In a rare show of anger, people in Myanmar have started protest against Monday’s military coup, with the residents of Yangon banging pots and pans and honking car horns. The country remained under military rule for around six decades until 2011.
And they were joined by the doctors and other staff of hospitals as calls for civil disobedience grow. Staff at 70 hospitals and medical departments in 30 towns across Myanmar stopped work in protest against the coup.
Meanwhile, the police have registered a case against ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi despite calls from home and abroad for her release. She has been accused of illegally importing communications equipment and she will be detained until Feb. 15 for investigations.
However, the military appears firmly in control, as it released more than 100 lawmakers confined to their homes in the capital, Nay Pyi Taw.
The protest in Yangon was initially planned for just a few minutes, but extended to more than a quarter hour. Shouts could be heard wishing detained leader Suu Kyi good health and calling for freedom.
The country was calm till the Tuesday evening, with troops patrolling all major cities and a night-time curfew in force. But as night fell, car horns and the banging of pots could be heard in the streets of Yangon in a sign of protest.
Youth and student groups also called for civil disobedience campaigns, and a Facebook page for the campaign gained over 100,000 likes.
“Beating a drum in Myanmar culture is like we are kicking out the devils,” said a participant.
Several pro-democracy groups had asked people to make noise at 8pm to show their opposition to the coup.
The military staged a coup in the early hours of Monday and declared a year-long state of emergency after accusing Suu Kyi’s NLD party of fraud in November 8 elections.
The party urged the military to accept the results of the election, which saw the NLD win more than 80 percent of the votes.
However, the military has appointed a new election commission as the previous commission found no evidence of election fraud.
Meanwhile, in the first meeting of the cabinet, army commander Min Aung Hlaing repeated that the takeover had been “inevitable” because of fraud.
The Group of Seven largest developed economies G7 condemned the coup and said the election result must be respected.
Myanmar was ruled by the armed forces until 2011, when a civilian government was sworn in with most of the authority resting with the army.