Vast numbers of people all over Myanmar have flouted orders against demonstrations to march again in protest at the military takeover that ousted the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi.
Large demonstrations were held in the major cities of Yangon, Mandalay and the capital, Naypyitaw, as well as in far-flung areas dominated by ethnic minorities.
Protesters in Yangon again rallied outside the Chinese and US embassies. They accuse Beijing of propping up the military regime and applaud Washington’s actions sanctioning the military.
Civil servants have been very active in the protests, and social media postings on Sunday indicated that state railway workers have joined them, with some unconfirmed claims that they have gone on strike.
Tens of thousands of people keep protesting against the military coup and junta's council today in front of the U. S. Embassy in Yangon. They have also demanded the U. S. to continue supporting Myanmar people against the military dictatorship. pic.twitter.com/i2HbvYJRhb
— Myanmar Now (@Myanmar_Now_Eng) February 14, 2021
The military seized power on February 1, detaining Ms Suu Kyi and members of her government and preventing recently elected lawmakers from opening a new session of Parliament.
The junta, led by Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, said it was forced to step in because the government failed to properly investigate allegations of fraud in last year’s election, which Ms Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party won in a landslide.
The state election commission refuted that contention, saying there is no evidence to support it.
Eight days of street demonstrations are estimated to have drawn hundreds of thousands of people to the streets despite the threat of six months’ imprisonment for violating an order banning gatherings of five or more people. The same order imposes an 8pm to 4am curfew.
Police have used rubber bullets to try to break up some demonstrations. A 19-year-old woman who was shot in the head with what experts said was live ammunition is not expected to recover.
We, people of Myanmar, urge and call on UN, US and International Allies to take immediate military intervention on Myanmar, terminate the coup, take the Juntas to court and resume the democratic transition of Myanmar under elected government.#WhatsHappeningInMyanmar #Feb14Coup pic.twitter.com/8VxY1MxbB5
— Christopher Phoenix💛💛 (@Christo56767398) February 14, 2021
Public concern is also rising at what many charge is the military’s manipulation of criminals released from prison to carry out violence and instil panic.
The government last week declared an amnesty that led to the release of more than 23,000 convicts. There are many claims on social media that some have been recruited by the authorities to carry out violent activities at night.
There was already outrage at nighttime raids during the curfew period in which security personnel have tried to seize people from their homes.
In several cases, neighbours and others people rushed to the scene in such numbers that security forces abandoned their attempts to haul in their targets.
Videos of such raids were widely posted on social media.
The independent Assistance Association for Political Prisoners says 384 people have been detained since the coup, with 360 still being held.
Ms Suu Kyi remains under house arrest, but a remand order holding her on a minor charge of possessing unregistered imported walkie-talkies expires on Monday.