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Protesters out again in Myanmar to denounce military coup, police use water cannon in capital

YANGON: Protesters demonstrated throughout Myanmar again on Thursday (Feb 18) to denounce the Feb 1 coup and the arrest of elected chief Aung San Suu Kyi, and police forcefully dispersed crowds, utilizing water cannon in the capital and catapults in a northern city.

The day by day protests and strikes which have paralysed many authorities places of work present no signal of easing regardless of a junta promise of a brand new election and appeals for civil servants to return to work and threats of motion if they don’t.

“I don’t want to wake up in a dictatorship. We don’t want to live the rest of our lives in fear,” mentioned Ko Soe Min, who was out in the primary metropolis of Yangon the place tens of hundreds took to the streets a day after among the largest protests but.

Big crowds returned to Yangon’s central Sule Pagoda whereas many younger individuals additionally massed at one other favorite protest web site, at an intersection close to the primary college campus, spilling into the streets as police tried to transfer them on.

Protest against the military coup in Yangon

Demonstrators protest towards the military coup in Yangon, Myanmar, on Feb 17, 2021. (Photo: REUTERS/Stringer)

Police stand by as protesters take part in a demonstration blocking a road with their cars

Police stand by as protesters participate in an illustration blocking a street with their vehicles and demanding the discharge of detained Myanmar chief Aung San Suu Kyi throughout an illustration towards the military coup in Yangon on Feb 18, 2021. (Photo: AFP/Ye Aung Thu)

The avenue marches have been extra peaceable than the bloodily suppressed demonstrations seen throughout an earlier half century of military rule, however they and the civil disobedience motion have had a crippling impact on a lot official enterprise.

Many motorists in Yangon drove at a snail’s tempo in a present of opposition to the coup, a day after many pretended to be broken down to block police and armed forces autos.

Protesters take part in a demonstration blocking a road with their cars

Protesters participate in an illustration blocking a street with their vehicles and demanding the discharge of detained Myanmar chief Aung San Suu Kyi throughout an illustration towards the military coup in Yangon on Feb 18, 2021. (Photo: AFP/Ye Aung Thu)

“I don’t want to wake up in a dictatorship. We don’t want to live the rest of our lives in fear,” mentioned slow-car protester Ko Soe Min.

“I’ll be happy if government officers are late for work or can’t get there at all.”

In the second-biggest metropolis, Mandalay, protesters rallied to demand the discharge of two officers arrested in the coup. Police fired water cannon in the capital, Naypyidaw, to scatter a crowd approaching police strains.

The northern city of Myitkyina was tense after police and troopers used catapults to break up a protest, a resident mentioned. Pictures on social media confirmed troopers and rows of police vehicles.

“They’re not acting in line with the constitution nor rule of law. They are acting like terrorists,” mentioned activist Sut Seng Htoi. Police weren’t obtainable for remark.


In the previous capital of Bagan, individuals with banners and flags marched in vibrant processions towards a backdrop of historic temples. Some protesters stopped at a temple to put a curse on dictators, a witness mentioned.

READ: Myanmar protesters stage biggest rallies since troop deployments

READ: Thousands rally in Yangon despite military build-up, UN expert ‘terrified’ violence could ensue

Putting an finish to the civil disobedience marketing campaign seems to be the military authorities’s precedence.

The military introduced late on Wednesday that six native celebrities, together with movie administrators, actors and a singer, have been wished beneath an anti-incitement legislation for encouraging civil servants to be a part of in the protest.

The costs can carry a two-year jail sentence.

“It’s amazing to see the unity of our people. People’s power must return to the people,” actor Lu Min, who was on the junta’s ‘wished listing’, posted defiantly on his Facebook web page.

An activist group that displays social media mentioned that since Feb 9, posts had proven some kind of protest in about 90 per cent of cities and cities throughout the nation.

The military says a majority of individuals again its actions.

SHOTS FIRED

Train providers have been badly disrupted and after darkish, safety forces in the second largest metropolis of Manadalay confronted placing railway staff, opening fireplace with rubber bullets and catapults and throwing stones, residents mentioned.


One charity employee was wounded in the leg by a rubber bullet.

Neither the military nor the police made any fast touch upon the incident, however the military’s Facebook web page mentioned forces have been offering safety throughout the nation to “make sure people have tranquillity and sound sleep”.

READ: Digital warfare: Myanmar’s cyber crackdown explained

READ: More protests after Myanmar military government cuts Internet, deploys troops

The variety of individuals identified to have been detained because the coup halted a tentative transition in direction of democracy had reached 495 by Wednesday, Myanmar’s Assistance Association for Political Prisoners mentioned in a press release.

It mentioned 460 have been nonetheless being held.

A colleague informed AFP that 11 international ministry officers have been arrested in the early hours of Thursday morning for collaborating in civil disobedience actions. 

A police officer, who requested not to be named, informed AFP no less than 50 civil servants from a number of ministries have been detained in the final 4 days. 

The military took energy after the electoral fee rejected its accusations of fraud in a Nov 8 election swept by Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) occasion, prompting anger from Western nations in addition to the native protests.

More demonstrations have been deliberate for Thursday – together with by pupil teams and staff from completely different ethnic teams in the varied nation of greater than 53 million individuals.

Coup opponents are deeply sceptical of junta guarantees to hand over energy after a brand new election for which no date has but been set.

Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, detained because the coup, now faces a cost of violating a Natural Disaster Management Law in addition to charges of illegally importing six walkie talkie radios. Her subsequent courtroom look has been set for Mar 1.


READ: Aung San Suu Kyi hit with second charge as Myanmar junta tightens grip

Aung San Suu Kyi, 75, spent practically 15 years beneath home arrest for her efforts to deliver democracy.

The military says that one policeman died of accidents sustained in a protest. One protester who was shot in the top throughout a protest in the capital Naypyitaw is being saved on life help, however docs say she isn’t anticipated to survive.

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