The communication blockade is a stark reminder of the progress Myanmar is in danger of losing after Monday’s coup plunged the nation back under direct military rule after a nearly decade-long move towards greater openness and democracy.
During Myanmar’s previous five decades of military rule, the country was internationally isolated and communication with the outside world strictly controlled.
Suu Kyi’s five years as leader since 2015 had been Myanmar’s most democratic period despite the military retaining broad powers the continued use of repressive colonial-era laws and the persecution of minority Rohingya Muslims.
Sunday’s rally came a day after about 1,000 people – factory workers and students prominent among them – marched down a main street in Yangon. They were met by more than 100 riot police.
There was no violence reported. Similar-sized demonstrations took place in at least two other areas of Yangon as well as in Mandalay, the second-largest city. At Yangon’s City Hall, protesters presented flowers to police.
Nearly 300 elected lawmakers from Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party were supposed to have taken their seats last Monday in a new session of Parliament following November elections when the military announced it was taking power for a year.