Myanmar holds nationwide protests against military junta — Radio Free Asia
Burmese citizens, angered by the execution of four democracy activists last week and exhausted by 18 months of military rule, staged rallies across Myanmar, from major cities to regions that have seen the fiercest clashes between People’s Defense Forces and Troops (PDF).
Sunday rallies were held in major cities of Yangon and Mandalay as well as in Sagaing and Thanintharyi areas.
Protesters took vows to fight for democracy, banged pots and honked at cars, while promoting their cause on social media.
Residents said that since public pledge ceremonies were announced in advance, security was tighter than usual in major cities. They also spotted security guards and plainclothes officers.
People were searched and there were a few arrests. According to a member of the Sanga (Buddhist Monk) Union of Mandalay, about 30 Mandalay residents who posted comments on Facebook urging people to participate were arrested by military council forces.
“Some people were arrested after writing messages urging people to participate in activities a day in advance. They were arrested because of military informants like Han Nyein Oo,” he said.
“They prepared ambushes in the night and put up posters on electric poles urging people not to participate,” the monk told RFA. He said the protests were always a success because many people still took part.
Telegram channels supporting the military council campaigned for the arrest and prosecution of those involved in the campaign.
Fight until the junta is defeated
RFA was unable to independently confirm the exact number of people arrested for participating in or inciting people to take the oath of allegiance. Nang Linn, a member of the University Student Force, told RFA that the public pledge was made as a pledge to participate in the anti-dictatorship revolution until the end by people who have suffered since the army took over. took power on February 1, 2021.
“The main thing is that we transform the stubbornness, anger and bitterness that we are experiencing during this anti-regime revolution into a revolutionary spirit, and then we will all march together and fight until we reach the goal of the revolution. Therefore, the public promise was made by people power,” he said.
Nann Linn said the democracy movement shows the power and defiant attitude of people across Myanmar, while respecting the martyred leaders of the movement.
A woman from Pazondaung Township spoke to RFA on condition of anonymity for security reasons. She said she recited the Pledge of Allegiance and banged pots at home because security on the streets was too tight.
“I saw on Facebook that people were planning to recite the vow and bang pots and pans, and cars would be honking. I banged a bowl,” she said. my neighborhood didn’t bang pots Some iron buckets banged and some crashed Jam Jam Jam [cymbals]. Cars honked but people didn’t protest for long,” the woman told RFA.
Residents of war-torn areas of Monywa, Yinmabin and Kani township in Sagaing region and parts of Thanintharyi region also took the oath of allegiance, waving banners saying “Only the Righteous wins”.
Protesters across the country said they would continue marching until the goals of the anti-dictatorship revolution are achieved.