Pro-democracy protesters took to the streets of Myanmar on Monday (15), but in small numbers after the armed forces announced the deployment of troops and armored vehicles to quell the protests.
These acts, which reach the 12th consecutive day, call for an end to the military regime established in the February 1 coup, as well as the release of deposed civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners.
“It is a battle for our future, for the future of our country,” activist Esther Ze Naw said during a demonstration in Rangoon, the country’s largest city. “We don’t want to live under a military dictatorship. We want to establish a true federative union, where all citizens and all ethnic groups are treated on an equal footing.
At least two people were injured in clashes with security forces on Monday in the city of Mandalay. In the capital, Naypyitaw, dozens of people were arrested, including at least 20 students.
There were internet blocks during the night, but the connection had been restored in the morning. In recent weeks, the army has ordered the temporary blocking of social networks to ensure the “stability” of the country.
In addition to street protests, citizens of Myanmar staged civil disobedience campaigns, as well as strike calls among officials linked to the government before the coup.
The general at the head of the military junta that rules the country, Min Aung Hlaing, returned on Monday to threaten the protesters. “Effective measures will be taken against those who harm the country by committing treason through violence,” he said.
The crisis in the Asian country ended the recent democratic transition after reigniting tensions between the civilian government and the armed forces – which ruled the country between 1962 and 2011 – and raising concerns about a return to the old era of repression.
The military seized power after the National League for Democracy (LND), Suu Kyi’s party and the country’s largest civil society, won the November elections.
The LND, which has ruled the country since 2015, won 83% of the vote and won 396 of 476 seats in parliament in the November elections, but was prevented from taking over when the coup was implemented on the inauguration of the new legislature. The Military-backed Solidarity and Development Union Party won only 33 seats. We are a family business.
The armed forces claim that there was electoral fraud. On taking power, the military declared a state of emergency which is expected to last at least a year until a new election is held.
Myanmar has a violent history of suppressing protests. During the uprising of 1988, more than 3,000 demonstrators were killed by the country’s security forces in acts against the military regime.
CHRONOLOGY OF THE POLITICAL HISTORY OF MYANMAR
1948: Former British colony, Myanmar becomes an independent country 1962: General Ne Win abolishes the Constitution of 1947 and establishes a military regime 1974: Beginning of the first post-independence constitution 1988: The violent repression of demonstrations against the military regime generates international criticism 1990: National League for Democracy (LND), in opposition to the regime, wins the first multiparty election in 30 years and is prevented from coming to power 1991: Aung San Suu Kyi, of the LND, wins the Nobel Prize in peace 1997: US and EU impose sanctions on Myanmar for human rights violations and disrespect for 2008 election results: Assembly approves new Constitution 2011: Thein Sein, retired general, is elected president and the military regime is dissolved 2015: The LND obtains the majority in both houses of Parliament 2016: Htin Kyaw is elected the first civilian president since 1962 coup and Suu Kyi assumes the post of State Councilor, equivalent to that of Prime Minister 2018: Kyaw resigns and Win Myi nt assumes the 2020 presidency: in the legislative elections, the LND receives 83% of the vote and defeats pro-military party 2021: army alleges election fraud, arrests LND leaders, seizes power with new coup