Protesters in Myanmar mocks junta leader on his birthday

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Myanmar protesters have burned mock coffins and pictures of the junta leader Min Aung Hlaing today in the latest demonstrations against the junta’s seizing power in February which led the Southeast Asian country into disorder.

Messages on funeral wreaths such as “May you not rest in peace” and “may your birthday and death day be the same,” were spotted in Theinzayet township in eastern Mon state. Protests like this also took place in many parts of the coup-hit country.

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A protester located in the second city of Mandalay said that they are burning these images as a curse to the military leader while putting on fire a small pile of pictures of the general.

A spokesman for the military authorities did not respond to requests for comment.

Min Aung Hlaing seized power on Feb. 1, ousting elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and ending the short decade of democratic reforms that had brought Myanmar out of isolation under previous military leaders.

Min Aung Hlaing was supposed to retire after his 65th birthday, but the compulsory retirement age was discarded following the coup.

The army claims that their seizure of power was in conformity with the constitution. They asserted that there has been a fraud in the November elections which has been won by Suu Kyi’s party, although the accusations were dismissed by the former electoral body.

The military is in a struggle to impose its authority.

Myanmar has recorded daily protests in many parts of the country. Occurrences of strikes have also damaged official and private business and scuffles have emerged in the borderlands, which caused 200,000 people to flee from their homes.

During the United Nations briefing this week, they said that over 880 people have been killed by security forces since the coup and more than 5,200 are in detention.

However, the figure provided has been disputed by Myanmar’s foreign ministry in a statement published today. The figures have been described as “unverifiable facts” but did not give its own estimates for deaths and detentions. Whereas, prisoners numbering over hundreds were released this week.

A complain from the ministry also said that the UN website carried a link to an underground National Unity Government which has been arranged by those who are opposed of the junta rule. Both groups brand each other terrorists. The military’s seizure of power has been condemned by Western countries, some of which have imposed limited sanctions.

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