By TNR Special Correspondent
AT around 8.30 p.m. tonight (Feb. 3) in Yangon (9 p.m. in Thailand) a defending demonstration took place on one of main streets with the protesters breaking the curfew that started half an hour earlier at 8 p.m.
TNR’s special correspondent based in the Myanmar capital saw with his own eyes that people were shouting and banging on anything they can get their hands on, playing loud music, making their displeasure known to the junta for having stage a coup on Monday.
Meanwhile Channel NewsAsia published a Reuters report earlier today that Myanmar medics have launched a campaign of civil disobedience against the military.
“Dictatorship must fail,” read the writing on the back of one Myanmar doctor’s hazmat suit in a statement of defiance against Monday’s (Feb 1) military coup.
Other medics in at least 20 government hospitals have joined this campaign of civil disobedience against the generals who overthrew elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Monday and cut short a tentative transition to democracy.
Doctors threatened to stop work even with coronavirus infections still rising steadily in the country of 54 million.
“We cannot accept dictators and an unelected government,” Myo Thet Oo, a doctor participating in the campaign, told Reuters from the northeastern town of Lashio.
“They can arrest us anytime. We have decided to face it … All of us have decided not to go to the hospital.”
Reuters was unable to contact Myanmar’s new army government for comment on the doctors’ boycott and the broader signs of spreading dissent.
Anger against the military surged on social media, with a swathe of Facebook users in a country where it is the main platform changing profile pictures to portraits of Suu Kyi or the red colour of her National League for Democracy party.
One of Myanmar’s biggest youth groups and its federation of student unions called for civil disobedience campaigns along with the doctors from across the country – including a 1,000-bed hospital in the capital Naypyidaw.
“That is inspiring,” activist Thinzar Shunlei Yi told Reuters of the civil disobedience campaign, whose new Facebook page already had more than 112,000 likes.
The military also had its supporters, winning backing from the Young Men’s Buddhist Association in the Buddhist majority country. Hundreds of people rallied in the centre of the main city, Yangon, to support coup leader Min Aung Hlaing.
While the anti-coup doctors voiced dissent, supporters of the army on social media posted an old picture showing the uniformed Myanmar Military Medical Corps Covid-19 response team holding up a banner that said “We Are Ready”.
“We would rather die, than get treatment from the military,” some people posted in response.
Top: Myanmar’s military checkpoint is seen on the way to the congress compound in Naypyitaw, Myanmar on Feb 1, 2021. Photo: Reuters/Stringer and published by CNA