Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Activists in Myanmar: We are so angry


The country’s military government has warned activists of encouraging “riots and anarchy”, in a statement via state television company MRTV.

“Protesters are now encouraging the people, especially vulnerable teenagers and young people, to a confrontation path where they will lose their lives,” it said.

“Will continue”

Despite the threat, tens of thousands of protesters have once again taken to the streets, including in the capital Naypyidaw, Myitkyina, Dawei and Myanmar’s largest city, Rangoon (Yangon).

– We are worried about the attacks, but we will continue. We are so angry, says 23-year-old university student Kyaw Kyaw, one of the activists.

A 29-year-old protester who wishes to remain anonymous expresses strong anger towards the military junta who “took power unjustly”.

– We will fight until we get our freedom, democracy and justice.

Security forces are said to be deployed in the big cities, where many companies are closed. On social media, protesters publish posts that describe how police with water cannons try to disperse people and in some cases wrestle them to the ground.

“They are chasing and arresting us. We are just protesting peacefully,” wrote a woman whose post was reported by the news agency Reuters.

Three were shot dead

The unrest escalated after the military coup on February 1, when civilian rule was overthrown. The military, which justified the coup with alleged cheating in the November election, also put the country’s popular leader Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest.

Since then, large-scale demonstrations, with hundreds of thousands of people in the streets, have taken place around the country.

Many hundreds have been arrested, among them government employees who have joined a disobedience campaign. Two people were killed and several others injured when police fired sharp shots at the second largest city in Mandalay this weekend. Another protester was shot dead in Rangoon.

The United States, Canada and the United Kingdom have imposed sanctions on the ruling generals, and the United States on Sunday issued new warnings against the country.

“The United States will continue to take strong action against those who use violence against the people of Burma who demand the re-establishment of the democratically elected government,” wrote US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. on Twitter.

Protesters in Rangoon on Monday. Image: AP / TT

Myanmar (formerly Burma) is located in Southeast Asia and borders China, Laos, Thailand, Bangladesh and India. The country has a population of almost 54 million, according to estimates from 2018.

The country was colonized in the 19th century by Britain but became independent in 1948. The military took power in 1962 and ruled autocratically until 2010, when a certain democratization began.

According to the constitution, former opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is not allowed to become president and has formally held a specially established post as national adviser. In practice, she has been Myanmar’s real civilian leader.

According to the constitution, the military has held a quarter of the seats in both chambers of parliament. Those positions are filled by the Commander-in-Chief.

Aung San Suu Kyi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for his struggle for democracy, but during his time in government he has been heavily criticized for not stopping the military’s actions against the Muslim Rohingya.

On February 1, the ruling NLD party announced the arrest of several members of the leadership, including Aung San Suu Kyi. The military announced shortly afterwards that it had taken over power in the country.

Sources: NE, Landguiden, AFP





#Activists #Myanmar #angry

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