Burmese resume protest versus military control

Shunning the threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), protesters stormed the streets of Myanmar to rally against the control of the military regained from democratic leadership.

Following a violent demonstration this week, activists returned to the streets of Myanmar’s capital Naypyitaw to campaign for the return of democracy headed by elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi who was detained along with other leaders earlier this month.

A report by Reuters on Wednesday quoted a youth leader as saying that they “cannot stay quiet.”

“If there is bloodshed during our peaceful protests, then there will be more if we let them take over the country,” the leader added.

It can be learned that the United States and the United Nations condemned the use of force versus protesters, and demanded the reversal of the coup and the release of Suu Kyi and other detainees.

The protest was joined by doctors, teachers, and railway workers, among others.

Myanmar’s military regained control of the country after detaining Suu Kyi along with President Win Myint over claims of voter fraud following a landslide win by Suu Kyi’s party.

On the same day, the military announced on its own television channel that power had been handed over to commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing.

Myanmar, also known as Burma, was ruled by the armed forces until 2011 when democratic reforms spearheaded by Suu Kyi ended military rule.

The detained leader spent nearly 15 years in detention—between 1989 and 2010. She was recognized as a beacon of democracy and received a Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.

Aung Hlaing, arguably one of the most influential people in Myanmar, announced that the country’s 2008 constitution could be revoked under certain circumstances.

The released statements of the commander-in-chief’s statements sparked fears within Myanmar as well as from more than a dozen foreign missions and the United Nations.

The US State Department said it was preparing assistance to Myanmar to ensure that those responsible for the coup face “significant consequences.”

“We repeat our calls for the military to relinquish power, restore the democratically elected government, release those detained and lift all telecommunication restrictions, and to refrain from violence,” US State Department spokesman Ned Price was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, the UN called on Myanmar’s security forces to respect people’s right to protest peacefully.

“The use of disproportionate force against demonstrators is unacceptable,” said UN representative in Myanmar Ola Almgren.

Photo by mohigan, CC BY-SA 4.0