For the third day in a row, many thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets in Myanmar. They demand that the deposed head of government Aung San Suu Kyi be released.
In the capital Naypyidaw, a water cannon has been deployed against the crowd for a short time. Images show that people are being sprayed over.
In the country‘s largest city, the former capital Yangon, Buddhist monks travelled through the streets together with students, teachers and other demonstrators. They wore flags with Buddhist symbols. Other protesters wore the red banners of Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD).
Participants also had signs with them with texts like “Release our leaders, respect our voice” and “We want democracy”. Many activists stuck three fingers in the air, a symbol of protest that emerged earlier in Thailand from the book and film series The Hunger Games. In it it was also a symbol of rebellion.
Calls to support the protest against last week‘s military coup through street demonstrations and civil disobedience swell. Activists have called for a general strike for today, including officials from all departments. Some officials have expressed their support for this.
The strike was summoned by, among others, well-known activist Min Ko Naing, one of the leaders of the protest movement against the then Burmese dictatorship that began in 1988. Together with Aung San Suu Kyi, he is seen as one of the main opponents of the regime of that time.
Biggest protest since 2007
Today’s actions follow massive demonstrations last weekend. At that time, the greatest demonstrations since the Saffron Revolution of 2007 were when non-violent protesters led by Buddhist monks rebelled against the military regime.
So far, protests in the country have been nonviolent as far as we know. As far as we know, violence has at least been used twice by the authorities. Except for the water cannon in Naypyidaw, there are reports of warning shots in the city of Myawaddy.
Last week there were also protests in the city of Yangon: