Thousands of protesters gathered for second day in Myanmar

Many demonstrators gave the three-fingered symbol-of-protest salute and held red balloons in central Yangon (Photo: REUTERS)

Thousands of people have taken to the streets of Yangon, the main city of Myanmar for a second consecutive day protesting over last week’s military coup.

People of all ages, held up pictures of detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi and wore red, the colour of her National League for Democracy party.

“Respect our vote,” read one banner in reference to the NLD landslide win in November’s election.

On Saturday, although the military shut down all internet connections across the country, it did not stop the people from finding ways to send out images and videos of the protests.

Many demonstrators gave the three-fingered symbol-of-protest salute and held red balloons, while cars and buses honk their horns in support of the movement.

“We will move forward and keep demanding until we get democracy,” one protester, Myo Win, 37, told the AFP news agency.

Police trucks and officers in riot gear were dispatched to the streets near a university in central Yangon.

So far, the military authorities had shown no signs of stopping this act of mass defiance, but everyone assumes they will try before long, the BBC’s S.E. Asia correspondent Jonathan Head reports.

Elected civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint and other top NLD leaders have been under house arrest since the military took over the government on 1 February, declaring a year-long state of emergency.

Myanmar has a population of 54 million people and was ruled by an oppressive military government from 1962 to 2011, leading to international condemnation and sanctions.

Aung San Suu Kyi spent years campaigning for democratic reforms. A gradual liberalisation began in 2010, though the military still retained considerable influence.

Source: BBC News