Pilots, engineers and teachers flooded the streets of Myanmar’s two largest cities Saturday, joining the largest protests since the
Pilots, engineers and teachers flooded the streets of Myanmar’s two largest cities Saturday, joining the largest protests since the military overthrew the pro-democratic government two weeks ago.
Fueling the demonstrations is the heavy-handedness of the army — detaining elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and arresting more and more citizens on what the United Nations calls “dubious grounds,” Reuters reported.
In Yangon, the country’s business nerve center, signs read “Stop kidnapping at night.”
Another banner — “We are preschool teachers, Every child our future, We don’t want dictatorship” — highlighted the growing anger of the country’s white-collar workers, who have shut down airlines, schools and local services.
Across the country, on smartphones and tablets, video of a doctor’s arrest and memes — “Our nights aren’t safe anymore” and “Myanmar military is kidnapping people at night” — played on a loop.
Arrests now stand at more than 350 since the Feb. 1 coup, UN numbers show.
On Friday in Geneva, the UN Human Rights Council called for Suu Kyi’s release and a stop to the arrests and any violence by the soldiers patrolling the streets. A Myanmar diplomat assured international cooperation from his country.
Earlier in the week, the US imposed sanctions on the ruling generals who masterminded the takeover. They maintain they seized power because of voter fraud in a November election, although Myanmar’s electoral commission has dismissed the claims.
The brass didn’t respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.