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An unprecedented assault on democracy says U.S President-elect Joe Biden

Washington, jan 07: President-elect Joe Biden has said that the democracy in America was under an “unprecedented assault” as thousands of supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol in an unprecedented breach of security resulting in temporary suspension of the US Congress’ counting and certification of presidential election results.”At this hour, our democracy is under an unprecedented assault.

An assault on the Capitol itself. An assault on the people’s representatives, on the police officers sworn to protect them, and the public servants who work at the heart of our Republic. An assault on the rule of law. An assault on the most sacred of American undertakings: The doing of the people’s business,” Biden said on Wednesday.In a nationally televised address, Biden said that the scenes of chaos at the Capitol do not reflect the true America. “This is not who we are. What we are seeing is a small number of extremists dedicated to lawlessness. This is not dissent. It is disorder. It is chaos. It borders on sedition. And it must end. Now,” he said.


The police, outnumbered by the protesters, had a tough time in managing the crowd on Wednesday, as hundreds of protesters breached security and entered the Capitol building, where members of the Congress were going through the process of counting and certifying the Electoral College votes.


Vice President Mike Pence and lawmakers were evacuated to safe locations. Both the House and Senate and the entire Capitol were placed under a lockdown.


Calling on the mob to pull back and allow the work of democracy to go forward, Biden said that the words of a President matter, no matter how good or bad that president is.
“At their best, the words of a president can inspire. At their worst, they can incite,” he said, calling on President Trump to go on national television, now, to fulfill his oath and defend the Constitution and demand an end to this siege.


“To storm the Capitol, to smash windows, to occupy offices, and to threaten the safety of duly elected officials is not protest. It is insurrection. The world is watching – and like so many other Americans, I am shocked and saddened that our nation, so long a beacon of light, hope, and democracy has come to such a dark moment,” Biden said.


“Through war and strife, America has endured much. And we will endure here and prevail now. The work of the moment and the work of the next four years must be the restoration of democracy and the recovery of respect for the rule of law, and the renewal of a politics that’s about solving problems – not stoking the flames of hate and chaos,” he said.


“America is about honour, decency, respect, and tolerance.

That’s who we are. That’s who we’ve always been. The certification of the Electoral College votes is supposed to be a sacred ritual in which we affirm the majesty of American democracy. Today is a reminder, a painful one, that democracy is fragile,” he said.


Biden said that to preserve it requires people of good will, leaders with the courage to stand up, who are devoted not to pursuit of power and personal interest at any cost, but to the common good.


Watching the scenes from the Capitol, the president-elect said he was reminded of Abraham Lincoln’s words in an annual message to the Congress whose work has today been interrupted by chaos.


“President Lincoln said: ”We shall nobly save or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth….The way is plain, peaceful, generous, just – a way which, if followed, the world will forever applaud, and God must forever bless”,” Biden recalled.


“Our way is plain here, too. It is the way of democracy, of lawfulness, and of honor – respect for each other, and for our nation. Notwithstanding what we’ve seen today, I remain optimistic about the incredible opportunities. There has never been anything we can’t do when we do it together. And this God-awful display today is bringing home to every Republican, Democrat, and Independent in the nation that we must step up,” Biden said. (Agency)

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COVID-19: Strict week-long Lockdown in Bangladesh from April 14

(Asian News Hub) – A strict 7-day lockdown is going to be enforced in Bangladesh, from April 14, allowing only emergency services to remain in operation, it was announced on Friday.

All government and private offices, and factories will remain closed during the week-long lockdown to curb the Covid-19 spread, Public Administration Farhad Hossain said.

A gazette notification in this regard will be issued soon, he added.

IANS

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Myanmar: 114 civilians killed in deadliest day since Coup

(Asian News Hub) – At least 114 civilians were killed across Myanmar on Saturday as the military junta continued to crackdown on peaceful protests, CNN reported citing Myanmar Now.

The killings in 44 towns and cities across the country would represent the bloodiest day of protests since a military coup last month.

Among those killed is a 13-year-old who was shot in her house after the junta’s armed forces opened fire in residential areas of Meikhtila.

State television had said on Friday that protesters risked being shot ‘in the head and back.’

Despite this, demonstrators against the February 1 coup came out on the streets of Yangon, Mandalay and other towns.

On February 1, Myanmar’s military overthrew the civilian government and declared a year-long state of emergency while detaining civilian leaders including State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi.

The coup triggered mass protests which were met by the junta’s deadly violence.

The United Nations secretary-general Antonio Guterres and the UN office in Myanmar spoke out against the violence.

‘The continuing military crackdown, which today resulted in the highest daily death toll since demonstrations against the coup began last month, is unacceptable and demands a firm, unified and resolute international response. It is critical to find an urgent solution to this crisis,’ said a statement issued by Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for the UN secretary-general.

‘The Secretary-General condemns in the strongest terms the killing of dozens of civilians,’ Haq said.

The UN office in Myanmar said it ‘is horrified by the needless loss of life today with reports of dozens of people shot dead by the military across the country, in the bloodiest day since the coup.’

‘The violence is completely unacceptable and must stop immediately. Those responsible must be held to account,’ the UN office added.

‘As the Special Envoy on Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener has said, ensuring peace and defending the people should be the responsibility of any military, but the Tatmadaw has turned against its own people,’ it added.

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Horrifying day of bloodshed in Myanmar

(Asian News Hub) – Security forces killed more than 90 people, including some children, across Myanmar on Saturday in one of the bloodiest days of protests since a military coup last month, news reports and witnesses said.

The lethal crackdown, which took place on Armed Forces Day, drew strong renewed criticism from Western countries. British Ambassador Dan Chugg said the security forces had “disgraced themselves” and the U.S. envoy called the violence horrifying.

Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, the junta leader, said during a parade to mark Armed Forces Day that the military would protect the people and strive for democracy.

State television had said on Friday that protesters risked being shot “in the head and back”. Despite this, demonstrators came out on the streets of Yangon, Mandalay and other towns, as they have done almost daily since the Feb. 1 coup that ousted elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The Myanmar Now news portal said 91 people were killed across the country by security forces.

At least 29 people, including a 13-year-old girl, were killed in Mandalay, and at least 24 people were killed in Yangon, Myanmar Now said. A boy as young as five was earlier reported among the dead in Mandalay but there were conflicting reports later that he may have survived.

Another 13-year-old was among the dead in the central Sagaing region.
“Today is a day of shame for the armed forces,” Dr. Sasa, a spokesman for CRPH, an anti-junta group set up by deposed lawmakers, told an online forum.

Meanwhile, one of Myanmar’s two dozen ethnic armed groups, the Karen National Union, said it had overrun an army post near the Thai border, killing 10 people – including a lieutenant colonel – and losing one of its own fighters.

A military spokesman did not respond to calls seeking comment on the killings by security forces or the insurgent attack on its post.

“They are killing us like birds or chickens, even in our homes,” said Thu Ya Zaw in the central town of Myingyan, where at least two protesters were killed. “We will keep protesting regardless… We must fight until the junta falls.”

The deaths on Saturday would take the number of civilians reported killed since the coup to well over 400.

REUTERS

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