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Avoid Myanmar protest areas, DFA warns

The Department of Foreign Affairs on Thursday urged Filipinos in Myanmar to avoid places of protest as it is “deeply concerned” with the surge of violence that reportedly led to the killing of 38 people after the military quelled protests in several towns and cities.

“Filipinos in Myanmar are once more advised to avoid places of protest, monitor developments through reputable sources, and check with the Philippine Embassy in Yangon for further advisories,” the DFA said in a statement.

The DFA appealed to the Myanmar security forces “to exercise restraint and refrain from using excessive force against unarmed demonstrators.”

The department also reiterated its call for a complete restoration of status quo ante and “allow State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to play her unifying role.”

It was reported that 38 people, including four children, were killed in Myanmar on Wednesday, as the military quelled anti-military protests. Reports also said that hundreds of protesters were arrested.

Earlier, the Philippines through Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. called for the immediate release of Myanmar leader Suu Kyi, who was ousted and detained following a military coup d’état last February 1.

Locsin also urged the Association of Southeast Asian Nations during its Informal Ministers Meeting on regional and international issues on Tuesday to support the restoration of status quo in Myanmar or a situation prior to the military takeover of the government.

“Our call is for the complete return to the previously existing state of affairs: with respect to the preeminent role of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi; alongside the Army her father created for the protection of the people he led to freedom and the country he gave them at the cost of his life. This is what is needed,” Locsin said.

“And the first step should be for the immediate release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and subsequent dialogue among the parties involved in their country’s destiny,” he added.

Myanmar has plunged into political chaos after the military seized power and detained government leaders, including Aung San Suu Kyi last month, on allegation of fraud in a November election her party won in a landslide.

Topics: Department of Foreign Affairs , Myanmar , Aung San Suu Kyi , Protest , Teodoro Locsin Jr
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