Tens of thousands rally against coup in Myanmar
Tens of thousands of demonstrators marched across Myanmar’s largest city on Sunday in protest of the military coup one week ago that removed the democratically elected government led by Aung San Suu Kyi.
As The Associated Press reports, several protests began across Yangon and converged at the center of the city around the Sule Pagoda. Protesters were reportedly shouting “Long live Mother Suu” and “Down with military dictatorship.”
As the AP notes, the Sule Pagoda has served as a meeting point for pro-democracy protests such as those in 1988 and 2007, which were both met with deadly force from the military.
Soldiers have so far been absent from the current protests, according to the news service, though riot police have responded.
One group of 2,000 labor union and student activists reportedly gathered at a major intersection near Yangon University, causing traffic delays. However, drivers honked their horns in support of the protesters.
The widespread internet blackout that were ordered by the country’s military junta the day before were also reversed on Sunday, according to the AP. Netblocks, a U.K. service that tracks internet shutdowns, told the news service that although the internet has been partially restored, social media remains blocked.
A massive protest took place on Saturday with demonstrators denouncing the government takeover and demanding the release of Suu Kyi. The National League for Democracy, the party led by Suu Kyi, won a landslide victory in November, an outcome the military claims was affected by fraud. These claims have not been supported by international observers.
Pope Francis on Sunday also expressed “solidarity” with the Myanmar people.
“In this very delicate moment, I want to again assure my spiritual closeness, my prayers and my solidarity with the people of Myanmar,” the pope said.
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