Demonstrations against the Myanmar military’s coup on Monday is set to take place across the country for a third consecutive day as prominent activists called for a general strike.
Huge crowds flooded the streets of Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, over the weekend to demand an end to the dictatorship that seized power last Monday after arresting the country’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other top government officials.
Hundreds of thousands joined the marches, according to the All Burma Federation of Student Unions.
Marchers held signs that read “May the military dictatorship fall’’ and
“Release Mother Suu immediately.’’
“This is more than a national crisis; our hopes and our future are being stolen,’’ Ei Myat Myat Thwe, a 24-year-old protester, told dpa.
A civil disobedience movement against the new regime gained momentum last week, with civil servants, nurses, engineers, teachers and state television employees among those staging walkouts, resigning, or holding protests at their places of work.
Min Ko Naing, a veteran activist who took part in a 1988 uprising, is among those calling on government employees to walk out of their jobs and join the protests.
Activists hope the strike will disrupt the new regime’s ability to operate.
As rallies continues, many fear the military will respond with violence, recalling ruthless crackdowns against democratic uprisings in 2007 and 1988.
“We’re expecting it,’’ said Ei Myat Myat Thwe. “But if they do we can’t stop. There’s no way out.’’