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AFP
April 15, 2021

Myanmar protesters throw red paint in the streets

World

AFP
April 15, 2021

YANGON: Anti-coup protesters in Myanmar sloshed red paint in the streets on Wednesday to symbolise the blood spilled and more than 700 lives lost in a brutal military crackdown.

The country is barely functioning and the economy has stalled since the military seized power from civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1. The military junta has sought to quell mass protests with lethal force and a local monitoring group has verified at least 714 civilian deaths but warns the toll is likely to be even higher.

This week is Myanmar’s New Year festival of Thingyan holiday but normal festivities such as public water fights have been cancelled. Instead, protesters have been using Thingyan as a rallying point -- as bus shelters and pavements were sprayed red on Wednesday in cities and towns nationwide.

"The purpose of the ‘bleeding strike’ is to remember the martyrs who died in the struggle for democracy," a protest participant from Yangon told AFP. "We should not be happy during this festival time. We have to feel sadness for the martyrs who are bleeding and we must continue to fight this battle in any way we can." In Mandalay, red paint was also spilled on the streets amid signs saying: "hope our military dictatorship fails," "overthrow the era of fear" and "blood has not dried on the streets".