YANGON — Anti-coup protesters returned to the streets in Myanmar with the biggest rally since troops spread out to the country in a bid to overcome oppositionist moves.
Since the military takeover of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi’s government, the citizens of Myanmar have been showing a unified voice of setting it back. Protesters have blockaded roads with vehicles to stop junta forces from moving around the city.
“We have to fight until the end,” a 21-year-old student told an AFP reporter. “We need to show our unity and strength to end military rule. People need to come out on the streets.”
Wednesday’s demonstrations underscore the citizens’ disobedience campaign against a regime’s brazenness and violent efforts in taking down the resistance. Protesters flooded social media platforms with calls in a show of force before a third overnight internet blackout was imposed on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, UN special rapporteur Tom Andrews gave out warnings that soldiers being brought into Yangon could lead to a situation that could spiral out of control.
“We could be on the precipice of the military committing even greater crimes against the people of Myanmar,” he said.
But there were no signs of a major troop mobilization in Yangon on Wednesday morning.
The military justifies it power seizure by alleging widespread voter fraud in the November elections won by Suu Kyi’s party in a landslide.
Suu Kyi was charged of possession of unregistered walkie-talkies found in her home. But her lawyer Khin Maung Zaw told the AFP that she was also charged with violating the country’s disaster management law.
The disaster management law has also been used against deposed president Win Myint for an election campaign event that the junta claims broke coronavirus restrictions. Both Suu Kyi and Win Myint are in a “safer place” and “in good health” said military spokesman Zaw Min Tun.
“It’s not like they were arrested—they are staying at their houses,” the general told a press conference.
Meanwhile, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners monitoring group, more than 450 people have already been arrested since the coup.
Western powers and the United Nations have repeatedly condemned the leaders of Myanmar’s new military administration. But the military insists it took power lawfully.
Beijing’s ambassador to Myanmar said Tuesday that what’s unfolding in the country is “absolutely not what China wants to see” after it was quiet in the initial military takeover of the government. (SA/Headline PH)