The Southeast Asian country’s top generals led a putsch on February 2021 after five years of tense power-sharing under a quasi-civilian political system created by the military
A street pictured during the “silent strike” to protest in Yangon Wednesday. Pic/AFP
Protesters marked the two-year anniversary of Myanmar’s military coup with a “silent strike” in major cities and rallies overseas on Wednesday, as exiled civilian leaders vowed to end what they called the army’s “illegal power grab”.
The Southeast Asian country’s top generals led a putsch on February 2021 after five years of tense power-sharing under a quasi-civilian political system created by the military. The overthrow of the elected government of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi derailed a decade of reform, international engagement and economic growth, while leaving a trail of upended lives in its wake. Myanmar has been in chaos since the coup, with a resistance movement fighting the military on multiple fronts after a bloody crackdown on opponents that saw Western sanctions re-imposed.
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A military-backed security council was due to issue a statement on Wednesday that could decide whether to extend a state of emergency, ahead of a promised election this year that critics call a sham aimed at retaining power in the country. In the main commercial cities of Yangon and Mandalay, images on social media showed deserted streets in what coup opponents said was a silent protest against the junta. Democracy activists had urged people not to go onto the streets between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.. There was also a rally in Yangon by about 100 supporters of the military, flanked by soldiers, photographs showed.
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