Protests continue in Myanmar despite ban on gatherings

Despite a ban on gatherings in Myanmar, protests against last week’s military coup continued across the South Asian country for a fourth consecutive day on Tuesday.

An order issued earlier in the day by the Military True News Information Team, gatherings of five or more than five persons at public areas have been banned in some townships of regions and states under Section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code, Xinhua news agency reported.

At the same time, a night-time curfew from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m., has also been imposed in all townships excluding the Cocokyun township in Yangon, in some townships of Nay Pyi Taw, and Mandalay, according to the order.

“The curfew and ban on gatherings will be imposed in the places where crowds are most likely to occur,” an official from Myanmar Police Force told Xinhua.

The protesters are also demanding the release of former de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who was detained along with other senior government leaders on February 1 shortly before the military took control of the country over the disputed results of the 2020 parliamentary elections.

Besides the coup, the military also declared a year-long state of emergency and handed over the state power to Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Sen-Gen Min Aung Hlaing.

Protests have been reported in major cities, including Nay Pyi Taw, Mandalay and Yangon.

On Sunday, Myanmar witnessed its largest protest in over a decade when thousands of people from all walks of life gathered in the the capital city.

Suu Kyi, former President U Win Myint, and other senior members of the National League for Democracy (NLD) party are currently under house arrest.

In the November 8, 2020, elections, the former de facto leader’s NLD party obtained more than 80 per cent of the seats and increased its parliamentary majority.

The military or the Tatmadaw had called for an investigation into voting lists, alleging fraud and discrepancies.

But the Union Election Commission rejected the allegations of election fraud on January 29.