Myanmar Prepares Silent Strike to Mark Coup Anniversary

By The Irrawaddy 28 January 2023

Myanmar’s pro-democracy forces called on the public to stage a silent strike on Wednesday to mark the second anniversary of the military takeover.

“With loud voices of silence, we have repeatedly shaken the dictator,” the General Strike Coordination Body (GSCB) said on Friday, referring to previous silent strikes.

The junta claims life has returned to normal under military rule but by staying at home, shutting businesses and emptying streets, the movement aims to show mass discontent.

“We will again stage the silent strike on February 1 to remind the world that our people continue to fight in every way despite the cruel oppression of the terrorist regime…and make it clear that we won’t accept the planned illegal election,” the GSCB said.

The GSCB, which includes over 30 strike committees in Myanmar, urged the public to remain indoors from 10am to 3pm on Wednesday.

Prominent anti-regime leader Tayzar San wrote that the coup anniversary is the day when a state of emergency declared by the “terrorist” military will expire and it is important to show continued opposition to the junta on that day.

“I urge the whole country to stage the silent strike unanimously,” he wrote.

Silent strikes were held last year on February 1, on Human Rights Day and on March 24 despite junta threats of businesses seizures, arrests and prosecution. The junta usually staged pro-military rallies to counter the campaigns.

According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, more than 2,890 people have been killed and more than 17,400 detained since the 2021 coup.

Two years ago the military locked up much of the elected leadership, including State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and President U Win Myint, declaring a state of emergency.