MYANMAR: Fear, anger, and disappointment held tight the millions of people in Myanmar as they continued to protest for four consecutive days against the military that has taken control, ousting the elected government.
The Myanmar military claimed that the November election that returned Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) to power was fraudulent. Hitherto there is no evidence to the military’s claim.
While police have fired rubber bullets, used water cannons and tear gas against protestors, they refused to retreat and stood by their motto ‘end the military dictatorship’.
The demonstrators have been demanding the release of elected leader Suu Kyi, along with senior leaders of NLD. Suu Kyi was arrested when the military took over power in the country and declared a year-long state of emergency on 1 February.
In contrast to earlier opposition and protest movements, this generation has grown up in a freer country, influenced by the western culture, with better access to the internet. Protestors waved signs that were Gen Z in approach with witty, self-deprecating humour, for instance, ‘My ex is bad but Myanmar Military is worse,’ ‘You messed with the wrong generation,’ or ‘My dreams are higher than Mal’s height.’ (referring to military commander Min Aung Hlaing).
On the other hand, for some, fighting back in a country where protests have been violently suppressed before meant putting pen to paper and taking the battle online through their art.
In an artwork, a Burmese artist depicted an entire Burmese family – all gathering together to bang pots and pans in protest, a regular scene across the country in the evenings since the coup. The picture has since gone viral and been circulated thousands of times on social media.