Myanmar Protesters Defy Military as Internet Curbs Test Resolve
By Staff, Agencies
Demonstrators in Myanmar held protests demanding the restoration of Aung San Suu Kyi government on Monday and called for more coordinated nationwide dissent, defying the military's moves to suppress attempts to rally opposition to its two-month rule.
Six people were killed at the weekend, according to activists, as police and soldiers used force to break up demonstrations that some protesters are calling a "spring revolution."
The campaign against ousting the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi has included street marches, a civil disobedience campaign of strikes and quirky acts of rebellion organized on social media, which the junta has sought to control by shutting down wireless broadband and mobile data services.
Demonstrators with placards of Suu Kyi and signs asking for international intervention marched through the streets of the second-biggest city Mandalay, according to images on social media.
Protesters urged coordinated applause nationwide later Monday to recognize ethnic minority armies that have sided with the anti-coup movement, and youth demonstrators who battled security forces in the streets each day and tried to shield or rescue wounded protesters.
"Let’s clap for five minutes on April 5, 5 p.m. to honor Ethnic Armed Organizations and Gen Z defense youths from Myanmar including Yangon who are fighting in the revolution fight on behalf of us," Ei Thinzar Maung, a protest leader, posted on Facebook.
Opponents of military rule inscribed messages of protest on Easter eggs on Sunday, like "we must win" and "get out MAH" - referring to junta leader Min Aung Hlaing.
At least 557 people have been killed since he led a coup on February 1, just hours before a new parliament convened, to prevent Suu Kyi's party from starting a second term in office.
It followed months of complaints by the military of fraud in an election in which Suu Kyi's party won 83% of the vote, trouncing a party that was created by Min Aung Hlaing's predecessor.
The coup and crackdown on demonstrations caused an international outcry, prompting western sanctions on the military and its lucrative businesses.