In Myanmar, residents with a major civil disobedience campaign are trying to express their dissatisfaction with the military coup that was committed there. Employees of at least 70 hospitals, including in the capital Naypyidaw and Yangon, have done the job because they do not want to obey the military rulers.
“ We refuse any assignment of this unlawful military regime, which has shown nothing to care about our weak patients,” says the Civil Disobedience Movement. The organisation accuses the army of having put its own interests above those of ordinary citizens during the coronapandemic.
In private clinics and at home, some care is still provided. Similarly, emergency care in hospitals does not appear to have been completely shut down.
Aung San Suu Kyi sued
The movement, which has received more than 150,000 followers on Facebook in the last 24 hours, says not to stop until the legally elected government has returned. The army seized power on Sunday after months of tensions following the November parliamentary elections, which won the National League for Democracy (NLD) of Nobel Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi with force majeure.
The 75-year-old Suu Kyi is, as far as known, grounded and has now been charged. Police have found walkie-talkies in Suu Kyi‘s home that were allegedly imported illegally, according to a police report that has been seen by international media.
President Win Myint has also been charged with violating the disaster response laws. He and his wife would have traveled more than is allowed in connection with the coronavirus. Suu Kyi and the president will remain in prison until February 15.
In Yangon, there was a noise protest last night. “That was quite loud, with all spoons on pans”, said Dutch ambassador Anneke Luwema in the CCEit Radio 1 Journal. “People want to make it clear in a peaceful way that they disagree with the developments that are taking place now.” In connection with the curfew in the country, most people beat pots and pans at home or on their balcony.
The beating with the pots and pans looked like this:
She says that the seizure of power came completely unexpected for many people, since Suu Kyi’s party had received about 80 percent of the votes. “Everyone actually voted for that, and then there will be a coup d‘état by the army, by a party that has not actually been voted for. Yes, I think there is tremendous defeat.”
Student and youth movements have also joined the movement. The ambassador sees that this group has been very upset. “Many young people have already said: ‘We are going back years. We were working on a not always easy transition to democracy, and that has now been abruptly broken down. ‘ The question is: are we going back to the dark days of the military regime?”
Rejection of UN Security Council blocked
A crisis team has been set up at the embassy, which monitors and highlights all developments. Luwema: “We have a lot of contact with our EU colleagues, with colleagues from various UN organisations, and with our local partners to report the situation to The Hague as best as possible.” Contact with the military, the NLD or Aung San Suu Kyi hasn’t been there yet.
Meanwhile, many countries, including the Netherlands, sound a strong rejection of the coup and a call for sanctions. Last night, an attempt at a unanimous condemnation of the coup d‘état by the United Nations Security Council was stranded. China and Russia blocked a statement to that effect. The G7 countries (Germany, France, Italy, the UK, USA, Canada, Japan and the European Union) shared their concerns this morning.
The Dutch embassy thinks that there are still about a hundred Dutch people in the country, considerably less than before the global outbreak of the coronavirus. According to Luwema, it is mainly people who have been working in Myanmar for a long time. She assists them with information, for example when the Internet is down, like yesterday. Dutch people who are still in the country are called upon to register so that the embassy can keep in touch with them.
Picture of the coup d’état was unintentionally captured by a fitness instructor: