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Myanmar’s Anti-Regime Protesters Urge Asian Counterparts to Unite for General Strike

By The Irrawaddy Sat, February 27, 2021

Tens of thousands of protesters take part in a huge sit-in protest against the military regime on Feb. 22, 2021, in the “22222” general strike. / The Irrawaddy

YANGON — Myanmar’s pro-democracy activists have called for the anti-Chinese “Milk Tea Alliance” in Thailand, Hong Kong, India, Taiwan and Indonesia to support a second general strike against Myanmar’s military regime on Sunday.

The call came after Thailand received U Wunna Maung Lwin, the foreign minister appointed by Myanmar’s military regime, on Wednesday to meet Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi for talks in Bangkok. Thousands of young activities in Myanmar called for solidarity from the Milk Tea Alliance, a loose, online coalition of activists largely based in Thailand, Hong Kong and Taiwan using the hashtag #MilkTeaAlliance. The coalition points to the variety of types of milk tea consumed across the region and opposes the increasing influence of China.

Messages were posted in English, Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese, Korean and Thai calling on activists to pressure their leaders to recognize the results of the Nov. 8 general election in Myanmar, which the National League for Democracy won by a landslide. International observers reported that the election was free and fair.

The online democratic solidarity movement grew up in Thailand in response to Chinese trolls and nationalists opposing pro-democracy activists on social media. It has since emerged as a multinational protest movement, advocating democracy and human rights.

An illustration of Milk Tea Alliances members. / Yoh Noh (John VI Films)

In a statement, the Milk Tea Alliance in Myanmar said the country’s fight for democracy and the strength of its young population was at its peak and brewing to fight for freedom on their own terms.

“We believe it is the time we join hands to revolt against the oppressors and to gain our sovereignty back,” the Milk Tea Alliance in Myanmar said.

Allies in Thailand and Hong Kong say they are preparing to march on Sunday.

Alliance members in Thailand said they will march against their military-dominated government, to demand limits on the power of the monarchy, to expel the armed forces from politics and reduce inequality with a universal welfare state.

Ei Thinzar Maung, a human rights activist who is a protest leader in Yangon, called for action across Myanmar on Sunday.

Millions joined the country’s first nationwide general strike against the regime which was called the “22222 uprising” because it took place on Feb. 22.

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By The Irrawaddy Sat, February 27, 2021

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