Myanmar begins general strike as junta warns protesters can 'suffer loss of life'
Myanmar begins a nationwide general strike and thousands of protesters take to the streets across the country despite a curfew and a chilling warning by the military junta that anti-coup protesters will “suffer the loss of life.”
“Protesters are now inciting the people, especially emotional teenagers and youths, to a confrontation path where they will suffer the loss of life,” the military said in a statement on state-run broadcaster MRTV on Sunday.
According to Press TV, the statement, read out in Burmese with text of the English version on the screen, cautioned protesters against inciting "riot and anarchy."
In the deadliest weekend since the February 1 coup, two protesters were killed on Sunday when security forces fired on a demonstration rally in the capitol. The protesters had gathered for the funeral of a woman who was shot in the head earlier this month and succumbed to her injuries on Friday.
On Saturday, two more protesters were killed when police opened fire in the city of Mandalay.
The civil disobedience movement calling for the restoration of the country’s elected government and release of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi is gaining momentum across the country.
Despite the heavy security presence in cities, including police and military trucks on the roads, the angry protesters appear to be largely undeterred by the harsh warnings by the junta, which also ordered internet access to be curbed overnight.
On Monday, protesters took to streets of Naypyidaw on motorbikes while thousands of anti-junta demonstrators gathered in two neighborhoods of Yangon, Myanmar's biggest city and commercial hub.
“We came out today to join in the protest, to fight until we win,” said Kyaw Kyaw, a 23-year-old university student.
In the Bahan township area, demonstrators sat on a stretch of road and created a sea of yellow and red banners in support of Suu Kyi, who according the media reports is being held under house arrest.
Similar protests have been planned in Myitkyina and Dawei.