‘Terrible and unacceptable’: People in Myanmar tell of their fears about a new era of military rule

Following the deaths of 18 people at the hands of police during the latest protests, those living in Yangon tell The Independent about their worries for the future of the country

Sunday 28 February 2021 17:39
 Protesters attempt to put out a tear gas canister fired by riot police
Protesters attempt to put out a tear gas canister fired by riot police

On the first day of February 2021, Myanmar awoke to an internet blackout: No social media, no apps, no search engines. No news from friends, family or the international community, no way of knowing what was happening. The streets filled as people questioned each other for any information, using walkie-talkies to contact other neighbourhoods to ask for any clues.

Five months of consecutive lockdown because of the coronavirus had seen much of life moving online. Rumours soon spread along lengthening queues gathering outside banks and rice shops: the military had seized power.

On the morning of 1 February, the military overthrew elected members of the National League for Democracy, the party of civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who had won an 80 per cent landslide majority at the November 2020 election after ruling the country since 2015.

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