The emergency measure comes in the wake of widespread protests against last week’s coup. The military then arrested de facto Prime Minister Aung San Suu Kyi and prominent members of the National League for Democracy. He convincingly won last year’s elections against a party linked to the armed forces. The military says the order is rigged and promises to hold new elections.
Many Myanmar residents are dissatisfied with it and take to the streets. Tens of thousands of protesters left on Monday. Activists are using social media to organize protests. They want the military to release Suu Kyi and other leaders, recognize the election results and withdraw from politics.
The army has not yet used lethal force against protesters. Police used water cannons against protesters in the capital, Naypyidaw, where Suu Kyi is said to be detained. Thousands took to the streets there. In Mandalay, civilians took to the streets with Suu Kyi’s portraits and red incantations of her political party.
Generals dominated politics in Myanmar for nearly half a century. Over the past ten years, the country has taken steps towards greater democracy. The Nobel Prize winner Suu Kyi was allowed to participate in the elections with the National League for Democracy party and won it again and again. The protesters do not accept that the generals are now turning back the clock any longer.
“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 military. This is a struggle between democracy and dictatorship. “
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