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Myanmar coup: ‘People really angry and sad – they will show resistance to military’

Written by on 01/02/2021

Journalist Shwe Mon was in Naypyidaw, Myanmar’s capital, for the opening of parliament but woke up to a military coup.

They have spoken to Sky’s Southeast Asia correspondent Siobhan Robbins about their experience and the mood on the streets after a number of top politicians were detained including Aung San Suu Kyi – the leader of the country‘s democratically elected ruling party (NLD).

The journalist’s name has been changed to protect their identity.

A man rides his motorbike during sunset in Naypyitaw, Myanmar. Pic: AP
Image: A man rides his motorbike in Naypyitaw. Pic: AP

I woke around 4.20am and we had lost internet and mobile signal… and then we turned on the TV and there was only religious and military channels… and I asked my friend who was sharing the room with me, ‘what shall we do?’

So we started preparing our gear and making some plans, thinking what if they come and raid our hotel?

At sunrise we used the car and drove around. Everything seems really normal.

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I thought, people may be shaken, they may worry, but, no, everything seemed like normal in Naypyidaw.

People were just saying, ‘Oh, we cannot use our phones right now, the internet was shut down, that’s it’. They were not even talking about a coup, they were not even talking about Aung San Suu Kyi.

Then we saw our friend, who’s very close with the NLD (National League for Democracy), and he said everyone was detained.

So I walked down towards the municipal compound and I could see one military truck, and I could see soldiers with a gun at the entrance and I saw the MPs walking inside.

The intention of the military at first was blocking the entrance of the municipal guest house so the MPs were not able to go out and then there could be no parliament.

A vehicle carries supporters of the military in Myanmar. Pic: AP
Image: A vehicle carries supporters of the military in Yangon. Pic: AP

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Myanmar coup: Army takes control

I was told by friends and colleagues that there were some nationalist and military supporters roaming around in the city of Yangon.

A local journalist was attacked by the nationalist mob and people were really scared.

I was not really surprised (a coup happened) as this is what I sensed since last week from the military press conference but we were really worried at first because there was no mobile signal, no internet, no SMS and I was really shocked to be honest.

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Myanmar: Acting president and army on streets

People seem really angry and they seem really sad. It took more than 20 years to get their wish.

They hate that military junta so it seems like they will show their resistance, but I’m not sure it will be that quick.

If the people go out on the streets, I don’t think the military will crack down on them quickly.

But I can imagine there will be the clashes between the military supporters and these pro-democracy protesters and if the clashes get bigger, the military will take action.

I was told that there were a few military trucks at the city hall in Yangon and the military will try to show their strength.

People really hate to see the soldiers on the streets, so I think Yangon will be more colourful in terms of the people and their resistance.

 Sky News

© Sky News 2020

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