BANGKOK (AP) – Opposition to Myanmar’s military administration on Friday staged the largest nationally coordinated protest in months, urging people across the country to close their businesses and stay home on International Human Rights Day.
The “silent strike” took place in cities and towns from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ‘ldi. .
On Tuesday, a massacre took place in the northwestern Sagaing region of the country, where soldiers were accused of massacring 11 civilians, whose burnt bodies were later found by villagers. The military-backed government denies the presence of its troops, but is launching an offensive against the military’s constant resistance to the military in northwestern Myanmar.
In Yangon, the country’s largest city, and elsewhere, photos on social media showed generally heavy street congestion on Friday. Typically, crowded markets and squares were quiet a few hours before the official start of the strike, which reaffirmed widespread resistance to military rule and disregard for human rights.
Min Han Htet, co-founder and spokesman for the Yangon Student Union Alliance, said the strike may not make much of a difference on its own.
“But by demonstrating their unity, the coup is a success for a nation waging a psychological war against a military dictatorship,” he said.
Solidarity among the operators of even the smallest shops in Yangon seemed strong, but at least a few seemed to have paid for their disobedience, as in photos posted on social media, devices such as tables and chairs confiscated by security forces.
Since Thursday, the government has announced action against shops that have been closed for no reason in some neighborhoods.
A store vendor at Muse Market in northern Shan State said the official township development committee threatened to take action against closed shops through a loudspeaker on Friday morning.
“They have announced that if we close shops and markets in the city for no reason, we will close our stores for a month. But we don’t care. It’s time to show solidarity, “said the vendor, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation.
As suggested by strike organizers, protesters dressed in black marched quietly in Shvebo in Sagaing province. The family, dressed in black, posted selfies showing small handmade posters in their hands.
“We own our city. Our city, our rules. It is our choice to remain silent or to be active. Never allow us to rule. ”Another read,“ Take back our human rights through revolution. ”
People also raised three fingers at the resistance salute received from the Hunger Games movie series.
According to photos on social media, a pro-military march was held in Yangon at least once, with about 100 protesters holding small flags and placards reading “Fighting Terrorism and Supporting the Military.”