1 of 2 | Photo: AP / TT
Demonstrations against the military junta in the city of Mandalay in Myanmar.
A general strike has been declared and tens of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets of several cities in Myanmar. This is despite the military government’s threat that participants may die.
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.
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,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken wrote on Twitter.
#Activists #Myanmar #angry