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Pope in solidarity with Myanmar Youth in Easter message

Pope Francis delivers his Urbi et Orbi Blessing after celebrating Easter Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica in The Vatican. Photo: AFP

Anti-coup demonstrators in Myanmar decorated boiled eggs on Sunday, as Pope Francis in his Easter message expressed solidarity with the country’s youth.

Delivering his Easter message at the St. Peter’s Basilica on Sunday, Pope Francis singled out Myanmar youth “committed to supporting democracy and making their voices heard peacefully, in the knowledge that hatred can be dispelled only by love.”

On Easter, decorated eggs became the latest emblem of resistance as scores of Myanmar protesters painted political messages on them and left them on neighbour’s doorsteps.

Pictures posted on social media showed eggs adorned with images of Suu Kyi and three-finger salutes — a protest gesture — while others said “save our people” and “democracy.”

A Yangon-based protester said though a Buddhist but have joined the campaign because it is easy to get a hold of eggs. “I spent almost one hour decorating my eggs.”

“I am praying for Myanmar’s current situation to get back to democracy.”

Myanmar’s most senior Catholic, Cardinal Charles Bo, also shared an Easter message on Twitter: “Jesus has risen: Hallelujah – Myanmar will rise again!”

Protesters also hit the streets again Sunday, some carrying flags and riding motorbikes.

In Pyinmana, a town in the Naypyidaw region, security forces opened fire on demonstrators.

“A man who was in the walking crowd got hit and killed. Another one was also shot,” a resident said.

A 30-year-old protester was also killed in the early hours of Sunday morning in a small town in northern Kachin state.

An eye witness also said that “They shot him at the roadside. He was wounded and died later. They took away his dead body this morning at 6 a.m.”

The military junta insists security forces are “exercising utmost restraint,” as they respond to the protests, state-run newspaper Myawady reported Sunday.

In Pyay, a town in the Bago region, people plastered photos of Myanmar children killed in early February on a billboard and fences.

Myanmar has been gripped by turmoil since a February 1 coup ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and derailed the country’s tentative transition to democracy. 

Security forces have sought to quell a mass uprising with lethal force and the death toll reached 557 as of Saturday, according to local monitoring group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP).

AFP

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