People in Myanmar Make Noise to Protest Coup

'Beating a drum in Myanmar culture is like we are kicking out the devils'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 2, 2021 6:36 PM CST
People in Myanmar Make Noise to Protest Coup
Soldiers stand guard at a barricaded road leading to the parliament building Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021, in Naypyitaw, Myanmar.   (AP Photo)

Scores of people in Myanmar's largest city honked car horns and banged on pots and pans Tuesday in the first known public resistance to the coup led a day earlier by the country's military. What was initially planned to take place for just a few minutes extended to more than a quarter-hour in several neighborhoods of Yangon, the AP reports. Shouts could be heard wishing detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi good health and calling for freedom. "Beating a drum in Myanmar culture is like we are kicking out the devils," said one participant who declined to give his name for fear of reprisals. Several pro-democracy groups had asked people to make noise at 8pm to show their opposition to the coup.

A senior politician and close confidante of Suu Kyi also urged citizens to defy the military through civil disobedience. Win Htein, a leader of Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party, spoke Tuesday from a small party office in the capital, Naypyitaw, not far from where hundreds of lawmakers elected in November national polls were detained when the military seized power Monday in a lightning takeover. "The curse of the coup is rooted in our country, and this is the reason why our country still remains poor. I feel sad and upset for our fellow citizens and for their future," the former political prisoner said. President Biden called the military’s actions "a direct assault on the country’s transition to democracy and the rule of law” and threatened new sanctions. The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting Tuesday but took no action. (An aerobics instructor unwittingly filmed the start of the military takeover.)

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