For the ninth day in a row, tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in Myanmar in protest against the military takeover at the beginning of this month. In some cities such as Myitkina in the north and the largest city of the country Yangon has been shot at the demonstrates. People ran in all directions in panic.
It is unclear whether or not they have been killed or injured. Journalists reporting on the disturbances would have been apprehended.
‘Land on black’
In the country‘s largest cities, including the former capital Yangon, army vehicles drove into the city during the evening. It is reported that the internet in the country is shut down during the night.
“ The country goes black, that is a very bad omen,” says journalist and Myanmar expert Minka Nijhuis to Nieuwsuur. “A lot of people have already been arrested and gone off the radar.”
Nijhuis wrote three books about Myanmar and came there regularly. “From prominent figures who have joined the protesters, I get reports that they have been hiding.”
The American Embassy in Myanmar has called on American citizens to hide from the violence. Ambassadors from thirteen most Western countries, plus the European Union, have called on those in power in Myanmar to refrain from violence against protesters and citizens. They also condemned the arrest of political leaders in a statement.
“ We support the people of Myanmar in their search for democracy, freedom, peace and progress. The world is watching.”
“Anger is enormous.”
Part of the violence is provoked by criminals released by the regime last week, hears Nijhuis. Violence hardly comes from demonstrators. “The word insurrection is in its place in terms of magnitude. But it is peaceful on the part of the protesters.”
More and more groups are joining the protest. Nijhuis: “People I’ve known for years now go out to the streets every day. The anger is enormous. Logically, with the coup and the arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi, their free elections were diminished.”