By Bruno Philip

Posted today at 6:38 am, updated at 10:08 am

Neither the two dead in Mandalay, killed by the police on Saturday February 20, nor the promise of elections “Free and just” in the indefinite future, nor the warnings addressed to young demonstrators at risk of ” die “ by joining the large anti-regime rallies, nothing helps: three weeks after the military coup of 1er February, the anger of the Burmese does not weaken. Burma is standing, erected like a furious cobra against the “men in green”, the color of the uniforms of the officers of the Tatmadaw (the Burmese armed forces).

Hundreds of thousands of people marched again at the end of the week, braving the police and soldiers in position in the streets, mocking threats from the new power, defying the junta, disdainful of the risks involved.

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Monday, when activists called for a new day of general strike, was to mark a new episode of monster demonstrations: February 22 is considered by many Burmese, fascinated by numerology, as an auspicious date due to the rare succession of the four digits of the calendar 22-2-21. A symbol that recalls the time of the great anti-junta uprising of August 8, 1988: 8-8-88.

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Vigil of tribute to the victims of the military coup, in Rangoon in Burma, on February 21.

Burma, once described by British writer Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) as a “A country like no other”, continues to earn its reputation. By regaining the power they had long confiscated (1962-2011), the generals provoked among the Burmese – who have always hated the army – a movement of rejection unprecedented in modern history of the postcolonial era. A phenomenon whose magnitude perhaps surprised “the dwarf”, the nasty nickname of the officer who was behind the coup, General Min Aung Hlaing.

A first “martyrdom” for the cause of democracy

Saturday evening was the bloodiest since the start of the protests a fortnight ago: the police opened fire on demonstrators, near the port of Mandalay, the second city of the country, bordered by the great river Irrawaddy. After using water cannons and rubber bullets against a crowd of protesters eager to protect striking port workers – whom law enforcement wanted to force back to work – the police fired live ammunition. Balance sheet, two dead and at least six injured, some in serious condition.

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