Martial law declared in parts of Myanmar

WION Web Team
Yangon, MyanmarUpdated: Feb 08, 2021, 06:10 PM IST


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Under the law, people are banned from protesting or gathering in groups of more than five. Additionally, a curfew will run from 8 pm until 4 am.

Martial law was declared on Monday in seven townships in Myanmar's second biggest city, Mandalay.

Under the law, people are banned from protesting or gathering in groups of more than five. Additionally, a curfew will run from 8 pm until 4 am, the general administration department said in a statement.

Tens of thousands of people joined a third day of street demonstrations in towns and cities across the country to denounce the military for its seizure of power last Monday. People have also been protesting on the streets against the arrest of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Earlier in the day, Myanmar police warned protesters to disperse or face force shortly after state television signalled impending action to stifle mass demonstrations.

In the capital Naypyitaw, three lines of police in riot gear could be seen across a road as protesters chanted anti-coup slogans and told police they should serve the people not the military.

Police placed a sign in the road saying that live ammunition could be used if demonstrators breached the third line of officers.

Calls to join protests and to back a campaign of civil disobedience have grown louder and more organised since the coup, which drew widespread international condemnation.

In Yangon, a group of saffron-robed monks, who have a history of rallying community action in the overwhelmingly Buddhist country, marched in the vanguard of protests with workers and students. They flew multicoloured Buddhist flags alongside red banners in the colour of Suu Kyi`s National league for Democracy (NLD), which won a landslide election in November.

The protests are the biggest since the "Saffron Revolution" led by monks in 2007, which led over subsequent years to the military`s gradual withdrawal from politics after decades of direct rule, a process brought to a jarring halt by the February 1 coup.

The government lifted a day-long internet ban at the weekend. The block had prompted even more anger in a country fearful of returning to the isolation and poverty before the transition to democracy began in 2011.

Suu Kyi won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for campaigning for democracy and spent nearly 15 years under house arrest as she struggled to end almost half a century of army rule.

The 75-year-old has been kept incommunicado since army chief General Min Aung Hlaing seized power in the early hours of February 1 to counter what the military said was widespread fraud in the Nov. 8 election. The election commission rejected complaints of fraud.

Suu Kyi faces charges of illegally importing six walkie-talkies and is being held in police detention until February 15. Her lawyer said he has not been allowed to see her.

The daughter of the former British colony’s independence hero Aung San, Suu Kyi remains hugely popular at home despite damage to her international reputation over the plight of the Muslim Rohingya minority.