Protesters returned to the streets of Myanmar’s largest city Yangon on Monday after an overnight blackout of internet as the military junta deployed tanks and more troops.
There was a tense calm due to interne blackout and fears of more arrests as the night fell. However, as the day dawned, there were streams of people moving out on roads in protest.
Monitoring group Netblocks said the blackout continued for eight hours from one o’clock after midnight.
Pro-democracy protesters have been occupying roads since the military coup on February 1 that ousted the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi’s NLD party on unproven charges of election fraud. Her party had won November election in landslide.
Meanwhile, the military has warned anti-coup protesters that they could face up to 20 years in prison if they obstruct the armed forces.
On Monday, more than a dozen police trucks with four water cannon vehicles were deployed near the Sule Pagoda in Yangon, which has been one of the city’s main centres for protest.
Hundreds of engineering students gathered in the north of the city.
Troops in Myitkyina fired tear gas then shot at a crowd who gathered in the northern city to stop a rumoured shutdown of the electricity grid. It is unclear whether police had used rubber bullets or live rounds. There are reports of some injuries.
Media reported that at least five journalists covering the protest had been detained.
The generals are also facing a civil disobedience movement calling on the military to step down and free the civilian leaders.
Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace laureate, has been charged with the illegal possession of walkie-talkies, and was expected in court on Monday.
Her lawyer told reporters that she had been remanded in detention until Wednesday.
Lawyer Khin Maung Zaw told reporters that he is still trying to see her as permissible under the law. Her remand is until Feb 17, he added.
However, Suu Kyi will not be produced in court but appear by video conferencing, he said.
Some 400 people have been arrested since the coup, according to the monitoring group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), which keeps track of the mostly nightly arrests. Of those, 375 people remain in detention.
The UN is urging the generals to allow Special Envoy Christine Schraner Burgener to visit Myanmar and assess the situation.
The United Nations and a number of western countries, including the United States, have condemned the coup, and on Friday the US imposed the first new sanctions on military chief Min Aung Hlaing and other senior generals.
In a statement on Sunday, following reports of shots being fired in the northern state of Kachin and the deployment of armoured vehicles to various cities in Myanmar, United Nations’ Secretary General Antonio Guterres said he was “deeply concerned” about the situation in the country.