Taiwan condemns Myanmar junta's use of force after 2 protesters killed

Police fired live rounds to disperse anti-coup demonstrators in Mandalay Feb. 20, killing 2 and wounding at least 2 dozen

Man carried after police dispersed protesters in Mandalay, Myanmar, on Feb. 20, 2021. 

Man carried after police dispersed protesters in Mandalay, Myanmar, on Feb. 20, 2021.  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has responded to last weekend's killing of two anti-coup demonstrators in Myanmar.

In Myanmar's second-largest city of Mandalay, riot police on Saturday (Feb. 20) fired upon local residents who had come to the aid of striking shipyard workers amid a violent government crackdown. One victim, a 20-year-old man, was fatally shot in the head, while another died shortly after being hit in the abdomen, according to the Irrawaddy.

At least 24 others were reportedly wounded, some critically.

MOFA released a statement Sunday (Feb. 21) saying the Taiwanese government shared the international community's "shock and regret" over the use of lethal force against unarmed protesters.

Calling this approach unacceptable to the governments and people of democratic nations, the ministry urged the Myanmar military to use peaceful means, not force, to solve domestic political matters and to return the country to democracy.

Myanmar's military, the Tatmadaw, declared a state of emergency on Feb. 1 and seized control of the government, citing unsubstantiated claims of fraud in the parliamentary elections late last year. The junta detained State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint, and many other leaders in their party, the National League for Democracy.

MOFA said it continues to monitor developments in Myanmar through "various channels." Business people and other members of the Taiwanese community living in the Southeast Asian country remain unharmed, the ministry added.

Updated : 2021-03-08 00:31 GMT+08:00