Myanmar coup protesters mass again, reject army’s claim it has public support
Tens of thousands of protesters, including show-business celebrities, on Wednesday rejected the Myanmar army’s assertion that the public supported its overthrow of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and said their campaign would not burn out.
Opponents of the Feb. 1 military coup are deeply sceptical of junta assurances, given at a news conference on Tuesday, that there would be a fair election and it would hand over power, even as police filed an additional charge against Suu Kyi.
The Nobel Peace laureate, detained since the coup, now faces a charge of violating a Natural Disaster Management Law as well as charges of illegally importing six walkie talkie radios. Her next hearing is set for March 1.
“We’re showing here that we’re not in that 40 million they announced,” Sithu Maung, an elected member of Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) told a cheering sea of people at the Sule Pagoda, a central protest site in the main city of Yangon.
Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun, spokesman for the ruling council, told the Tuesday news conference that 40 million of the 53 million population supported the military’s action.
The army alleges there was fraud in a Nov. 8 election that was swept by Suu Kyi’s party as widely expected, and its seizure of power was in line with the constitution and it remained committed to democracy.
A protester who gave her name as Khin was scornful.
“They said there was vote fraud but look at the people here,” said Khin.
The coup that cut short the Southeast Asian country’s unsteady transition towards democracy has prompted daily demonstrations since Feb. 6…..read more