Conflicts & War

Floral protests held in Myanmar to celebrate Suu Kyi’s birthday

Bangkok, June 19 (EFE).- Thousands of people took to the streets Saturday to protest against the military coup with colorful flowers to mark the 76th birthday of deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest.

Images in the local media and social networking sites showed protesters tucked roses and other flowers into their hair.

Some held them in their hands while others carried cakes during anti-coup demonstrations.

Flowers pinned to a hair bun is a signature style of the Nobel peace laureate, whose elected government military ousted on Feb.1, triggering deadly pro-democracy protests across the country.

Flowers are an intrinsic part of daily life in Myanmar, where Suu Kyi enjoys unparalleled popularity that may have increased since her fresh detention.

She appeared in the dock on Monday, the first day of her trial in a military-controlled court.

The National League for Democracy (NLD) party leader faces allegations of violating coronavirus restrictions during her campaigning for the November 2020 elections that she won with a landslide.

But the military annulled the polls over fraud allegations.

The military also accuses her of taking a bribe from Yangon’s former chief minister, having unlicensed imported telephone devices, and am intent to cause alarm and public unrest.

She faces up to 10 years in prison and disqualification from contesting polls if the court finds her guilty.

She has another trial pending in the Supreme Court for allegedly violating the Official Secrets Act, a crime punishable by up to 14 years in prison.

Her lawyers have denied all the charges against her.

The military rulers led by Gen. Min Aung Hlaing have detained her at an undisclosed location and left her practically incommunicado.

The coup ended a 10-year democratic transition in the Buddhist-majority nation.

It sparked a civil disobedience movement and protests, drawing a brutal military response from the security forces against unarmed pro-democracy protesters, including children.

At least 870 people have died in the months of violence following the coup, figures from the monitoring group Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners show.

The group says that the military rulers have detained more than 5,800 people since the uprising.

The military rulers said they ousted the government following alleged electoral fraud in the elections last November in which Suu Kyi’s party scored a landslide victory, as it did in 2015.

International observers deny the fraud allegations, saying the polls were legitimate. EFE


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