The protest against the seizure of power by the military in Burma does not abate. Over a thousand Burmese demonstrated Sunday in Yangon against the February 1 coup that overthrew the civilian government of Aung San Suu Kyi. Riot police were deployed in large numbers near Rangoon University, where the demonstration was taking place.
“We will continue to come together until we get democracy. Down with dictatorship, ”said Myo Win, a 37-year-old protester, under a concert of honking. “The dictatorship has been rooted in our country for too long,” said Myat Soe Kyaw, while Burma has already lived under the yoke of the army for nearly 50 years since its independence in 1948.
On Saturday, several thousand people had already gathered in the economic capital of Burma, the first large gathering since the putsch of the military who established a state of emergency for one year, arrested Aung San Suu Kyi as well as dozens of political leaders and activists. Protesters shouted: “Free Mother Suu”, in reference to Aung San Suu Kyi. Others waved flags in the colors of his party, the National League for Democracy (LND) and made the three-fingered salute, a gesture of resistance.
Despite orders to block the internet by the coup generals, the rally was broadcast online on Facebook where messages of support poured in. “You are our heroes”, “Respect to the demonstrators”, we could read. Censorship continues, and the country still experienced major internet shutdowns on Sunday. Access to Facebook, the main communication tool for millions of Burmese, as well as to Twitter and Instagram were also severely restricted.
Aung San Suu Kyi, very recently criticized by the international community for her passivity in the Rohingya crisis, remains adored in her country. She was charged with violating an obscure trade rule and is “under house arrest” in the capital Naypyidaw, “in good health”, according to a spokesperson for the NLD.