March 14 (UPI) -- One of Myanmar's ousted government leaders called for citizens of the country to continue to resist the hostile takeover in his first public statement since the coup.
Mahn Win Khaing Than, the speaker of the upper house of Parliament before the coup and a leader of the self-declared civilian government formed while hiding from the armed forces, said in a Facebook Live videoSaturday that this is "the darkest moment of the nation and the moment that the dawn is close."
Mahn Wing Khaing Than said he had spoken with the leaders of armed ethnic groups in northern Myanmar via Zoom and urged them to join the resistance against Myanmar's military, known as the Tatmadaw
"This is the time for our citizens to test their resistance against the dark moments," he said. "In order to form a federal democracy, which all ethnic brothers, who have been suffering various kinds of oppressions from the dictatorship for decades really desired, this revolution is the chance for us to put our efforts together."
Three protesters were shot and killed in Yangon on Sunday, the clinic where their bodies were taken said, according to The New York Times.
Since the start of the coup more than 80 people have been killed by the military and the police, according to tallies by the United Nations, doctors, hospital staff and relatives of victims.
The Myanmar military took over the government and detained its civilian leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint and other high-ranking officials in a coup on Feb.1, sparking protests days later.
Thomas Andrews, U.N. special rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar reported that the military junta has likely committed crimes against humanity and the United States last week blacklisted the adult children of the junta's leader, and sanctioned six of their companies.