As tens of thousands take to Myanmar’s streets, police have fired water cannons to disperse the crowds of demonstrators in Naypyidaw, the country’s capital.
Flying Buddhist flags and banners in the colour of Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party, chanting protestors called for the release of state counsellor Suu Kyi and an end to the military coup.
After medical workers went on strike last Wednesday, there has been a steady rise in civil disobedience culminating in calls for a general strike.
Speaking to the BBC, a protesting physician, said that: “today, we, professionals – especially civil servant professionals such as doctors, engineers and teachers – came out to show that we are all together in this. Our objective is the same – to make the dictatorship fall.”
As the police deployed the water cannon, the state broadcaster MRTV warned that “action” would be taken against those who break the law.
Groups “using the excuse of democracy and human rights” had violated the law and made threats of force, the state announcer read.
Continuing, they noted: “Action must be taken according to the law with effective steps against offences which disturb, prevent and destroy the state’s stability, public safety and the rule of law.”
Though some have been injured, no violence has been reported.
The coup was instituted by Myanmar’s Commander-in-Chief General Min Aung Hlaing. On Monday 1st, he declared Myanmar’s 2020 elections, in which Aung San Suu Kyi’s NLD won a landslide victory, fraudulent. Hlaing declared a state of emergency and promised multiparty elections after one year.
In a statement addressing the Tatmadaw, Myanmar’s military, Cardinal Charles Maung Bo of Yangon called for the civilian leaders to be released and for “dialogue”.
Allegations of fraudulent elections could have been “solved” through “dialogue”.
“Now you promise greater democracy — after investigation and another election. Myanmar people are tired of empty promises. They will never accept any fake protestation.”
Turning to Aung San Suu Kyi, Bo lauded her for the sacrifices that she had made and expressed his “persona sympathies with [her] plight”.
“At the same time,” he went on, “I wish to confirm that this incident takes place due to lack of DIALOGUE [sic] and communication and lack of acceptance of one another. Please listen to others.”
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