Myanmar junta warns of lethal force as huge crowds gather for 'five twos revolution'

The Guardian

A reporter in Yangon and Rebecca Ratcliffe South-east Asia correspondent
Demonstrators protest against the military coup in Mandalay, Myanmar, on Monday. Photograph: Reuters

Protesters have taken to the streets of towns and cities across Myanmar in one of the largest nationwide shows of opposition to the military since it seized power three weeks ago.

Crowds assembled in Yangon, Naypyidaw, Mandalay and elsewhere, despite an apparent threat from the junta that it would again use deadly violence against demonstrators.

Activists had called for mass demonstrations on Monday, which has been referred to as the “five twos revolution”, a reference to the date, 22.2.2021. Protesters have compared the date to 8 August 1988 – or 8.8.88 – when the military responded to pro-democracy rallies with a brutal crackdown, killing and injuring hundreds.

In a broadcast on state-run MRTV on Sunday night, the army said: “Protesters are now inciting the people, especially emotional teenagers and youths, to a confrontation path where they will suffer the loss of life.”

On Monday morning, huge crowds of protesters marched regardless. At Hledan Junction in Yangon, a rallying point for protesters, the crowds were the biggest since the 1 February coup. Some protesters held eugenia leaves, a symbol of victory in Burmese tradition.

Publish : 2021-02-22 13:53:00

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