The protest continues in Burma. Tens of thousands of Burmese demonstrate again this Sunday, despite internet censorship and arrests, against the military coup that toppled Aung San Suu Kyi earlier this week.
Protesters had planned to meet in front of Yangon City Hall, but access to the area was blocked by barricades. Several groups marched through the town where riot police were deployed in large numbers. At midday, at 8 am in Paris, no incident was reported according to several journalists on the spot.
“We will continue to come together until we get democracy. Down with dictatorship! Myo Win, 37, said to a concert of honking. “The dictatorship has been entrenched in our country for too long,” lamented another protester, Myat Soe Kyaw. Burma has already lived under the yoke of the army for almost 50 years since its independence in 1948.
“Free Mother Suu”
Nearby, other protesters hold up signs “Respect our vote”, “Free Mother Suu”, in reference to Aung San Suu Kyi. Others wave flags in the colors of his party, the National League for Democracy (LND), and salute with three fingers, a gesture of resistance.
Despite the fear, in a country accustomed to bloody repressions as in 1988 and 2007, inhabitants again took to the streets in the early hours of the day to “drive out demons”, that is to say the military, in banging on pans. Another rally was organized in Mandalay (center of the country). “We can not accept this totally illegal coup,” said Win Mya Mya, a deputy from the region.
Orders to block the internet and social networks by the army did not prevent this Sunday’s rally in Yangon from being broadcast online on Facebook where messages of support poured in: “You are our heroes”, “Respect to the demonstrators”. The Internet is only functioning “at 14% of its usual levels. The cuts affect the whole country, ”said the specialized non-governmental organization Netblocks.
More than 160 people were arrested
“The generals are trying to cripple the citizen resistance movement and leave the outside world in the dark,” lamented Tom Andrews, United Nations (UN) special rapporteur on human rights in Burma. The authorities “must ensure that the right to peaceful assembly is fully respected and that protesters will not be subjected to reprisals,” the international body’s human rights office said.
The arrests are continuing in any case. More than 160 people were arrested, according to the Association for Assistance to Political Prisoners, based in Rangoon. An economic advisor to the former 75-year-old Australian Sean Turnell is being held in his hotel. “I am currently detained and possibly charged with something,” the professor from Macquarie University in Australia told the BBC on Saturday. This is the first known arrest of a foreign national since the putsch.
On Saturday, tens of thousands of people demonstrated in several cities to condemn the February 1 putsch which put an end to a fragile ten-year democratic transition. The military established a state of emergency for a year, arrested Suu Kyi, de facto head of the civilian government, and other NLD officials.
Army pretext for fraud after Aung San Suu Kyi’s big victory in November elections
Aung San Suu Kyi, very recently criticized by the international community for her passivity in the Rohingya Muslim crisis, remains adored in her country. She was charged with violating an obscure trade rule and is “under house arrest” in the capital Naypyidaw, “in good health”, according to a spokesperson for the NLD.
VIDEO. Burma: she films a coup without knowing it
The UN called for the release of all detainees but did not formally condemn the coup in its joint declaration, China and Russia, traditional supporters of the Burmese army in the United Nations, opposing this formulation. The United States and the European Union are on their side hovering the threat of sanctions.
To justify his passage in force, the head of the army, Min Aung Hlaing, who now concentrates most of the powers, alleged “enormous” frauds in the legislative elections of November, massively won by the LND. In reality, the generals fear that their influence will diminish after the victory of Aung San Suu Kyi, who could have wanted to modify the Constitution, which is very favorable to the military. The latter promised free elections at the end of the state of emergency.
Original article by : www.leparisien.fr