KOMPAS.com - Tens of thousands of people rallied across Myanmar on Sunday to denounce last week's coup and demand the release of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, in the biggest protests since the 2007 Saffron Revolution that helped lead to democratic reforms.
In a second day of widespread protests, crowds in the biggest city, Yangon, sported red shirts, red flags and red balloons, the color of Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy Party (NLD).
"We don’t want military dictatorship! We want democracy!" they chanted.
On Sunday afternoon, the junta ended a day-long blockade of the internet that had further inflamed anger since the coup last Monday that has halted the Southeast Asian nation's troubled transition to democracy and drawn international outrage.
Massive crowds from all corners of Yangon gathered in townships, filling streets as they headed towards the Sule Pagoda at the heart of the city, also a rallying point during the Buddhist monk-led 2007 protests and others in 1988.
A line of armed police with riot shields set up barricades but did not try to stop the demonstration. Some marchers presented police with flowers as a sign of peace.
Protesters gestured with the three-finger salute that has become a symbol of protest against the coup. Drivers honked their horns and passengers held up photos of Suu Kyi.
"We don’t want a dictatorship for the next generation," said 21-year-old Thaw Zin. "We will not finish this revolution until we make history. We will fight to the end."