• Tuesday, Jul 27, 2021
  • Last Update : 01:49 pm

Myanmar's anti-junta movement shows viral support for Rohingya

  • Published at 06:21 pm June 13th, 2021
Rohingya
File photo: Rohingya refugees walk through a shallow canal after crossing the Naf River, in Palongkhali near Ukhia, as they flee violence, in Myanmar to reach Bangladesh on October 16, 2017 AFP

Local media also showed a small protest in Yangon, with black-clad demonstrators holding signs in Burmese that said they were 'protesting for the oppressed Rohingya'

Anti-junta protesters flooded Myanmar's social media with pictures of themselves wearing black on Sunday in a show of solidarity for the Rohingya, a minority group that is among the most persecuted in the country.

Since the military ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi from power in a February 1 coup, an anti-junta movement demanding a return to democracy has grown to include fighting for ethnic minority rights. 

The mostly Muslim Rohingya -- long viewed as interlopers from Bangladesh by many in Myanmar -- have for decades been denied citizenship, rights, access to services and freedom of movement. 

Activists and civilians took to social media on Sunday to post pictures of themselves wearing black and flashing a three-finger salute of resistance, in posts tagged "#Black4Rohingya."

"Justice must (be) served for each of you and each of us in Myanmar," said prominent rights activist Thinzar Shunlei Yi on Twitter.

Local media also showed a small protest in Myanmar's commercial hub Yangon, with black-clad demonstrators holding signs in Burmese that said they were "protesting for the oppressed Rohingya."

By afternoon, the #Black4Rohingya hashtag was trending on Twitter in Myanmar, with more than 180,000 mentions.

Sunday's show of support from the mostly Buddhist, ethnic Bamar-majority population is a far cry from previous years, when even using the term "Rohingya" was a lightning rod for controversy.

In 2017, a bloody military campaign in Myanmar's west sent some 740,000 Rohingya fleeing across the border into Bangladesh carrying accounts of rape, mass killings and arson.

The military has long claimed the crackdown was justified to root out insurgents, and Suu Kyi also defended the army's conduct by travelling to the Hague to rebut charges of genocide at the UN's top court.

The Myanmar public was largely unsympathetic to the Rohingya's plight, while activists and journalists reporting on the issues faced vitriolic abuse online.

Prominent Europe-based Rohingya activist Ro Nay San Lwin told AFP the online campaign is a yearly effort to raise awareness -- but Sunday was "the first time" he had seen it go viral in Myanmar.

"I am so happy to see those inside Myanmar joined this campaign. I am more hopeful to have a stronger solidarity from them," he said.

A recent announcement from the shadow "National Unity Government" -- made up of ousted lawmakers working to topple the junta -- has also extended an olive branch to the minority group, inviting them to "join hands... to participate in this Spring Revolution." 

The NUG has been branded as "terrorists" by the military regime, while junta leader Min Aung Hlaing has dismissed the word "Rohingya" as "an imaginary term."

52
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail