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‘People banging pans’ in Myanmar coup demo

The sound of vehicle horns and pans being struck have been heard around Myanmar’s biggest city Yangon in protest at a military coup that ousted Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government, Reuters witnesses say.

Social media users posted footage and showed livesteams of the public show of discontent at Monday’s takeover.

Suu Kyi’s party called on Tuesday for her immediate release and for the military junta that seized power a day earlier to recognise her victory in an election in November.

Her whereabouts remained unknown more than 24 hours after her arrest in a military takeover that derailed Myanmar’s tentative progress towards full democracy.

A senior official from her National League for Democracy (NLD) said on Tuesday he had learned she was in good health and was not being moved from the location where she was being held after the coup against her government.

She was picked up in the capital Naypyidaw on Monday along with dozens of other allies but her exact whereabouts have not been made public.

“There is no plan to move Daw Aung San Su Kyi and Doctor Myo Aung. It’s learned that they are in good health,” NLD official Kyi Toe said in a Facebook post which also referred to one of her allies.

An earlier post said she was at her home.

Kyi Toe also said NLD members of parliament detained during the coup were being allowed to leave the quarters where they had been held.

The UN Security Council was due to meet later on Tuesday amid calls for a strong global response to the military’s latest seizure of power in a country blighted for decades by army rule.

The coup followed a landslide win for Suu Kyi’s NLD in an election on November 8 in a result that the military, claiming fraud, has refused to accept.

The army handed power to its commander, General Min Aung Hlaing, and imposed a state of emergency for a year.

Min Aung Hlaing told the first meeting of his new government on Tuesday that it was inevitable the army would have to take power after its protests over alleged election fraud last year.

“Despite the Tatmadaw’s (army) repeated requests, this path was chosen inevitably for the country. Until the next government is formed after the upcoming election, we need to steer the country,” Min Aung Hlaing was quoted as saying by army information service.

The election and fighting COVID-19 were the junta’s priorities, he said.

He had earlier promised a free and fair election and a handover of power to the winner but without giving a timeframe.

The electoral commission has dismissed the fraud claims.

The NLD’s executive committee demanded the release of all detainees “as soon as possible”.

In a post on the Facebook page of senior party official May Win Myint, the committee also called for the military to acknowledge the election results and for the new parliament to be allowed to sit.

It had been due to meet on Monday for the first time since the election.

Various activist groups on Tuesday issued a flurry of messages on social media urging civil disobedience.

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