Bloody paint strike’ in Myanmar as doctors charged over protests

Activists in Myanmar have splashed red paint and dye on roads and buildings to represent the blood of the hundreds of people who were killed while protesting against the military’s February 1 power grab.

Activists throw red paint in the streets to remember those killed in protests as military charges 19 doctors for opposing its power grab.

The display on Wednesday, the second day of the traditional New Year holiday, came as a military-run newspaper reported that at least 19 doctors were charged with incitement for participating in the civil disobedience protests.

Myanmar has been in chaos since the coup, with daily protests and various campaigns of defiance, including strikes by workers in many sectors. Activists have cancelled the usual festivities over the five-day New Year festival, announcing different shows of defiance on each day.

On Wednesday, people in various towns and cities across the country joined what activists termed “a bloody paint strike”.

In the main city of Yangon, protesters spray-painted pavements and signs outside government offices in red and left a note in one suburb that said: “Dear UN, How are you? I hope you are well. As for Myanmar, we are dying.”

A participant in the protest told AFP news agency that the purpose of the activity was to “remember the martyrs who died in the struggle for democracy”.

At least 714 people have died since Senior General Min Aung Hlaing deposed Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi’s government, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a monitoring group.

“We should not be happy during this festival time,” the protester in Yangon said. “We have to feel sadness for the martyrs who are bleeding and we must continue to fight this battle in any way we can.”

A general view shows empty streets on the second day of Thingyan, the water festival which marks the country’s new year, in Yangon on April 14, 2021

This handout photo from Kawkareik Open News taken and released on April 14, 2021 shows protesters taking part in a general strike demonstration against the military coup in Kawkareik, in eastern Myanmar’s Karen state [Handout/ Kawkareik Open News via AFP]In the second-largest city of Mandalay, red paint was also spilled on the streets as protesters held signs saying, “hope our military dictatorship fails”, “overthrow the era of fear” and “blood has not dried on the streets”.

In some cities, people also marched with placards calling for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been detained since the coup on various charges including violating an official secrets act. Her lawyers have denied the charges against her.