Demonstrators hold "flower strikes" across the restive country, leaving bouquets, some with messages of defiance, at places associated with anti-coup activists killed by the security forces.

Protesters holding the padauk flower and signs with images of detained civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi during a demonstration against the military coup in Dawei, on April 2, 2021.
Protesters holding the padauk flower and signs with images of detained civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi during a demonstration against the military coup in Dawei, on April 2, 2021. (AFP)

Opponents of military rule in Myanmar have marched, observed "flower strikes" and sought alternative ways to communicate after most users were cut off from the internet, undaunted by the bloody suppression of protests during the past two months.

The authorities, who have already shut down mobile data, ordered internet providers from Friday to cut wireless broadband, depriving most customers of access. 

In response, anti-coup groups shared radio frequencies, mobile apps such as maps that work without a data connection, and tips for using SMS messages as an alternative to data services to communicate.

Hundreds of people have been killed demonstrating since the February1 coup, and many people have been using social media to publicise the security forces' excesses and to organise against military rule.

READ MORE: Myanmar protests continue a day after dozens killed by security forces

Fresh violence

Violent incidents occurred regularly in different parts of the country on Friday between the security forces and people set against military rule.

In the town of Tamu on the Indian border, a policemen who supported the democracy movement was killed on Friday in a clash with security forces, the Monywa Gazette reported.

Separately, security forces opened fire at a rally near the central city of Mandalay, wounding four people, two critically, according to three domestic media organisations.

In the commercial hub of Yangon, a Myanmar employee of South Korea's Shinhan Bank died on Friday after being shot in the head while travelling in a minibus two days earlier, the bank said, adding it was discussing the situation with the government.

Adding to the chaos in the former British colony, also known as Burma, hostilities between the armed forces and ethnic minority insurgents have broken out in at least two regions.

'Flower strikes'

Across the country, demonstrators held "flower strikes," leaving bouquets, some with messages of defiance, at places associated with activists killed by the security forces.

People held up roses while making three-finger salutes, a symbol of resistance. Entire benches were covered in flowers and anti-coup messages.

One arrangement of dandelions and red roses on a lakeside walkway read: "Myanmar is bleeding."

Despite the internet shutdown, users were still able to upload pictures of marches, flower strikes and a funeral of a slain protester.

An image shared widely on social media showed an overhead view of hundreds of flickering candles on a dark road, forming the words "we will never surrender."

Suu Kyi charged under official secrets act

Authorities have been struggling to stifle an opposition demanding the restoration of civilian rule and release of elected government leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other figures.

Nobel laureate Suu Kyi and four allies have been charged with violating a colonial-era official secrets act, her chief lawyer said on Thursday, the most serious charge filed against her. Violations are punishable by up to 14 years in prison.

Another of her lawyers, Min Min Soe, attended Suu Kyi's latest video-conference hearing on Thursday and said she was unable to tell whether the ousted leader, the figurehead of a decades-long fight against military dictatorship, was aware of the situation in the country.

Some 543 people have been killed in the uprising, according to the Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) advocacy group, which is tracking casualties and detentions. 

The military has repeatedly said those killed had instigated violence.

Protesters have been burning copies of the 2008 constitution after remnants of Suu Kyi's administration declared that it had repealed the military-drafted charter.

READ MORE: Dozens of protesters killed in Myanmar as junta celebrates Armed Forces Day

International outrage

Western countries have condemned the coup and the violence and some have imposed limited sanctions.

Britain on Thursday blacklisted one of the military's conglomerates, following similar measures from other Western countries.

Fashion brand Next announced it had suspended orders from Myanmar's factories.

While Southeast Asian countries have traditionally been reluctant to criticise or sanction their neighbour, there are signs of growing dismay with a country that has for decades raised international concerns over its domestic repression.

The Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and most recently Thailand have called for an end to the violence.

READ MORE: Myanmar junta condoles deaths but blames anti-coup protests for violence

Source: TRTWorld and agencies