Myanmar medics in anti-coup frontline as dissent spreads

YANGON: “Dictatorship must fail,” learn the writing on the again of 1 Myanmar physician’s hazmat swimsuit in a press release of defiance in opposition to Monday’s (Feb 1) army coup.

Other medics in no less than 20 authorities hospitals rallied to a marketing campaign of civil disobedience in opposition to the generals who overthrew elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Monday and minimize brief a tentative transition to democracy.

Doctors threatened to cease work even with coronavirus infections nonetheless rising steadily in the nation of 54 million.

“We cannot accept dictators and an unelected government,” Myo Thet Oo, a physician taking part in the marketing campaign, informed Reuters from the northeastern city of Lashio.

READ: Myanmar’s ousted NLD party calls for release of Aung San Suu Kyi

“They can arrest us anytime. We have decided to face it … All of us have decided not to go to the hospital.”

Reuters was unable to contact Myanmar’s new military authorities for touch upon the medical doctors’ boycott and the broader indicators of spreading dissent.

Anger in opposition to the army surged on social media, with a swathe of Facebook customers in a rustic the place it’s the predominant platform altering profile photos to portraits of Suu Kyi or the pink color of her National League for Democracy get together.

In the primary metropolis of Yangon, folks banged pans and sounded automobile horns after darkish in protest.

One of Myanmar’s largest youth teams and its federation of scholar unions referred to as for civil disobedience campaigns together with the medical doctors from throughout the nation – together with a 1,000-bed hospital in the capital Naypyidaw.

READ: Commentary: Why a military coup cannot be the solution in Myanmar

“That is inspiring,” activist Thinzar Shunlei Yi informed Reuters of the civil disobedience marketing campaign, whose new Facebook web page already had greater than 112,000 likes.

The army additionally had its supporters, successful backing from the Young Men’s Buddhist Association in the Buddhist majority nation. Hundreds of individuals rallied in the centre of the primary metropolis, Yangon, to help coup chief Min Aung Hlaing.


While the anti-coup medical doctors voiced dissent, supporters of the military on social media posted an previous image exhibiting the uniformed Myanmar Military Medical Corps COVID-19 response group holding up a banner that stated “We Are Ready”.

“We would rather die, than get treatment from the military,” some folks posted in response.

Min Aung Hlaing set preventing the coronavirus as his predominant precedence alongside holding elections on Tuesday. It has killed over 3,100 folks from greater than 140,000 infections, one of many highest tolls in Southeast Asia.

The pandemic has introduced even larger respect for medical doctors working in one of many world’s weakest well being techniques.

It shouldn’t be the primary time they’ve emerged in a problem in opposition to the army. In 2015, they mounted a Black Ribbon marketing campaign in opposition to the militarization of well being ministry and different medical appointments.

READ: UN Security Council holds emergency meeting on Myanmar 

Some medical doctors revived that marketing campaign on Tuesday alongside the boycott.

“We are well connected to each other in our medical network. We expect to connect and spread the campaign nationwide,” stated Sai Nay Myo, a former assistant hospital director, of the civil disobedience marketing campaign. 

“We cannot accept dictatorship.” In a letter that anticipated her detention and was printed by an aide on Monday, Suu Kyi had referred to as on folks to protest in opposition to a coup – although she didn’t specify that they need to take to the streets.

Pro-democracy supporters confirmed anger in some ways – together with a slew of insults to a Facebook put up by the brand new information minister thanking folks for his or her greatest needs.

Some introduced boycotts of beer and different merchandise from corporations with hyperlinks to the military’s intensive enterprise holdings.

“We will only accept the government that was elected and wholeheartedly supported by the people,” stated the Grill and Chill Restaurant in the primary metropolis Yangon, considered one of a number of to hitch the marketing campaign.

And in an echo of months of anti-government protests in Thailand, two senior members of Suu Kyi’s NLD posted photos of themselves giving the three-finger salute of opposition to military rule that was impressed by “The Hunger Games”.

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