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World New rallies in Myanmar's Yangon despite military warnings

05:33  09 february  2021
05:33  09 february  2021 Source:   afp.com

Myanmar’s coup, explained

  Myanmar’s coup, explained Aung San Suu Kyi’s pro-democracy party was gaining strength, so the ruling military launched a coup.Early Monday morning local time, the country’s armed forces seized full control of the government after arresting Aung San Suu Kyi — the nation’s civilian leader — and top members of her National League for Democracy (NLD) party in a raid.

Protesters started rallying across Myanmar's largest city of Yangon on Tuesday, defying warnings from the military threatening "action" against large gatherings.

Aung San Suu Kyi et al. posing for the camera: Since the junta staged a coup on February 1 and ousted Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi from power, waves of dissent have swept the country -- with hundreds of thousands amassing in major cities © STR Since the junta staged a coup on February 1 and ousted Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi from power, waves of dissent have swept the country -- with hundreds of thousands amassing in major cities

Since the junta staged a coup on February 1 and ousted Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi from power, waves of dissent have swept the country -- with hundreds of thousands amassing in major cities.

By Monday, the military issued a stern warning on state TV, vowing to take "action... against offences that disturb, prevent and destroy the state's stability".

Analysis: Why is Myanmar’s military so powerful?

  Analysis: Why is Myanmar’s military so powerful? The military has been the most powerful institution in Myanmar since the country’s independence from Britain in 1948. General Aung San, the architect of Myanmar’s independence and the father of detained State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, founded the Burma National Army with help from Japan in the early 1940s. General Aung San was assassinated in 1947, but his legacy lived on in the military, and the Tatmadaw continued to enjoy strong public support in the years to come as the institution that liberated the nation from colonial oppression.

Curfews and a ban on gatherings were also announced for hotspot areas across the country, including Yangon's San Chaung and Kamayut townships -- the main spots where protesters converged in recent days.

But in San Chaung township, about 200 teachers defied the orders Tuesday, carrying banners saying "We are teachers, We want justice" and waving a three-fingered salute -- a gesture borrowed from pro-democracy movements across Asia.

"Free Daw Aung San Suu Kyi!" they yelled as they marched down the main road, where cars passing by honked their horns in support.

"Down with the military dictatorship!"

Across town, another group gathered in front of the headquarters of Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party.

Wearing red -- the NLD's colours -- the protesters carried Suu Kyi's portraits and chanted for the military to free her.

Despite a tarnished reputation in the West for her handling of the Rohingya crisis, Suu Kyi remains an immensely popular figure in the country, with her party sweeping more than 80 percent of the votes in November's election.

But the army said the polls were marred by widespread voter fraud -- the reason they have used to justify the military coup.

bur-dhc/jah

Medics in Myanmar on strike against military amid COVID-19 crisis .
Front-line healthcare workers from more than 70 medical facilities across the country announced a walkout.Front-line healthcare workers from more than 70 medical units and hospitals across the country announced a strike on Wednesday, refusing to work for the military regime. The developments raise fresh concerns about Myanmar’s coronavirus response and vaccination programme, which began on January 27, days before the coup.

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