Five engineers among dozens arrested in Naypyitaw on first day of general strike

At least two dozen people, including five engineers, were arrested in Naypyitaw on Monday on the first day of a nationwide general strike against military rule.

The arrested engineers were part of a contingent of thousands who had joined the “five twos” general strike, named for the day marking its start—February 22, 2021, or 22.2.2021.

According to one of the organizers of the engineers’ protest, the arrests were made after the group, which had gathered at 8am near the Hninsi roundabout on Yarza Htarni road, dispersed at around noon.

“There were thousands of people going their separate ways after the protest. A police vehicle followed the car carrying the five engineers who were arrested and stopped it near the Bawga Thiri bus station,” the protest organizer told Myanmar Now.

The arrests came as hundreds of thousands of protesters were marching from Pyinmana to Naypyitaw as part of the general strike.

A number of arrests were also made at barricades set up to prevent the marchers from entering the capital. Journalists covering the protests said they were threatened by security forces during the crackdown.

Video footage shared on Facebook also showed protesters being beaten and arrested near the Shan Kan junction in Pyinmana at around noon.

In the video, police are seen pulling drivers off their motorbikes and assaulting protesters.

According to news reports, there were at least 10 arrests in Naypyitaw’s Ottarathiri township, five in Zabuthiri township, and five near the Shan Kan junction.

On February 9, 20-year-old Mya Thwe Thwe Khine was shot in the head by police during a crackdown on protesters at the Thabyay Gone roundabout in Naypyitaw. She later died of her injuries.

At least four people have been killed and well over 600 arrested since February 1, when the military seized power in a coup that has sparked massive protests around the country.

Despite the use of lethal force against protesters, popular opposition to the takeover continues to grow, prompting warnings from the military that protesters “will suffer the loss of life” if they persist in resisting its rule.


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