Myanmar demos spread, net access restored | Ralph-Lauren

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Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets to protest against a recent military coup in Myanmar and called for the release of de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Local news portal Irrawaddy reported that the protests, which had begun to gather steam in the country’s main city Yangon on Saturday, had spread to other cities on Sunday.

The protests were peaceful and attended by people from all walks of life, added the portal.

It added that the military has so far only deployed large numbers of riot police near the protests – unlike previous popular protests which led to brutal crackdowns on demonstrators.

Many of them raised three fingers in a salute – known from The Hunger Games films – a gesture that was returned by passersby.

Myanmar’s military declared a state of emergency and installed a former general as president last week.

Suu Kyi, whose party won elections in November, as well as several other politicians were placed under house arrest.

After mobile internet was temporarily blocked by government order on Saturday, the Norwegian operator Telenor on Sunday said that the network was restored across the country after being instructed to do so.

NetBlocks, which tracks internet usage and cybersecurity, confirmed partial connectivity although it said social media remained blocked.

Myanmar’s military had ordered local telecommunications providers to temporarily block Twitter and Instagram from Friday night after imposing similar restrictions on Facebook earlier in the week.

The coup has prompted consternation around the world, with Pope Francis on Sunday praying for “democratic coexistence” in Myanmar.

The Pope told worshippers during his Angelus prayer in the Vatican’s St Peter’s Square that he was following developments with concern and that he hoped those in power would “sit down for the good of the people”.

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