Myanmar’s minorities protest in show of unity against coup

Members of Myanmar ethnic teams protested on Saturday (Feb 20) in a show of opposition to the coup that ousted the federal government of Aung San Suu Kyi, regardless of some misgivings about her dedication to their aspirations for autonomy, neighborhood representatives mentioned.

Protests against the Feb 1 coup that overthrew the elected authorities of the veteran democracy campaigner have taken place throughout the various nation, although the navy has promised to carry a brand new election and hand energy to the winner.

A young woman protester died on Friday after being shot in the top final week as police dispersed a crowd in the capital, Naypyidaw, the primary dying amongst opponents of the coup in the demonstrations. The United States was saddened by the dying and condemned the use of power against demonstrators, a State Department spokesman mentioned.

The military says one policeman has died of accidents sustained in a protest.

Protest against the military coup in Yangon

Demonstrators protest against the navy coup in Yangon, Myanmar, February 19, 2021. REUTERS/Stringer

The demonstrators are demanding the restoration of the elected authorities, the discharge of Suu Kyi and others and the scrapping of a 2008 structure, drawn up below navy supervision, that offers the military a decisive function in politics.

Ke Jung, a youth chief from the Naga minority and an organiser of the Saturday protest by the minorities in the principle metropolis of Yangon, mentioned the protesters have been additionally demanding a federal system.

“We can’t form a federal country under dictatorship. We can’t accept the junta,” he instructed Reuters.

The protests have been extra peaceable than the bloodily suppressed demonstrations throughout almost 50 years of direct navy rule as much as 2011.

But police have fired rubber bullets a number of occasions to interrupt up crowds, in addition to water cannon and catapults.

In addition to the protests, a civil disobedience marketing campaign has paralysed a lot authorities enterprise.

Myanmar has skilled insurgencies by ethnic minority factions since shortly after its independence from Britain in 1948 and the military has lengthy held itself to be the one establishment succesful of preserving nationwide unity.

Aung San Suu Kyi, 75, like the highest generals, is a member of the bulk Burman neighborhood. Her authorities promoted a peace course of with rebel teams however she got here in for a storm of worldwide criticism over the plight of the Muslim Rohingya minority after greater than 700,000 fled a lethal 2017 crackdown.


Ke Jung mentioned some minority events weren’t dedicated to the motion against the coup.

“It’s a reflection of how Aung San Suu Kyi failed to build alliances with ethnic political parties,” he mentioned.

“However, we must win this fight. We stand together with the people. We will fight until the end of dictatorship.”

Salai Mon Boi, a youth chief from the Chin minority, mentioned the Saturday protest, which occurred to fall on Chin National Day, was targeted on 4 calls for: getting rid of the structure, ending dictatorship, a federal system and the discharge of all leaders.

“There are some people who don’t like NLD but we’re not talking about the NLD,” he mentioned, referring to Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD).

As properly as the colorful protest by minority members, a number of hundred folks chanting slogans gathered behind police barricades sealing of a important Yangon protest website by the Sule Pagoda.

The military seized again energy after alleging fraud in Nov 8 elections that the NLD swept, detaining her and others. The electoral fee had dismissed the allegations of fraud.

Military coup in Yangon, Myanmar

Police block a highway the place protesters use to collect against the navy coup in Yangon, Myanmar, February 19, 2021. REUTERS/Stringer

The United States, Britain, Canada and New Zealand have introduced restricted sanctions, with a deal with navy leaders, together with banning journey and freezing belongings.

Japan and India have joined Western international locations in calling for democracy to be restored shortly.

The junta has not reacted to the brand new sanctions. On Tuesday, a military spokesman instructed a information convention that sanctions had been anticipated.

READ: Widespread sanctions on Myanmar would cause ordinary people to suffer – Vivian Balakrishnan

There is little historical past of Myanmar’s generals giving in to international stress they usually have nearer ties to neighbouring China and to Russia, which have taken a softer method than lengthy essential Western international locations.

Junta chief Min Aung Hlaing was already below sanctions from Western international locations following the 2017 crackdown on the Rohingya.

Myanmar’s Assistance Association for Political Prisoners mentioned 546 folks had been detained, with 46 launched, as of Friday.

Aung Suu Kyi faces a cost of violating a Natural Disaster Management Law in addition to costs of illegally importing six walkie talkie radios. Her subsequent court docket look has been set for March 1.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button