Myanmar generals under pressure after G7 condemnation, sanctions

YANGON: Myanmar's military leaders came under renewed pressure yesterday as the world's wealthiest nations condemned the junta for responding to anti-coup demonstrators "with violence", a rebuke coming on the heels of tightened sanctions from Washington and Brussels.

Authorities have gradually ratcheted up their use of force against a massive and largely peaceful civil disobedience campaign demanding the return of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Three anti-coup protesters have been killed in demonstrations so far, while a man patrolling his Yangon neighbourhood against night arrests was also shot dead over the weekend.

"Use of live ammunition against unarmed people is unacceptable," the foreign ministers of the G7 group of rich democracies - comprising Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Britain, the US together with the EU - said yesterday.

"Anyone responding to peaceful protests with violence must be held to account," they said.

The US blacklisted another two members of the regime - air force chief Maung Maung Kyaw and fellow junta member Moe Myint Tun - after Washington announced targeted sanctions against other top generals earlier this month.

Protesters continued staging rallies across Myanmar, though commercial hub Yangon saw much smaller numbers massing at key junctionsyesterday, holding impromptu concerts. - AFP