Huge crowds marched in Myanmar on Sunday to denounce a Feb. 1 military coup in a show of defiance after the bloodiest episode of the campaign for democracy the previous day, when security forces fired on protesters, killing two.
The military has been unable to quell the demonstrations and a civil disobedience campaign of strikes against the coup and the detention of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and others, even with a promise of new elections and stern warnings against dissent.
Tens of thousands of people massed peacefully in the second city of Mandalay, where Saturday’s killings took place, witnesses said.
“They aimed at the heads of unarmed civilians. They aimed at our future,” a young protester told the crowd.
The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that despite “unlawful demonstrations, incitements of unrest and violence, the authorities concerned are exercising utmost restraint through minimum use of force to address the disturbances”, adding they were maintaining public safety in line with domestic laws and international practices.
In the main city of Yangon, thousands of mostly young people gathered at different sites to chant slogans and sing.