‘We Can Bring Down the Regime’: Myanmar’s Protesting Workers Are Unbowed

Two weeks after the military took power in a coup, growing work stoppages are undermining the ruling generals’ attempt to assert authority over an angry population.

Myanmar’s coup leaders have called on hundreds of thousands of government employees — doctors, garbage collectors, electricity workers — to set their “emotion” aside, abandon their protests against the military and return to work.

But on Monday, even after the army had put armored vehicles in the street in a nighttime show of power, the workers displayed little interest in returning to their jobs.

The work stoppages, which appear to be growing, are undermining the ruling generals as they try to assert their authority over the population after seizing power two weeks ago.

The walkouts have been especially notable among government employees, including at the ministry that provides power nationwide, tax offices and the General Administration Department, which oversees a wide range of public services and government functions.

“There is no way we can work under a dictatorship,” said Dr. Kyaw Zin, a surgeon who led one of the nation’s first walkouts at the government-run Mandalay General Hospital. “I am pretty sure we can bring down the regime.” (NY times)