Martial law imposed in parts of Myanmar city

Myanmar’s ruling party junta on Monday imposed martial law in parts of the country’s biggest city, a day after at least 38 people were killed in the bloodiest crackdown yet on resistance to last month’s military coup. After the Feb. 1 coup that ousted Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government, the military declared a nationwide state of emergency and gave itself broad powers. It also put in place similar but milder restrictions to martial law in dozens of townships across the country.

Those earlier measures used Section 144 of the penal code and the main impact was a ban on gatherings of more than five people, which was generally ignored, and an 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew, which protesters last week began defying in large numbers. Myanmar activists have planned more anti-coup rallies, a day after dozens of protesters were killed in clashes with security forces and unidentified assailants torched several Chinese-financed factories in the commercial hub of Yangon. The Chinese embassy on Monday said many Chinese staff were injured and trapped in the arson attacks, and urged Myanmar’s ruling generals to stop violence and ensure the safety of people and property. Martial law basically supersedes all other law, allowing the military total authority over the specified area, including administrative, judicial and law enforcement functions.