The leader of the coup in Myanmar has made his first TV address, seeking to justify the action amid mass protests. A protester holds a photo of detained Myanmar civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi during a demonstration against the military coup. Photo: AFP Min Aung Hlaing said November's election, won in a landslide by the party of detained elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, had been unfair. The military has begun to impose restrictions in some areas, including curfews and limits to gatherings. Huge protests were held on Monday for a third straight day, along with a nationwide strike, to oppose the coup. One demonstrating doctor - who did not want to be named - told the BBC: "Today, we, professionals - especially civil servant professionals such as doctors, engineers and teachers - came out to show that we are all together in this. Our objective is the same - to make the dictatorship fall." The general's speech drew angry opposition, with images on social media showing people banging pots and pans in protest in front of television screens. The military seized power last week and declared a year-long state of emergency in Myanmar, also known as Burma, with power handed over to General Min Aung Hlaing. Suu Kyi and senior leaders of her National League for Democracy Party (NLD), including President Win Myint, have been put under house arrest. An Australian economic adviser to Suu Kyi, Sean Turnell, has also been detained and on Monday his family posted a statement on Facebook calling for his immediate release. What did the general say? Min Aung Hlaing's speech focused more on the reasons for the coup and less on threats to protesters. He said the electoral commission had failed to investigate irregularities over voter lists in the November election and had not allowed fair campaigning. The commission had said there was no evidence to support claims of widespread fraud. Min Aung Hlaing, wearing green military uniform, promised new elections and to hand power to the winner. A new "reformed" election commission would oversee it. He also said his rule would be "different" from what was effectively a 49-year military grip on power that ended in 2011 and which saw brutal crackdowns in 1988 and 2007. He spoke of achieving a "true and disciplined democracy", a phrase that drew scorn from some opponents of the coup on social media. Myanmar military chief General Min Aung Hlaing makes an announcement on the nationwide demonstrations being held in protest over the military coup. Photo: AFP He also told citizens to "go with the true facts and not to follow feelings of your own". The general did not issue direct threats to protesters, saying only that no-one was above the law. But some areas have seen clampdowns, with parts of Yangon and second city Mandalay, along with other areas, under a 20:00 to 04:00 curfew and with gatherings limited to groups of five or less. Earlier, a broadcast on state TV warned "action must be taken, according to the law... against offences that disturb, prevent and destroy state stability, public safety and the rule of law". Phil Robertson, the deputy Asia director of Human Rights Watch, said: "For a military coup government that has trampled all over democracy and the rule of law, it's absurd for them to claim they have any right to 'legal action' against peaceful protesters." Who has been on the streets? Tens of thousands gathered on Monday in the capital, Nay Pyi Taw, for the strike, with other cities such as Mandalay and Yangon also reporting significant numbers, according to BBC Burmese. The protesters include teachers, lawyers, bank officers and government workers. Online there had been calls asking workers to skip work to protest. "This is a work day, but we aren't going to work even if our salary will be cut," one protester, 28-year-old garment factory worker, Hnin Thazin, told news agency AFP. People holding placards shout slogans of anti-coup as they protest against the military coup. Photo: AFP Another protester, Hnin Hayman Soe, told the BBC she had joined the protest alongside her children, nieces and nephews. "We can see many young people can't accept the military junta. We can even see teenagers here," she said. A few injuries have been reported, but no violence. However, a water cannon was activated in Nay Pyi Taw to disperse crowds. A video appears to show protesters rubbing their eyes and helping one another after being soaked. Kyaw Zeyar Oo, who took the video, told the BBC two vehicles had sprayed protesters with "no prior warning", while "the crowd was peacefully protesting in front of [the police]". The BBC's Nyein Chan Aye, in Yangon, says Buddhist monks, members of the minority Muslim community, top footballers and film and music stars have all been joining the anti-coup protests, which he says are expected to become more organised in the coming days. - BBC
At least 14 people are dead and 150 missing after a piece of a Himalayan glacier fell into a river and triggered a huge flood in northern India.
The floodwaters burst open a dam and a deluge of water poured through a valley in the state of Uttarakhand.
Most of the missing are believed to be workers from two hydro power plants in the area.
Hundreds of troops, paramilitaries and military helicopters have been sent to the region to help with rescue efforts.
Experts are investigating the incident though it is not yet clear what might have caused the glacial burst. Officials say 25 people have been rescued so far.
In a tweet on Monday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was keeping a close watch on the situation in Uttarakhand.
“Have been continuously speaking to authorities and getting updates on … deployment, rescue work and relief operations,” he said in a tweet.
“India stands with Uttarakhand and the nation prays for everyone’s safety there.”
Leaders from across the world have also sent their condolences to families of the victims.
“My thoughts are with the people of India and rescue workers in Uttarakhand as they respond to devastating flooding from the glacier collapse,” said UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a tweet.
“The UK stands in solidarity with India and is ready to offer any support needed.”
Destruction in its wake
Uttarakhand police said an avalanche struck at about 11am (local time) on Sunday, destroying a dam known as the Rishiganga Hydroelectric Project.
Police said the impact catapulted water along the Dhauli Ganga river, damaging another power project downstream in the Tapovan area.
One witness compared the flash flood to “a scene from a Bollywood film”.
Video showed the floodwater barrelling through the area, leaving destruction in its wake.
Emergency workers had earlier evacuated dozens of villages, but authorities later said the main flood danger had passed.
Emergency crew have managed to rescue 16 workers who had been trapped inside a tunnel that had been filled with debris.
Officials said around 35 to 40 others are thought to be trapped in a second tunnel. Emergency crews have reached the mouth of the tunnel and are in the process of clearing the area with heavy equipment.
Some 6000 people are believed to have been killed in floods in June 2013 which were triggered by the heaviest monsoon rains in decades.
What caused the glacial burst?
The remoteness of where this happened means no-one has a definitive answer, so far.
Experts say one possibility is that massive ice blocks broke off the glacier due to a temperature rise, releasing a huge amount of water.
That could have caused avalanches bringing down rocks and mud.
“This is a strong possibility because there was a huge amount of sediment flowing down,” said DP Dobhal, a senior glaciologist formerly with the government’s Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology.
Experts say an avalanche could also have hit a glacial lake that then burst.
Another possibility is that an avalanche or landslide may have dammed the river for some time, causing it to burst out after the water level rose.
Sunday’s disaster has prompted calls by environment groups for a review of power projects in the ecologically sensitive mountains.
“Avalanches are common phenomena in the catchment area,” MPS Bisht, director of the Uttarakhand Space Application Centre, told news agency AFP.
“Huge landslides also frequently occur.”
Uma Bharti, a former water resources minister, said that she had previously spoken out against having any power projects on the Ganges and its tributaries when in government.