Protests across Myanmar on coup general’s birthday
Bangkok Desk, Jul 3 (EFE).- Thousands of people took to streets across Myanmar to protest the military coup and junta leader General Min Aung Hlaing, who turned 65 years old on Sunday.
In cities of eastern Kayah state, demonstrators carried out a mock funeral of the military leader with coffins and wreaths featuring his photo, with phrases such as “May you not rest in peace” and “May your birthday and deathday be the same,” reported Khit Thit Media.
Elsewhere, such as Mandalay, opponents of the military regime set fire to portraits of the coup leader after marking them with red crosses and stomping on them.
Similar protests have been held across the country in defiance of the military junta that ended Myanmar’s fledgling democracy on Feb. 1 and imprisoned elected leaders, including Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.
Min Aung Hlaing, commander in chief of the military, was due to retire when he turned 65, but the junta he leads annulled the mandatory retirement rule days after taking power.
In the five months since the uprising, the military has not managed to control the country despite its violent repression against dissidents.
At least 888 people have died as a result of the security forces’ crackdown, according to data from the Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners.
Some civilians have taken up arms against the military, tired of the little progress made by the peaceful demonstrations, while the clashes between the armed forces and rebel groups have begun or intensified throughout the country.
The military justifies the coup by alleging fraud in the November election, which Suu Kyi’s party won by a landslide, and which was considered legitimate by international observers. EFE