Third day of protests in Myanmar
Naypyidaw – Thousands of anti-coup protesters marched in towns and cities across Myanmar on Monday, witnesses said, demonstrating for a third straight day against the military’s removal and detention of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi a week ago.
Calls to join protests and to back a campaign of civil disobedience have grown louder and more organised since last Monday’s coup, which drew widespread international condemnation.
In the biggest city of Yangon, a group of saffron-robed monks marched in the vanguard of Monday’s protest with workers and students. They flew multicoloured Buddhist flags alongside red banners in the colour of Suu Kyi’s National league for Democracy (NLD), witnesses said.
“Release Our Leaders, Respect Our Votes, Reject Military Coup,” said one sign. Other signs read “Save democracy” and “Say No to Dictatorship”. Many protesters wore black.
Protests that swept the country on Sunday were the biggest since the “Saffron Revolution” led by Buddhist monks in 2007 that helped prompt democratic reforms that were upended by the Feb. 1 coup.
“Marchers from every corner of Yangon, please come out peacefully and join the people’s meeting,” activist Ei Thinzar Maung urged followers on Facebook, using VPN networks to rally protesters despite a junta attempt to ban the social media network.
Thousands marched in the coastal city of Dawei, in the southeast, and in the Kachin state capital in the far north, where they were dressed head to toe in black.
So far gatherings have been peaceful, unlike bloody crackdowns during previous widespread protests in 1988 and 2007. A convoy of military trucks was seen passing into Yangon late on Sunday, raising fears that could change. (Reuters)