Myanmar’s anti-junta movement shows viral support for Rohingya

Yangon: Anti-junta protesters flooded Myanmar's social media with pictures of themselves wearing black Sunday in a show of solidarity for the Rohingya, a minority group that is among the most persecuted in the country.

Since the military ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi from power in a February 1 coup, an anti-junta movement demanding a return to democracy has grown to include fighting for ethnic minority rights.

The mostly Muslim Rohingya -- long viewed as interlopers from Bangladesh by many in Myanmar -- have for decades been denied citizenship, rights, access to services and freedom of movement.

Activists and civilians took to social media on Sunday to post pictures of themselves wearing black and flashing a three-finger salute of resistance, in posts tagged "#Black4Rohingya".

"Justice must (be) served for each of you and each of us in Myanmar," said prominent rights activist Thinzar Shunlei Yi on Twitter.

Local media also showed a small protest in Myanmar's commercial hub Yangon, with black-clad demonstrators holding signs in Burmese that said they were "protesting for the oppressed Rohingya".

By afternoon, the #Black4Rohingya hashtag was trending on Twitter in Myanmar, with more than 180,000 mentions.

Sunday's show of support from the mostly Buddhist, ethnic Bamar-majority population is a far cry from previous years, when even using the term "Rohingya" was a lightning rod for controversy. - AFP