Angry demonstrators slammed what they said was a military dictatorship in Myanmar after a violent dispersal left five protesters dead in Yangon City.
The activists marched on the streets of Yangon on Monday December 6 to condemn excessive military force used to stifle dissent and opposition voices. Doing the subversive three-fingered salute from the film series ‘The Hunger Games’, they carried a flaming torch and banners cursing Burmese politician and army general Min Aung Hlaing, who seized power on February 1 after staging a coup and placing Myanmar in a state of emergency.
The city was the site of violence just a day earlier on December 5, when a military truck rammed into a crowd protesting peacefully in the country’s largest city. Local media said five were killed while dozens were injured in the incident.
The protesters had been marching in support of civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been detained since the February coup.
The military has accused Suu Kyi of rigging last November’s elections, in which her party won by a landslide vote. The charge has been denied by the election commission. Meanwhile, Suu Kyi now also faces several other cases, believed to be politically motivated, such as incitement and violating pandemic protocols.
More than 1,300 people have been killed in brutal crackdowns on opposition members since February. Still, anti-military protests have continued in smaller groups.