State of siege in major cities Myanmar after mass protests

The Myanmar authorities have declared martial law after mass protests in several places. According to local authorities, it is Yangon and Mandalay, the countrys two largest cities. People are not allowed to gather there in groups of more than five people and a curfew is being put in place.

The emergency measure follows large-scale protests against last weeks coup détat. Then the army arrested the actual head of government Aung San Suu Kyi and prominent members of its National League for Democracy (NLD). He won convincingly from a party affiliated with the armed forces in last years elections. The army says its been fraudulent and promises to hold new elections.

Many Myanmar people do not settle for this and go out into the streets. There were tens of thousands of demonstrators on Monday. Activists use social media to organize protests. They want the army to release Suu Kyi and other leaders, acknowledge the election results and withdraw from politics.

So far, the military have not used lethal force against demonstrators. However, the police used a water cannon against protesters in capital Naypyidaw, where Suu Kyi was allegedly detained. Thousands of people had gone out to the streets. In Mandalay, citizens took to the streets with pictures of Suu Kyi and the red gusts of her political party.

The generals have dominated Myanmar politics for about half a century. The country has taken steps towards greater democracy over the past decade. Nobel Prize winner Suu Kyi was able to participate in the elections with her NLD party and won it repeatedly. Protesters do not accept that the generals now turn back the clock.

We want to be the last generation to live under military rule in Myanmar, said a 45-year-old shopkeeper. This is not a battle between the NLD and the army. This is a struggle between democracy and dictatorship.