Myanmar Doctors Shun Pandemic; Embark On Strike To Protest Coup


More than 1,000 doctors in 70 hospitals in Myanmar went on strike on Wednesday, according to an activist, to protest the military coup that ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi two days ago.

The Myanmar military claimed fraud in the November elections which Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy won in a landslide.

On Monday, generals detained Suu Kyi and President Win Myint, who are now under house arrest.

During the coup, mobile phone signals were interrupted as civilians lost internet connection.

But once mobile phone connections resumed, civilians expressed their anger over the coup online, with some activists calling for civil disobedience.

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“We cannot accept the dictatorship,” said Htet Paing, a doctor and one of the organizers of the civil disobedience protests.

“We only recognize our elected government. We demand [the authority] to release all the detained people.”

He said that more than 1,000 doctors working at around 70 hospitals in Myanmar are participating in the strike. They wore red ribbons to signal their support for the movement and posted photos of themselves online. Htet Paing said he felt sorry for patients, but, “We have to think in the long term [for this country].”

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The military sacked ministers of the civilian government, replacing them with junta choices. Some civil servants have also joined the strike.

“I will not go to work starting from today,” said a 43-year-old primary schoolteacher, who asked not to be named. “The dictatorship must fall. We only recognize the civilian government… I really urge civil servants not to go to work.”

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On the nights of Tuesday and Wednesday, Yangon residents protested by sounding their car horns, and banging pots and pans from their balconies.

Many liquor store owners in Yangon said they would no longer sell products made by companies linked to the military.

“We cannot forgive you,” a young social media user wrote on Facebook, referring to the army generals. She later changed her profile picture to a photo of Aung San Suu Kyi.


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