Hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets of Myanmar’s major cities. They are protesting against the military coup that took place on February 1 and the killings of demonstrators. Street protests are part of a general strike that has engulfed the country.
The military junta, led by General Min Aung Khlain, warns that protesters have chosen a dangerous path and that their actions could lead to casualties.
Earlier, on February 19, the first victim of the protests died – a 20-year-old girl Mya Thwe Thwe Hain, who was injured during protests in the capital Naypyidau a few days earlier. On February 20, at least two people were killed in clashes with police in the country’s second largest city, Mandalay.
“Coordinators of the protests are pushing people to a confrontation in which they will die,” – said in the news of the leading state TV channel MRTV. The junta-controlled media are urging citizens to refrain from rioting and anarchy.
The strikers are demanding the removal of the military from power and the immediate release of the de facto leader of Myanmar’s ousted civilian government, Aung San Suu Kyi, and the leadership of her National League for Democracy party.
Aung San Suu Kyi is accused by the junta of smuggling, storing and using walkie-talkies, violating the law on imports, and the law on disaster prevention.
The international community is putting pressure on the military junta.
Demonstrations take place in all major cities. In the photos on social networks, you can see that they involve a huge number of people waving flags and shouting slogans.
According to Frontier editor Thompson Chow, the current protests are much more massive, more roads are blocked, and shops have closed everywhere.
“Today is more of a giant strike, given that people simply did not go to work,” Chow told the BBC. According to him, even public sector workers are on strike: tax specialists, journalists, doctors and public utilities.
The new wave of protests is already being compared to the uprising in August 1988, which became one of the bloodiest in the country’s history.
The military then killed hundreds of protesters. Many in the country believe that those events have changed the country’s history.
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