1st anniversary of Myanmar military coup marked by strike and international concern

Opponents of military rule in Myanmar marked the one-year anniversary of the army's seizure of power with a nationwide strike Tuesday to show their strength and solidarity amid concern about what has become an increasingly violent contention for power.

The "silent strike" sought to empty the streets of Myanmar's cities and towns by having people stay home and businesses shut their doors from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In Yangon, the country's largest city, and elsewhere, photos on social media showed normally busy streets were almost empty.

The anniversary has also attracted international attention, especially from Western nations critical of the military takeover, such as the United States.

President Joe Biden in a statement called for the military to reverse its actions, free the country's ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other detainees and engage in meaningful dialogue to return Myanmar on a path to democracy.

The military's takeover on Feb. 1, 2021, ousted the elected government of Suu Kyi, whose National League for Democracy party was about to begin a second five-year term in office after winning a landslide victory in the previous year's November election. The military said it acted because there was widespread voter fraud in the polls — an allegation that independent election observers have said they've seen no serious evidence for.