A large protest, one of their biggest nationally coordinated protests in months, termed ‘silent strike’ has been staged in Myanmar, calling on people across the country to shut their businesses and stay at home on International Human Rights Day.
The “silent strike” by Opponents of military rule was staged in cities and towns from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and comes amid increasing violence in the country.
The political crisis was triggered by the army’s seizure of power in February and ouster of the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi.
On Tuesday, there was a widely reported massacre in the country’s northwestern Sagaing region in which soldiers were accused of rounding up and killing 11 civilians whose charred bodies were later discovered by fellow villagers.
The military-installed government has denied its soldiers were involved, but it is staging an offensive in northwestern Myanmar against persistent resistance from anti-military militias.
In Yangon, the country’s largest city, and elsewhere, photos on social media showed normally busy streets empty of traffic on Friday.
Usually crowded markets and plazas were quiet hours before the official start of the strike, which reaffirmed the widespread opposition to the army’s rule and its disregard for human rights.
However, few citizens paid a price for their defiance, as photos posted on social media showed fittings such as tables and chairs confiscated by security forces from some.
Since Thursday, authorities had announced in some neighborhoods that action would be taken against shops which close without an acceptable reason.