WRAPUP 1-Protest calls in Myanmar multiply, one week after coup

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WRAPUP 1-Protest calls in Myanmar multiply, one week after coup

February 8 (Reuters) – Opponents of Myanmar’s coup called for more protests and work stoppages on Monday after tens of thousands joined weekend protests against dismissal and detained elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi a week ago.

The protests sweeping the country on Sunday were the largest since the 2007 Saffron Revolution led by Buddhist monks which helped spur democratic reforms that were overturned by the February 1 coup.

“Protesters from all over Yangon, please come out peacefully and join the People’s Meeting,” activist Ei Thinzar Maung said on Facebook (NASDAQ :), using VPN networks to rally protesters despite an attempt by the junta to ban the social network.

The place and time will be announced later, said the former student leader, who has established himself as one of the faces of the new protest movement.

The rallies have so far been peaceful, unlike bloody crackdowns in previous widespread protests in 1988 and 2007. A convoy of military trucks was seen passing through Yangon on Sunday evening, raising fears of change.

Reuters was unable to contact the junta for comment on the protests and state television did not mention them.

CALLS FOR WORK INTERRUPTIONS

The government lifted an internet ban day over the weekend, which has sparked even more anger in a country fearing it will return to isolation and even greater poverty before the transition to poverty begins. democracy in 2011. Maung Saungkha and Thet Swe Win posted on their Facebook pages that the police had picked them up from their home, but that they were not there and were still free.

In addition to the street protests, a campaign of civil disobedience began, first with doctors and with some teachers and other officials.

“We ask government personnel from all departments not to come to work from Monday,” said activist Min Ko Naing, a veteran of the 1988 protests that brought Suu Kyi to the fore.

She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for campaigning for democracy, and has spent nearly 15 years under house arrest during decades of struggle to end nearly half a century of military rule.

Suu Kyi, 75, has been held incommunicado since army chief Min Aung Hlaing seized power in the early hours of February 1.

Suu Kyi faces charges of illegally importing six walkie-talkies and is being held by police for investigation until February 15. Her lawyer said he was not allowed to see her.

The coup drew international condemnation. The United Nations Security Council called for the release of Suu Kyi and other detainees last week and the United States is considering targeted sanctions.

“Protesters in Myanmar continue to inspire the world as actions spread across the country,” Thomas Andrews, the UN Special Rapporteur on Myanmar, said on Twitter. “Myanmar stands up to free all those who have been detained and reject the military dictatorship once and for all. We are with you.”

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