Yangon, February 18
Protesters demonstrated across Myanmar again on Thursday to denounce the February 1 military coup and arrest of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and the police forcefully dispersed crowds using water cannon. The daily protests and strikes that have paralysed many government offices show no sign of easing even though the junta has promised a new election and appealed for civil servants to return to work, threatening action if they do not. “I don’t want to wake up in a dictatorship. We don’t want to live the rest of our lives in fear,” said Ko Soe Min, who was out in the main city of Yangon where tens of thousands took to the streets a day after some of the biggest protests yet.
Nearly 500 detained since Feb 1
- Crowds returned to Yangon’s central Sule Pagoda, while many gathered at an intersection near the main university campus, spilling into the streets as police tried to move them on.
- Motorists in Yangon drove at a snail’s pace in a show of opposition to the coup, a day after many pretended to be broken down to block police and army vehicles. The number of people detained so far is 495.
Big crowds returned to Yangon’s central Sule Pagoda, while many young people also gathered at another favourite protest site, at an intersection near the main university campus, spilling into the streets as police tried to move them on.
The northern town of Myitkyina was tense after police and soldiers used catapults to break up a protest, a resident said. Pictures on social media showed soldiers and rows of police trucks.”They’re not acting in line with the constitution nor rule of law. They are acting like terrorists,” said activist Sut Seng Htoi. — Reuters