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Myanmar protesters paint anti-coup slogans on Easter eggs

| Myanmar


In the latest in a series of impromptu shows of defiance, messages including “Spring revolution”, “We must win” and “Get out MAH” – referring to the junta’s leader, Gen Min Aung Hlaing – were written on eggs.

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“Easter is all about the future and the people of Myanmar have a great future in a federal democracy,” Dr Sasa, an international envoy for the ousted civilian government, said in a statement. Sasa, who uses only one name, is a member of a largely Christian ethnic minority in the predominantly Buddhist country.

The campaign against the ousting of the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi has included protests, a civil disobedience campaign of strikes and quirky acts of rebellion that have spread on social media.

Young people in the main city, Yangon, handed out eggs bearing the messages of protest, pictures in social media posts showed.

Crowds have come on to the streets day and night, despite a bloody crackdown and roundups of activist leaders, to reject the return of military rule after a decade of tentative steps towards democracy.

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), an activist group monitoring casualties and arrests, said the toll of dead had risen to 557 as of late Saturday.

A person makes the three-finger salute beside a bowl of eggs decorated with messages in support of protesters in Yangon
A person makes the three-finger salute beside a bowl of eggs decorated with messages in support of protesters in Yangon. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

In the capital, Naypyitaw, two men were killed when police fired on protesters on motorbikes, the Irrawaddy news site reported. One man was killed earlier in the northern town of Bhamo, the Myanmar Now news outlet said.

A social media user later posted pictures of what appeared to be a female medic lying wounded and unattended on a street after curfew in the second city, Mandalay, following a protest there.

Police and a spokesperson for the junta did not answer phone calls seeking comment.

A huge crowd, including many women in straw hats, streamed through the central town of Taze chanting slogans, pictures from DVB TV News showed. Crowds were also out in other towns.

The AAPP said 2,658 people were in detention, including four women and a man who spoke to a visiting CNN crew in interviews on the streets of Yangon last week.

A spokesperson for CNN said the network was aware of reports of detentions following the team’s visit and was pressing the authorities for information.

In a leaked clip from a CNN interview with the junta’s spokesperson, Zaw Min Tun, CNN asked what Aung San Suu Kyi’s father, the hero of Myanmar’s independence, Gen Aung San, would think if he could see the state of the country now. “He would say ‘my daughter, you are such a fool’,” Zaw Min Tun responded.

The clip, which has yet to be aired by the broadcaster, was filmed by an unknown person present during the interview and has gone viral in the country.

The junta, struggling to end the protests, has intensified a campaign to stifle criticism, ordering internet providers to cut wireless broadband, which most people use for internet access.

It has also announced arrest warrants for nearly 60 celebrities known for opposition to the coup, including social media influencers, models and a hip-hop star, under a law against inciting dissent in the armed forces.

Protesters in Taunggyi hold up Easter eggs and make the three-finger salute during a demonstration against the military coup.
Protesters in Taunggyi hold up Easter eggs and make the three-finger salute during a demonstration against the military coup. Photograph: Anonymous/AFP/Getty Images

The charges, announced on state television news bulletins over the past three days, can carry a three-year prison term.

The military ruled the former British colony with an iron fist after seizing power in 1962, until it began withdrawing from politics a decade ago, releasing Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest and allowing an election that her party swept in 2015.

Myanmar coup: at least two protesters shot dead by riot police(Opens in a new browser tab)

It says it had to oust Aung San Suu Kyi’s government because a November election, again won easily by her party, was rigged. The election commission said the voting was fair. The military has promised a new election but has not set a date.

Aung San Suu Kyi is in detention facing charges that could bring 14 years in prison. Her lawyer says the charges are trumped up.

Ethnic minority forces that have been battling for autonomy for decades have mostly thrown their support behind the pro-democracy movement, raising fears of growing conflict and chaos.

The Karen National Union, which signed a ceasefire in 2012, has seen the first military airstrikes on its forces in more than 20 years, sending thousands of refugees into Thailand. Fighting has also flared in the north between the army and ethnic Kachin insurgents.

Aung San Suu Kyi’s party has vowed to set up a federal democracy, the minority groups’ main demand.


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