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Gen Z protests outmanoeuvre, expose old-fashioned coup makers in Myanmar

ANI | Updated: Feb 13, 2021 13:01 IST


Chiang Mai [Thailand], February 13 (ANI): The Generation Z-led street demonstrations across Myanmar have outmanoeuvred and exposed old-fashioned coup makers. It exposed how out of touch is Myanmar's military leader Senior General Min Aung Hlaing with the country's youth, reported Asia Times.
The use of social media and other technologies by Gen Z against the February 1 coup by the military have bewildered the old-fashioned coup makers, wrote Bertil Lintner in an opinion-piece in Asia Times.
The recent protests is entirely different from the earlier protests of 1988 when the Tatmadaw managed to suppress a pro-democracy uprising with an automatic rifle or of 2007 Buddhist monk-led Saffron Revolution, where soldiers again used bloody suppression to put down a similar popular movement.
Generation Z is hard to control owing to its knowledge of social media and internet surfing. They can not only get around government blocks on news but can also organise mass movements with the help of pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong and Thailand, with whom they communicate daily, said Lintner.
Due to these savvy activists of whom many are young women, public protests against the coup have not subsided despite military threats and bans.
On the contrary, they are getting stronger with people in more than 200 of Myanmar's 330 townships rejecting what they see as the military's unsubstantiated and concocted claims of fraud in the November 2020 election, which the National League for Democracy (NLD) won by a landslide, reported Asia Times.
Further, Lintner said for these young people, it is not only about the NLD and its leader, now-detained State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, but also about how the coup will deprive them of the freedom of expression that they have enjoyed since the country opened up to the outside world in 2012.

To counter Gen X, the military wants to introduce a new, draconian cyber-security law that would re-introduce censorship and force social media platforms to share private information about their users when requested by authorities.
Outsmarting the military move, Generation Z is using different SIM cards and VPNs to get around the military's feeble attempts at closing down some social networks and limiting access to others.
The youths through these gateways are exposing and disseminating the police brutalities. Police officers who have opened fire on demonstrators have been named and shamed with photos showing their actions, reported Asia Times.
Arrests of activists, even at night, have been recorded and posted on social media. When a crowd of hired thugs armed with iron rods climbed out of a truck to confront the protesters, they were filmed through the windscreen of a car.
Footage of protesting people with loudspeakers and placards in wooden boats plying Inlay Lake in Shan state went viral on social media, as did an anti-coup caravan of motorcycles in the northern town of Namkham on the Chinese border. Video clips of policemen joining the demonstrations in Loikaw, Kayah State, and Magwe also went viral.
Moreover, their innovative ways of demonstrations have outsmarted the old-fashioned military, instead of sitting together, they sit in a group of five few meters apart outsmarting the military move of the imposed ban that restricts them to gatherings of more than five people.
Young demonstrators have dressed up as ghosts and carried placards saying "the military is scarier than us", or donned all sorts of colorful costumes like contestants in a beauty pageant to mock the generals in power.
Min Aung Hlaing and the generals have met their match, if not their superiors, in Myanmar's galvanized Generation Z, wrote Lintner. (ANI)

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