The interim leader of the elected government of Burma has sent a message of hope to all citizens who have demonstrated daily against the military coup, likening civil disobedience and popular resistance to soldiers to a “revolution”.
Through a video posted on Facebook Saturday night, Mahn Win Khaing Than believed “this is the darkest moment in the nation” but guaranteed that “dawn is at hand”.
“This is the time for our citizens to face dark moments. This revolution is the opportunity to join our efforts to create a federal democracy that the brothers of all ethnicities who have suffered various kinds of oppression for decades under the dictatorship, “said the political leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD))).
“Despite our differences in the past, it is time to shake hands to end this dictatorship for good,” he said, quoted by the BBC.
After the arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto leader of the Burmese government, and the country’s president, Win Myint, the few NLD party leaders who remained at liberty appointed Mahn Win Khaing Than, mostly in a gesture provisional executive leader symbolic as it has little capacity to act.
The message published by the former party spokesman in the upper house of parliament on Saturday evening was his first public intervention. Mahn Win Khaing Than remains partially insecure.
This Sunday there were further protests in several cities in Burma. As in the past few days, the authorities strongly suppressed the demonstrators. According to local media, five people died after clashes with security forces, three of them in Yangon city.
According to the Burmese organization Aid Association for Political Prisoners, quoted by Reuters, the number of civilians who lost their lives in protests against the coup in Burma has now exceeded 80. More than 2,000 were arrested.
The Asian country, ruled by a military dictatorship for more than 50 years, saw its democratic transition, which began a decade ago in late January, interrupted. The army alleged electoral fraud in the November elections that won the NLD and took over the state apparatus, arrested or dismissed virtually all political leaders and imposed a year-long state of emergency.