Pro-democracy activists stage protests across Myanmar to mark Martyrs’ Day
Demonstrations opposing the military junta’s coup have been held across Myanmar to mark the Martyrs’ Day public holiday, as activists remember the fallen heroes who fought for the country’s independence.
Footage circulating on social media showed multiple protests breaking out throughout the country, as individuals commemorated dead independence figures by staging pro-democracy demonstrations.
— Saw Sandy Swe (@sandy_swe) July 19, 2021
Just west of Myanmar’s second-largest city Mandalay, a march took place, declaring that “Martyrs never die” and promising to “wash our feet with the blood of war dogs,” as protesters referenced the current military control while showing respect for individuals on Martyrs’ Day.
Martyrs’ Day, held on July 19 each year, remembers General Aung San, the father of jailed leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and seven other Myanmar independence leaders who were killed in Yangon in 1947 at the hands of a group of armed men. After Myanmar secured independence, the nation’s first prime minister, U Nu, designated it Martyrs’ Day a national holiday.
In a Yangon township, protesters were heard on video chanting “Eradicate Fascist Military” and demanding the “overthrow” of the military rule imposed after the junta seized power earlier this year. Elsewhere in the area, drivers were heard honking their horns at 10:37am local time (5:37am GMT), a time traditionally used to mark the deaths of figures from the country’s independence movement.
Protesters on Insein Road in Yangon protested against the dictatorship, screaming slogans, “Eradicate Fascist Military and overthrow dictator” (video)
MYANMAR MARTYRS’ DAY #HonorTheFallenHeroes#July19Coup #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar pic.twitter.com/V96jL3MC0g
— nayhtet_Y🕷️ (@nainghtetwai11) July 19, 2021
An anti-military protest occurred in Laung Lone despite the rainy weather, with activists holding signs opposing the junta and a red flag, a symbol that has been used by pro-democracy individuals.
An anti-military protest took place on July 19 in #Wa_Byaw Village, Laung Lone Township.
— yun (@ymay614) July 19, 2021
Meanwhile, striking university students took to the streets of Chanmyathazi calling for an end to “military dictatorship” on the public holiday.
People of ChanMyaTharSi demonstrated a coalition strike with cooperative university students against military dictatorship today of MYANMAR MARTYRS’ DAY. #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar #July19Coup #HonorTheFallenHeroes pic.twitter.com/CjMeFzENA5
— CtrlN (@Naing3001) July 19, 2021
Since the coup on February 1st, clashes between protesters and armed forces have resulted in hundreds of fatalities, as well as the arrest of multiple activists and political figures, including the democratically elected leader Suu Kyi.
Suu Kyi is currently on trial in Myanmar over charges of breaching the Official Secrets Act and allegations that she illegal imported walkie-talkie radios and violated Covid restrictions. While Suu Kyi’s legal team claim the charges are politically motivated, the military junta have argued that she engaged in seditious behavior.
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The military seized power from the democratically elected government in February after the junta claimed that the November election which saw Suu Kyi’s party secure power was marred with voter fraud, a claim international poll watchers have rejected.
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Source:RT World News