Myanmar’s military seized power on February 1, 2021. It ousted an elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi. Since then reports of protests and civil unrest have been in the news. This comes amid viral reports of three-finger salute gesture.
However, a distinguishing feature of these protests is the three-finger salute. This salute is displayed by pro-democracy activists as a symbol of resistance. This symbol was also seen in October last year at demonstrations against the monarchy neighbouring Thailand.
Meaning of Three-finger salute
This salute has its origins in the Hunger Games books and movies by Suzanne Collins. This was first used by medical workers in Myanmar protesting against the coup. Later on it was adopted by youth protesters.
Three-finger salute displays the oppression by a tyrant. The protests are taking place despite an internet blackout and restrictions on phone lines. Interestingly these protests are the biggest of its kind since 2007 Buddhist monk-led Saffron Revolution.
Crowds in Yangon, the commercial capital, carrying red balloons chanted, “We don’t want military dictatorship! We want democracy!”
Before the coup, the military arrested former State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi. It also arrested former President U Win Myint and other senior NLD officials. Myanmar has also declared a state of emergency for one year.
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