Myanmar people rally ahead of UN assembly

People from Myanmar have rallied around the world. They are urging the international community to take action against military rule in their country, ahead of the United Nations General Assembly, due to start on Tuesday.

Rallies took place in more than a dozen countries over the weekend. Protesters are calling on the international community to reject the military junta and recognize the National Unity Government. The NUG is made up of pro-democracy groups and supports ousted State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi.

The military seized power in a coup in February. Crackdowns have continued over the past 7 months against opponents nationwide. A human rights group says more than 1,000 civilians have been killed, including children. Over 8,000 people have been arrested.

About 1,400 people joined the rally in Tokyo. They were chanting "free Myanmar," and giving the three-finger salute associated with the protest against the military rule. The protesters in Tokyo were mainly young people from Myanmar and Japanese people who support them.

People observed a moment of silence in a ceremony in front of the United Nations University for those killed in the violence.

Representatives of the protesters handed a letter to the university staff requesting that the UN recognize the National Unity Government.

NUG Acting President Duwa Lashi La posted a speech online last week calling on the People's Defence Force and ethnic minority fighters to resist military rule. The force is made up of armed citizens.