Yangon: On the second day when the UN special envoy urged the Security Council to listen to the country’s “desperate request” and take swift action to restore democracy, anti-coup demonstrators returned to the streets of Myanmar on Saturday.
Since the government overthrew the civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1, the country has been in turmoil, triggering thousands of infuriating large-scale uprisings that forced them to resume military rule.
Security forces have escalated an increasingly brutal crackdown on demonstrators — killing more than 50 people since the coup — but protesters rallied again on Saturday.
From the dusty roads of northern Lashio — where young protesters stared down police behind homemade shields — to central Loikaw city in view of Myanmar’s eastern mountains, hundreds continued to march for democracy.
“Our revolution must win,” chanted protesters in Loikaw, who included civil servants like teachers in their green and white uniforms.
The country’s vital sectors have been crippled by an ongoing “Civil Disobedience Movement” — a campaign urging civil servants to boycott working under a military regime.
With closed hospitals, vacant ministries’ offices and banks unable to operate, the impact has been felt at every level of the country.
The official media announced on Saturday that if civil servants continue to boycott work, they “will be fired” from now until March 8.
But protesters in the business center of Myanmar continued to ignore the authorities, especially gathering in San Chaung. SanChaung is a once noisy town, where there are cafes, restaurants and bars, now it has become a hot spot for turmoil.
Activist Maung Saungkha said that even if the security forces continue to strengthen their law enforcement strategy, the movement will continue, because many people still remember the repression during the former military government’s rule.
“In our past revolutions, we never won… this time we must fight to win,” he told AFP.
“We must fight together with the younger generation to get victory.”