Myanmar’s military junta chief Min Aung Hlaing threw a lavish dinner party Saturday night.
The party came after the deadliest day of the coup yet, where troops killed more than 100.
Representatives of Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand attended.
Myanmar’s military junta chief Min Aung Hlaing threw a lavish dinner party Saturday night after his troops shot and killed more than 100 people in the deadliest day since the February 1 coup.
Photos of the general in white military uniform walking down a red carpet and greeting guests at the outdoor dinner were posted on social media over the weekend.
The dinner was held for Armed Forces Day, which commemorates the beginning of Myanmar’s resistance to Japanese occupation during World War II, according to CNN.
During a military parade to mark the occasion earlier in the day, Min Aung Hlaing gave a speech where he said he wanted to “safeguard democracy,” while warning against “violent acts,” according to the BBC.
Representatives of Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand attended the Saturday night dinner party, according to the BBC.
Many found the juxtaposition of the dinner jarring, coming at the end of an exceptionally deadly day in Myanmar.
Troops killed at least 114 people on Saturday – including children – according to a tally by the independent Myanmar Now news outlet.
By most tallies it was the deadliest day since the beginning of the coup on February 1, during which the military ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
A total of 459 people have been killed during the coup, according to a count by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners monitoring group.
According to the BBC, troops appeared to be shooting anyone they saw in the streets on Saturday. There were reports of security forces shooting into residential buildings and nighttime raids and arrests, according to CNN.
Among the victims on Saturday was a 40-year-old Mandalay resident who was shot and burned alive by troops, according to Myanmar Now.
The killings continued into Sunday as well, including a report of security forces opening fire at the funeral for a 20-year-old student in the city of Bago, according to Reuters.
The bloodshed on Saturday prompted a rare joint statement from the defense ministers of 12 nations including the United States, Britain, Japan, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Italy, New Zealand, and South Korea.
“A professional military follows international standards for conduct and is responsible for protecting – not harming – the people it serves,” the statement read, according to the BBC.
US President Joe Biden also condemned the killings, saying Sunday, according to The Guardian: “It’s absolutely outrageous and based on the reporting I’ve gotten, an awful lot of people have been killed totally unnecessarily.”
China and Russia have not joined the international criticism over the coup, meaning any action through the UN Security Council is unlikely, according to the BBC.
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