Myanmar protests intensifying; thanks to Internet, rise of young generation: Activist


Tokyo: Lauding the efforts of the Internet and the rise of the young generation, Min Ko Naing, an activist who led a pro-democracy movement in the country in the 1980s said that the protests in Myanmar are growing stronger than the one in 1988, reported NHK World.

He answered questions from NHK by sending back a video. Min Ko Naing also expressed that the current protests will prevail against the military and showed confidence that Myanmar will win back democracy.

Meanwhile, media outlets in Myanmar reported that more than 470 people were arrested on Saturday, as the military is stepping up crackdowns on protesters, reported NHK World.

Anti-military demonstrations are intensifying ahead of a court hearing for Aung San Suu Kyi scheduled for Monday. The day also marks one month since Myanmar’s military staged a coup.

Monday’s hearing will be held online, reported NHK World.

Aung San Suu Kyi is charged with illegally importing handheld radios and using them without permission, NHK World reported.

The recent protests are entirely different from the earlier protests of 1988 when the Tatmadaw managed to suppress a pro-democracy uprising with an automatic rifle or of 2007 Buddhist monk-led Saffron Revolution, where soldiers again used bloody suppression to put down a similar popular movement.

Generation Z is hard to control owing to its knowledge of social media and internet surfing. They can not only get around government blocks on news but can also organise mass movements with the help of pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong and Thailand, with whom they communicate daily.

The use of social media and other technologies by Gen Z against the February 1 coup by the military has bewildered the old-fashioned coup makers.

Min Ko Naing is a pro-democracy icon like Aung San Suu Kyi. He was one of the student leaders who called for democracy in massive anti-government protests in 1988.

He also urged the international community to support lawmakers who were chosen through legitimate elections. He added the military that uses force and tramples on human rights should not be tolerated.

Following the coup on February 1, Min Ko Naing called on citizens on social media to join the anti-coup protests. The military put him on a wanted list on February 13, saying his posts threaten national security, reported NHK World.

He is currently moving from place to place but continues to send messages, including advice on demonstrations.

The Myanmar Army early this month seized power after alleging fraud in November 8 election. Several political leaders including Aung San Suu Kyi were detained. (ANI)