Crowds in Myanmar’s capital attended a funeral Sunday for the young woman who was the first person confirmed to have been killed in protests against the military’s takeover, just one day after security forces shot dead two more demonstrators.
Mya Thwet Thwet Khine was shot in the head by police on Feb. 9, two days before her 20th birthday, at a protest in the capital, Naypyitaw, and died Friday.
Mourners lined the entrance to a cemetery in the city as the hearse carrying her body arrived and was taken to a crematorium where more people had gathered. They silently raised their hands in three-fingered salutes — a sign of defiance and resistance adopted from neighboring Thailand — as the black and gold vehicle rolled slowly past.
Inside the crematorium hall, the lid on Mya Thwet Thwet Khine’s coffin was partially removed to allow a last glimpse of her head resting on a bed of red and white roses before she was cremated. Members of the crowd outside chanted “Our uprising must succeed!”
Protesters elsewhere in Myanmar gathered again Sunday for street demonstrations that have been going on for more than two weeks.
In Yangon, Myanmar’s biggest city, about 1,000 demonstrators began the day by honoring Mya Thwet Thwet Khine at a ceremony under an elevated roadway.
“I want to say through the media to the dictator and his associates, we are peaceful demonstrators,” said protester Min Htet Naing. “Stop the genocide! Stop using lethal weapons!”
There were also protests in Myawaddy, on the border with Thailand, and at Inle Lake, a popular scenic tourist attraction, where dozens of its famous longtailed wooden boats were moored near shore and those aboard chanted anti-coup slogans.
Demonstrators turned out in force in Mandalay, the country’s second-biggest city, where security forces shot dead two people on Saturday near a dockyard where the authorities had been trying to force workers to load a boat. The workers, like railway workers and truckers and many civil servants, have joined a civil disobedience campaign against the junta. SOVEREIGNPH