Myanmar coup opponents call for big protests to counter military claims

Deposed state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi faces additional charge

Prime News, International, Military, Yangon (Myanmar), February 17:- Opponents of Myanmar’s military coup called for more big protests on Wednesday to show that the army’s assertion of widespread public support for overthrowing elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and holding new elections was false.
They voiced scepticism at the junta’s promise at a news conference on Tuesday that there would be a fair election and it would hand over power, even as police filed an additional charge against Suu Kyi.
Ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi

The Nobel Peace laureate, detained since the February 1 coup, now faces a charge of violating a Natural Disaster Management Law as well as charges of illegally importing six walkie talkie radios.

At a hearing by video conference on Tuesday, her next hearing was set for March 1.

“Let’s gather in millions to take down the dictators,” activist Khin Sandar wrote on Facebook.

Kyi Toe, a senior member of Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party who has not been arrested, said: “Let’s march en masse. Let’s show our force against the coup government that has destroyed the future of youth, the future of our country.”

The coup that cut short the Southeast Asian country’s unsteady transition towards democracy has prompted daily demonstrations since February 6, some drawing hundreds of thousands of people.

The army takeover has also drawn strong Western criticism, with renewed anger from Washington and London over the additional charge for Suu Kyi. Although China has taken a softer line, its ambassador in Myanmar on Tuesday dismissed accusations it supported the coup.

UN Special Rapporteur Tom Andrews said he feared the possibility of violence against the protesters and made an urgent call on any country with influence over the generals, and businesses, to press them to avoid it.

“Continued repression of the people of Myanmar’s basic liberties and human rights must end immediately,” Andrews said in a statement. (Inputs: Agencies, NGB)

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