Myanmar people bang pots & honk cars to drive away 'evil' in protest against military coup

The largest display of defiance against the military yet.

Kayla Wong | February 03, 2021, 05:32 PM

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Residents in Yangon, Myanmar's capital, banged pots and honked cars on Tuesday (Feb. 2) night in a bid to protest against the country's military for conducting a coup on Monday.

Myanmar tradition to chase away "evil"

A resident told Reuters that it is a Myanmar tradition to "drive away evil or bad karma by beating tin or metal buckets".

Some had chanted "long live Mother Suu" -- a reference to Suu Kyi, who remains highly popular among Myanmar citizens.

The country's State Counsellor, along with a number of leaders from her National League for Democracy (NLD) party, had been arrested in pre-dawn raids on Monday and remain detained.

While no one has taken to the streets yet to voice their displeasure against the military coup that ousted the democratically elected civilian government led by de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, the banging of pots was the largest public display of anger so far.

It was organised through a social media campaign, and lasted longer than planned.

Doctors go on strike

In addition, the country's doctors and medical staff at 70 hospitals have gone on a strike on Wednesday, Feb. 3, to protest against the coup.

In a statement released a day before, the group, which called themselves the Myanmar Civil Disobedience Movement, said the military had placed their own interests above a population that is struggling with a fast-spreading pandemic.

With about 3,140 deaths so far, the country is facing one of Southeast Asia's worst Covid-19 outbreaks.

The group also said they refuse to obey "the illegitimate military regime who demonstrated they do not have any regards for our poor patients".

A 29-year-old doctor told Reuters that they would not go back to the hospitals unless the soldiers leave the streets and go back to their dorms.

General Min Aung Hlaing had justified the takeover -- formally designated by Washington as a "coup" -- as "inevitable", given that the government had not addressed its objection to the alleged election fraud in November last year, AFP reported.

The election in 2020 -- only the second one the country has had since 2011 when it ushered in civilian rule -- saw the NLD win more than 80 per cent of the vote, which was an increase from the 2015 election results.

The coup has been condemned by countries such as the United States, which said it "will take action against those responsible" if the coup was not reversed, but the Myanmar army is likely to remain unperturbed by such statements.

The United Nations Security Council had also failed to agree on a joint statement as China, which holds veto power as one of five permanent members of the council, had blocked it, the BBC reported.

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Top image by STR/AFP via Getty Images