Myanmar teachers, students join growing resistance against military after coup
Demonstrators shouted slogans in support of Aung San Suu Kyi and marched with red flags, the colour of the National League for Democracy.
Many teachers and students in Myanmar have joined the civil disobedience movement, days after the military coup in the country, reported BBC. Aung San Suu Kyi and various politicians of the National League for Democracy were detained during the takeover on Monday.
Demonstrators at Dagon University in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, on Friday shouted slogans in support of Suu Kyi and wore ribbons to express solidarity with her. They were seen displaying a three-finger salute – a sign adopted by protesters in the region to show their opposition to authoritarian rule.
“As a citizen, I cannot accept this military coup at all,” lecturer Win Win Maw told AFP. “We have to resist this dictatorship.”
The students marched around the campus, carrying red flags, which is the colour of the National League for Democracy. “We will not let our generation suffer under this kind of military dictatorship,” said Min Sithu, a student.
The protest came after the police arrested Win Htein, an aide of Suu Kyi. Ahead of his arrest, Win Htein told the media the military coup was “not wise”, and called on people to “oppose as much as they can”.
Following the coup, activists in Myanmar had called for civil disobedience. “The civil disobedience is one of the tactics that the young people in Myanmar are now launching a campaign across the whole country,” Yangon Youth Network founder Thinzar Shunlei said. “They’re calling for action especially from the civil servants, to stop working for the government, for the military junta.”
On Tuesday, scores of people in Yangon honked car horns and banged on pots and pans as a part of public resistance to the coup. “Beating a drum in Myanmar culture is like we are kicking out the devils,” said one of the participants, who declined to give his name for fear of reprisals.
UNSC expresses ‘deep concern’ over coup
The United Nations Security Council on Thursday expressed “deep concern” over the military coup and called for the release of all the detainees, including Suu Kyi. The statement, however, did not condemn the coup as it was reportedly written in the first draft during an emergency meeting on Tuesday.
Diplomats told AFP that China and Russia, who wields veto powers and are main supporters of Myanmar at the UN, had asked for more time to finesse the council’s response. The statement issued on Thursday also supported returning to the democratic process in Myanmar.
Beijing, which has taken a soft approach to the coup, has called for all parties in Myanmar to “resolve their differences”. The state-run Xinhua news agency had on Monday called the coup a “major cabinet reshuffle.”
Suu Kyi, 75, had come to power in a landslide victory, winning 83% of available seats in the November 2015 election that many saw as a referendum to her civilian government. This was the second election since the end of military rule in Myanmar in 2011.
The National League for Democracy had also won the November 2020 elections but the military leaders discredited the results with unfounded claims of fraud. The country’s military has disputed the results of the elections from the beginning.
The military’s electoral proxy, the Union Solidarity and Development Party, demanded for a new supervised election. Last week, General Min Aung Hlaing had threatened to abolish the country’s Constitution.
Myanmar’s Election Commission has rejected the military’s allegations of vote fraud, saying there were no errors big enough to affect the credibility of polls.