Myanmar military overthrew the civilian government and declared a year-long state of emergency. The coup triggered mass protests and was met by deadly violence.

The military takeover triggered mass protests which led to violent clashes and brutal suppression of peaceful demonstrators. More than 750 people have been killed over 2.5 months of protests while thousands of others have been detained.

On April 24, Junta leader Min Aung Hlaing met leaders of the ASEAN in Jakarta where he was urged to immediately halt the "military violence" against protesters and to release detained civilian leaders. (ANI)