From Putao in Kachin in the north to coastal towns on the shore of the Andaman Sea, huge crowds of anti-coup protestors organized demonstrations across Myanmar against the February 1 coup in which the army detained State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi. The agitation which began on February 6 was peaceful but the police used water cannons to quell the movement in the capital Naypyidaw. Besides street protests, a campaign of civil disobedience has been launched by doctors, teachers and other government workers against the military takeover that continues to draw widespread international condemnation.
In the country’s largest city, Yangon, monks marched in thousands with workers, schoolteachers and students with multi-colored Buddhist flags along with red banners. A few groups gathered near the Sule Pagoda which had been a rallying point for major protests in the past against the former ruling juntas.
On February 7, the military government lifted a day-long ban on the internet that had fueled even more outrage among a population apprehensive of a return to the days of military rule.
Rajeev Bhattacharyya is a senior journalist in Assam, India