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Myanmar protesters demonstrate with Easter eggs

April 4, 2021

Protesters are using the holiday symbol to take a stand against the military overthrow of Aung San Suu Kyi's elected government.

A demonstrator holds an egg reading sure we will win while signing a three-finger salute
Protesters decorated their eggs with many different pro-democracy and anti-coup slogansImage: AP/picture alliance

Anti-coup demonstrators in Myanmar staged an Easter egg-themed protest on Sunday.

They wrote messages of defiance on the traditional symbol associated with the Christian holiday.

The protest is the latest themed action as part of the campaign against military rule.

People in the country have used numerous methods to protest almost continuously since the military overthrew the elected government of detained former leader Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1.

Security forces in the country have used increasingly deadly force against opposition protesters. They have killed at least 550 people, including children, since the demonstrations began.

Myanmar's Easter egg protests

Protesters wrote messages including "Spring Revolution," "We must win" and "Get out MAH" — referring to junta leader Min Aung Hlaing — on eggs posted in photographs on social media.

A crowd of anti-coup protesters raise decorated Easter eggs along with the three-fingered symbols of resistance
Anti-coup protesters raise decorated Easter eggs along with the three-fingered symbols of resistance during a protest in YangonImage: Mg Ny@n/AA/picture alliance

Others showed eggs adorned with images of Suu Kyi and three-finger salutes — a protest gesture — while others said "save our people" and "democracy."

Young people in the country's main city, Yangon, handed out eggs bearing the messages of protest, pictures in posts showed.

Some eggs were left on neighbors' doorsteps.

Easter eggs are painted with slogans from the protests against the military coup in Mandalay
It wasn't just Christians who took part in the protest action, which was timed to take place on the Christian holy dayImage: Social Media/REUTERS

Catholic Church welcomes peaceful protest

Delivering his Easter message at St. Peter's Basilica on Sunday, Pope Francis said youths in Myanmar were "committed to supporting democracy and making their voices heard peacefully, in the knowledge that hatred can be dispelled only by love."

A protester shows Easter eggs with the words save myanmar and we want democracy written on them
Protesters in Myanmar decorated eggs with pro-democracy messages and against the military coupImage: Myat Thu Kyaw/NurPhoto/picture alliance

Myanmar's most senior Catholic, Cardinal Charles Bo, also shared an Easter message on Twitter: "Jesus has risen: Hallelujah — Myanmar will rise again!"

The country is predominantly Buddhist, but it is also home to a large Christian minority.

Business as usual for some protesters

Regular protests also returned to the streets on Sunday, with reports of security forces opening fire on demonstrators.

Eggs, with messages in support of protesters demonstrating against the military coup, are displayed before being given out to customers in a shop in Yangon's Sanchaung township
Some shops handed out eggs inscribed with anti-coup messages to customers in YangonImage: AFP

In the capital, Naypyitaw, two men were killed when police fired on protesters on motorbikes, the Irrawaddy news site reported.

One man was killed earlier in the northern town of Bhamo, the Myanmar Now news outlet said.

Changing protest tactics

In the early days of protests against the coup, demonstrations drew tens of thousands of people. But these have become rarer, in part due to the increasing show of force from security officials who have routinely used live rounds against demonstrators.

Opponents have changed tactics, staging small, quick rallies before security forces can respond.

People wearing masks stage a demonstration to protest against the coup in Yangon
Some people also took part in regular protests on SundayImage: Stringer/AA/picture alliance

The campaign against the military also includes a civil disobedience campaign of strikes and quirky acts of rebellion that spread on social media. These include candle-lit vigils as well as a "flower protest" to honor the dead.

Coup faces international condemnation

The United States and other countries have denounced the coup and called for the release of Suu Kyi.

The UN Security Council on Thursday strongly condemned the death of hundreds of civilians and the use of violence against protesters.

kmm/mm (AFP, Reuters)