Four days after the coup d’état of the Burmese army against the civilian government of Aung San Suu Kyi, a first major demonstration took place this Friday morning in Rangoon, the former capital. Several dozen teachers and students from Dagon University mobilized. They gave the three-fingered salute, a gesture of resistance borrowed from pro-democracy movements in Hong Kong and Thailand, and chanted an old song popularized during the 1988 uprising violently suppressed by the army.
“As long as they (the generals) retain power, we won’t come to work. If everyone does that their system won’t hold up, ”Win Win Maw, professor in the history department, told AFP. Students were arrested and arrived at the courts on Friday at 3.30 p.m. (10 a.m., French time). At least thirty people were arrested.
Officials from several ministries also temporarily ceased work in the capital, Naypyidaw, wearing red ribbons, the color of the National League for Democracy (LND), Aung San Suu Kyi’s party.
Thursday evening, for the third consecutive evening, residents of Rangoon honked their horns and banged on saucepans to “drive out demons”, the military.
A few hours earlier, in the city of Mandalay, around 20 people protested against the putsch outside the medical university. “Free – free now – our leaders,” they dared chanted despite the risk of repercussions. Four people were reportedly arrested. In the capital, 70 deputies held an insurgent parliament, to reproduce the parliamentary session which was to open on Monday, and which the coup d’état undermined. They made a written commitment to serve the Burmese people. It is not known whether the police intervened.
The expression goes through social networks … when it can
But initiatives remain in the minority, in a country of 54 million inhabitants. Fear remains alive in the country, erected by five decades of military rule. But since the last repression in 1988 and 2007, something has changed: the Burmese are now using the Internet and Facebook to express themselves. Groups have called for “civil disobedience”. In response, the military ordered internet providers nationwide to block access to the platform. His services were still disrupted this Friday. Suddenly, many have been on Twitter and hashtags #HearthevoiceofMyanmar, #RespectOurVotes have been used more than seven million times, including by several Burmese celebrities.
“They are afraid of what I say”
Deaf to protest, the army continues its arrests. Win Htein, 79, LND veteran, political prisoner for more than twenty years of the junta, “was arrested at his daughter’s home” in Yangon on the night of Thursday to Friday, the party spokesman said. . On Wednesday, this close friend of Suu Kyi told RFI to expect to be apprehended. At dawn, Win Htein was able to reply to the BBC, to say that he was taken to the capital by members of the police and the army, who had come to arrest him under the laws on sedition. This charge, if confirmed, is punishable by imprisonment for life. “They don’t like what I talked about. They are afraid of what I say ”, he summarized.
Likewise, Min Htin Ko Ko Gyi, a director who has already served time for criticizing the army, was also arrested, according to his nephew.
VIDEO. Coup in Burma, Aung San Suu Kyi arrested
According to data from the Association for Assistance to Political Prisoners, an NGO based in Yangon, more than 130 politicians, including members of parliament, and about 15 activists, have been arrested since Aung San’s arrest. Suu Kyi and Burmese President Win Myint.
The “Lady of Rangoon” is still being held incommunicado. While on Monday, the army justified its seizure of power by electoral fraud “by the millions” during the legislative elections of November 8, Aung San Suu Kyi was indicted for having broken an obscure trade rule. This seems to give substance to the interpretation of specialists, who believe that the army feared losing even more influence in the face of the rise of democracy.
Original article by : www.leparisien.fr