Tens of thousands protest Myanmar coup despite internet ban
- 07 February 2021
Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Myanmar’s cities on Saturday to denounce this week’s coup and demand the release of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi despite a blockade on the internet by the junta, APA reports quoting Reuters.
In an upwelling of anger in the country’s largest city, Yangon, protesters chanted, “Military dictator, fail, fail; Democracy, win, win” and held banners reading “Against military dictatorship”. Bystanders offered them food and water.
Late in the evening, a rumour of Suu Kyi’s release - quickly denied by her lawyer - triggered noisy street celebrations.
Cheering and letting off firecrackers, residents said the message was shared by the military-run media Myawaddy. But Suu Kyi’s lawyer Khin Maung Zaw denied that the 75-year-old leader had been freed and told Reuters she was still in detention.
Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) won Nov. 8 elections in a landslide, a result the generals have refused to recognise, claiming fraud.
Earlier, thousands marched on Yangon’s City Hall. Drivers honked horns and leaned out of their cars and raised the three-finger salute, a gesture returned by protesters. Some of them held up NLD flags or pictures of Suu Kyi and clapped and danced.
By evening, the protesters had mostly dispersed. But for a fifth night, a cacophony rose in the darkness as people banged on pots, pans and drums in a show of resistance even as power cuts affected many districts of the city.