4/4 © Reuters. A protester holds a homemade pipe air pistol during a protest against the military coup in Yangon 2/4
(Reuters) – Opponents of the military government in Myanmar made the Easter egg a symbol of defiance on Sunday, posting images of eggs with slogans after a night of candlelight vigils across the country to remember the dead. since the coup of February 1. The Political Prisoner Assistance Association, an activist group that monitors casualties and arrests since the army toppled the elected government of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, said the death toll had risen to 557. “The people of Burma it continues on strike for the end of the dictatorship, for democracy and human rights, “the group said, using another name for the Southeast Asian country. Despite the killings, protesters go out every day, often in small groups in small towns, to reject the return of military rule after a decade of tentative steps toward democracy. At night people gather by candlelight. The AAPP said 2,658 people were in detention, including four women and a man who spoke to a CNN news team in interviews on the streets of the main city of Yangon last week. A CNN spokesperson said it was aware of reports of arrests after the team’s visit. “We are pressuring the authorities for information on this and for the safe release of the detainees,” the spokesman said. Police and a board spokesperson did not respond to phone calls seeking comment. Opponents of the military government have also mounted a campaign of civil disobedience strikes and organize improvised and often creative defiance shows, which on Sunday included Easter eggs. Posts including “We must win”, “Spring Revolution” and “Get out MAH” were painted on eggs in photographs on social media, the last a reference to the leader of the board, Min Aung Hlaing. The army is conducting its own campaign to control the flow of information and get the message across. It ordered ISPs to cut wireless broadband starting Friday, depriving most customers of access, although some messages and images were still posted and shared. Authorities have also issued arrest warrants for nearly 40 celebrities known for opposing the military government, including social media influencers, singers and models, under a law against incitement to dissent in the military. The charge, announced in the main evening news bulletins broadcast by state media on Friday and Saturday, can carry a three-year prison term. ‘CLEAR CONSCIENCE’ One of the defendants, blogger Thurein Hlaing Win, told Reuters he was shocked to see himself branded as a criminal on television and had gone into hiding. “I did not do anything bad or evil. I was on the side of the truth. I followed the path in which I believe. Between good and evil, I chose the good,” he said by phone from an undisclosed location. “If I get punished for that, my conscience is clear. My beliefs won’t change. Everyone knows the truth.” The army ruled the former British colony with an iron fist after seizing power in a 1962 coup until it began to withdraw from civilian politics a decade ago, freeing Suu Kyi from years of house arrest and allowing an election for her party. devastated in 2015. He had to overthrow Suu Kyi’s government because the November elections, again easily won by his party, were rigged. The electoral commission has dismissed the claim. Many in Myanmar, particularly young people who have come of age during the last decade of social and economic openness, cannot accept the return of government by the generals. Suu Kyi is in custody and faces charges that could carry up to 14 years in prison. His lawyer says the charges are false. The coup has also sparked clashes with ethnic minority forces seeking autonomy and who have announced their support for the pro-democracy movement. The Karen National Union, which signed a ceasefire in 2012, has seen the first military airstrikes against its forces in more than 20 years and says it must fight to defend itself from a government offensive. The group said that more than 12,000 villagers had fled their homes due to the airstrikes. Clashes have also broken out in the north between the army and ethnic Kachin insurgents. The unrest has caused several thousand refugees to flee to Thailand and India. Suu Kyi’s party has promised to establish a federal democracy, the main demand of minority groups.