Protesters continue to defy military rulers in Myanmar

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Protesters Continue To Defy Military Rulers In Myanmar Protesters Continue To Defy Military Rulers In Myanmar
Young demonstrators flash the three-fingered symbol of resistance during an anti-coup mask strike in Yangon (AP), © AP/Press Association Images
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By Associated Press Reporter

Anti-coup demonstrators in Myanmar, adept at finding themes to tie together protests nationwide, took to the streets on Sunday holding painted eggs in a nod to Easter.

In the biggest city of Yangon, one group marched through the Insein district chanting and singing protest songs and cradling eggs bearing the slogan “Spring Revolution”.

Many of the eggs also bore a drawing of the three-fingered salute, a symbol of resistance to the February 1 coup.


An anti-coup protester raises a decorated Easter egg along with the three-fingered symbol of resistance (AP)

In Mandalay, the country’s second largest city, protesters gathered at dawn on motorbikes to shout their defiance of the power grab that overthrew the democratically elected government.

Myanmar’s military has violently cracked down on protesters and others in opposition, with the latest civilian death toll since the coup at 557, according to the independent Assistance Association for Political Prisoners. More than 2,750 have been detained or sentenced, the group said.

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On Sunday, security forces opened fire on a crowd of protesters in Pyinmana in central Myanmar, killing at least one person, local news outlet Khit Thit Media reported.

Pope Francis, in his Easter Sunday address at St Peter’s Basilica, prayed for the “young people of Myanmar committed to supporting democracy and making their voices heard peacefully, in the knowledge that hatred can be dispelled only by love”.

Sunday’s so-called Easter Egg Strike follows other themed days.


Young demonstrators in Yangon (AP)

They included a Flower Strike, in which protesters laid flowers in public places to honour those killed by security forces, and a Silent Strike, in which people across the country left the streets deserted.

Security forces continued to spread fear among ordinary citizens.

Overnight, a resident of Yangon recorded video of a group of soldiers and police using sling shots to fire stones at the windows of homes, breaking the night’s silence.

At other times, soldiers and police keep up their intimidation at night with raids on neighbourhoods, during which they shout abuse, shoot at random, make arrests and vandalise property.

On Saturday, police opened fire killing several protesters in Monywa in central Myanmar and elsewhere.

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With most of the internet access cut or severely restricted by the junta, it is becoming increasingly difficult for people in Myanmar to get images of their plight to the outside world.

After weeks of overnight internet cutoffs, the military on Friday shut all links apart from those using fibreoptic cable, which was working at drastically reduced speeds.

Access to mobile networks and all wireless, the less costly options used by most people in the developing country, remained blocked on Sunday.

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