Growing protests against Myanmar coup | Daily News

Growing protests against Myanmar coup

Women sitting in the back of a car hold up the three finger salute during a demonstration against the military coup in Yangon on Sunday. - AFP
Women sitting in the back of a car hold up the three finger salute during a demonstration against the military coup in Yangon on Sunday. - AFP

MYANMAR: Tens of thousands of anti-coup protesters in Myanmar poured back on to the streets Sunday, as an internet blackout failed to stifle growing outrage at the military's ouster of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The fresh rally followed large protests on Saturday across the country condemning the coup that brought a 10-year experiment with democracy to a crashing halt.

Backed by a din of car horns, tens of thousands of chanting protesters in Yangon held up banners saying "Justice for Myanmar" and "We do not want military dictatorship", while others waved the signature red flags of Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) party.

In Yangon, many also flashed the three-finger salute inspired by the "Hunger Games" films, which became a symbol of resistance during the pro-democracy protests in Thailand last year.

Around 300 people gathered at the United Nations office in Bangkok Sunday to protest against the coup, prompting Thai authorities to deploy riot police though there was no clash.

On Sunday, live Facebook video feeds showed the Yangon protesters as they marched through the streets. It was not immediately clear how they bypassed the government block.

The military had widened its efforts to quell organised dissent on Friday when it demanded new blocks on other social media services including Twitter.

Monitoring group Netblocks said Sunday that Myanmar "remains in the midst of a nation-scale internet blackout", with connectivity at 14 percent of usual levels.

Rumours that Suu Kyi had been released triggered brief but raucous street celebrations among her supporters on Saturday, before they were denied by her lawyer who said she remained in detention.

An immensely popular figure despite a tarnished reputation in the West, Suu Kyi has not been seen in public since the coup, but a party spokesman said Friday she was "in good health".

Two days after the coup, criminal charges were filed against her related to the illegal import of a set of walkie-talkies.

- AFP