Myanmar completes a year of return of military rule

WION Web Team
New DelhiUpdated: Feb 01, 2022, 06:59 PM IST

FILE PHOTO: A Myanmar soldier looks on as he stands inside city hall after soldiers occupied the building, in Yangon, Myanmar February 2, 2021 Photograph:(Reuters)

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The military coup in Myanmar on February 1, 2021. was followed by countrywide pro-democracy protests and unrest. The protests were brutally put down by the military regime

People in Myanmar marked one year of the military coup with what were called as 'silent strikes' with streets in the cities nearly deserted. Myanmar's military toppled civillian government led by Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1 last year and seized control of the country which has already seen years of military rule in previous decades.

The United States, Britain and Canada imposed new sanctions on the military and joined other countries in calling for a global halt in arms sales to Myanmar, a year after Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi's elected government was overthrown.

The military coup in Myanmar was followed by countrywide pro-democracy protests and unrest. The protests were brutally put down by the military regime.

Since its bloody suppression of protests in the weeks following the coup, the military has faced armed resistance on multiple fronts in the countryside from groups allied with the ousted government.

On Tuesday, an explosion took placed during a procession of military supporters in the eastern border town of Tachileik, two witnesses told Reuters. The blast killed two people, said one of the witnesses, and wounded more than 30 others.

Junta chief Min Aung Hlaing extended a state of emergency imposed at the time of the coup for a further six months, state media announced on Tuesday, amid threats from "internal and external saboteurs" and "terrorist attacks and destruction".

Activists urged people to stay indoors and businesses to close on Tuesday in a silent show of defiance, despite warnings of arrests, jail and a seizure of businesses.

"We might be arrested and spend our life in jail if we're lucky. We might be tortured and killed if we're unlucky," saidyouth activist Nan Lin.


Images on social media showed quiet streets in various cities including Mandalay, Magway, Myitkyina and Yangon, where pictures on a page put up by strike organisers later showed a small protest at which people threw red paint on the ground.

Pictures on an online portal and Telegram channel supportive of the military showed pro-junta rallies in the central town of Tase, and the capital, Naypyitaw, where thousands attended a rally, some dancing and holding aloft photographs of Min Aung Hlaing, with banners wishing him good health.

State media said the military was striving to hold an election when the country was "peaceful and stable".

(With inputs from agencies)