On the second day of the protest, crowds in Myanmar’s largest city of Yangon were dressed in red shirts, carrying red flags and red balloons, the color of Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy Party (NLD).
On Sunday afternoon, authorities ended a day-long internet blockade, which has sparked further anger since last Monday’s coup, which has attracted international attention, according to Reuters.
Crowds from all over Yangon’s nooks toward the Sule Pagoda in the city center were also a gathering point during 2007 protests led by Buddhist monks and other protests in 1988.
With no internet and official information scarce, rumors have spread around the fate of Ms. Suu Kyi and her cabinet. State adviser Suu Kyi, 75, faces charges of illegally importing six radios and is under police detention for investigation until Feb. 15. Her lawyer said he was not allowed to see her.
The military government in the capital Naypyitaw, more than 350 kilometers north of Yangon, has not made any comment.
An internal record for UN staff estimated that 1,000 people took part in the protest in Naypyidaw while there were 60,000 protesters in Yangon. Protests also broke out in Mandalay’s second-largest city and in towns across the country with a population of 53 million.
The protests are largely peaceful, unlike in 1998 and 2007.
But gunshots were heard in the town of Myawaddy, in the southeast, when uniformed police with guns suppressed a group of several hundred protesters. No casualties have been reported.
Myanmar has changed markedly in the past several years since the military ceased to power the last time, society became more open, foreign investment, and a growing middle class. For example, SIM cards that used to cost $ 1,000 a decade ago are cheap and popular, and people have quickly turned to the internet with social networking sites like Facebook.
The military justified the takeover of power by accusing election fraud that was common in the November 2020 general election, giving Suu Kyi’s party an overwhelming victory and shattering hope. with some military figures that an opposition party they support can take power by vote.
But according to analysts, a simpler explanation is that the coup is motivated by the power and personal ambitions of a military commander who feels he is losing control and respect.
“This is a confrontation between two people who are not allowed to be president but both want to hold that position: Aung San Suu Kyi and the commander in chief of the army (General Min Aung Hlaing-PV). And he puts his personal ambitions above those of the military and the interests of the country, ”said Richard Horsey, an analyst in Yangon. CNN.