Myanmar Cities Stage ‘Silent Coup’ to Mark Anniversary of Military Coup


WASHINGTON — The streets of major cities across Myanmar are empty Tuesday as residents heed a call to observe a “silent strike” Tuesday to mark the one-year anniversary of the military’s overthrow of Aung San Suu Kyi’s civilian government.

Activists are urging residents across the country to stay home and for their businesses to shut their doors in protest of the coup. Junta leaders have threatened to seize businesses and arrest anyone who shares any information about the strike; the Associated Press says at least 58 people across Myanmar have been arrested since last week after posting on Facebook that their shops and businesses will be closed Tuesday, according to reports from state-run Myanma Alinn Daily newspaper.

The military seized power on February 1, 2021, detaining Suu Kyi, the de facto head of the civilian government, and other high-ranking officials, claiming widespread fraud in the general election the previous November, which Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy won in a landslide over the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party.

Junta leader General Min Aung Hlaing Monday extended the current state of emergency imposed after the couple for another six months.

An independent activist group, the Assistance Association of Political Prisoners, says at least 1,500 people have been killed in violent protests against the military regime since the February 1 coup.

Aung San Suu Kyi has been tried and convicted on numerous charges brought by the junta, including inciting public unrest, breaking COVID-19 restrictions and illegally importing and possessing portable two-way radios. She goes on trial on February 14 on new charges of influencing the country’s election commission during the 2020 elections.