Thousands of people came out in the streets of Myanmar’s Yangon city on Monday morning, as protests continued against a military coup in the country last week that led to the detention of its elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, reported Reuters.
The demonstrations against the coup sparked off over the weekend, as people hit the streets across the country after the military suspended access to social media platforms, leading to a “near total internet shutdown”. On Sunday, huge crowds from all corners of Yangon gathered and headed towards the Sule Pagoda at the heart of the city, Reuters reported. A line of armed police with riot shields set up barricades, but did not try to stop the demonstration.
Backed by a din of car horns, chanting protestors in Yangon held up banners saying “Justice for Myanmar”, while others waved the signature red flags of Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party as they marched to City Hall, AFP reported. Large protests were reported from other cities of the country too.
The demonstrations have largely been peaceful, but shots were heard in the southeastern town of Myawaddy, reported Reuters. A video of uniformed police with guns charging a group of about 200 protesters, was shared on the social media.
The coup on February 1 followed the landslide victory of National League for Democracy and Suu Kyi in national elections in November, with the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party faring poorly in its key strongholds. The country’s military refused to accept the government, citing unsubstantiated allegations of fraud. It was also announced that the coup was the result of the government’s failure to delay the November election despite the outbreak of the coronavirus.