Hunger Games salute catching fire in post-coup Myanmar

Kyi Toe, a senior member of the deposed National League for Democracy party, raises a three-finger salute in defiance of Myanmar’s newly installed junta, at left. Burmese model-actor Paing Takhon joins the movement, at right.
Kyi Toe, a senior member of the deposed National League for Democracy party, raises a three-finger salute in defiance of Myanmar’s newly installed junta, at left. Burmese model-actor Paing Takhon joins the movement, at right.

Burmese politicians and celebrities are making a gesture of defiance very familiar to Thais who’ve raised it for over six years to resist authoritarianism.

A symbol flashed in since the 2014 coup through last year’s protests, the three-finger salute from The Hunger Games films has jumped the border and been taken up by Burmese opposed to the new junta installed after Monday’s coup. 

Win Htein and Kyi Toe, two senior members of the ruling party which trounced the military at the polls three months ago, the National League for Democracy, were spotted in photos today making the salute. 

Win Htein, at left, and Kyi Toe of the National League for Democracy raise three-finger salutes in resistance to Myanmar’s coup. 
Win Htein, at left, and Kyi Toe of the National League for Democracy raise three-finger salutes in resistance to Myanmar’s coup.

So was one of Myanmar’s hottest models, Paing Takhon, a crossborder phenomenon with legions of Thai fans. The 24-year-old model-actor, fresh from winning praise for his diving triceps as a short-timer monk, posted a photo of himself making the salute.

The salute was first seen within days of Thailand’s 2014 coup by those expressing defiance against the military regime of Gen. Prayuth Chan-o-cha, who seven years later remains in power.

Myanmar’s decade-long attempt to return to democracy came to a sudden end Monday, when the Tatmadaw, as Myanmar’s military is called, rolled out the tanks, arrested the elected civilian leadership and installed its supreme commander as head of state.

The three-finger salute is also being widely used among the public in Myanmar, where the civilian government enjoyed broad support, and its leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, was widely revered. Medics at the Yangon General Hospital this morning gathered outside the hospital to attach red ribbons to their scrub suits and raise three fingers. It was part of a collective act of civil disobedience at 30 hospitals in 30 towns, which halted work briefly today to protest the coup d’etat.

Social media users last night shared a photo of a raised three fingers campaigning #VoiceOutForDemocracy calling for public action such as drumming up pots, buckets or any cookware.

“I want the message to be passed on one by one,” Yangon resident Thae Thae Bloom wrote Facebook next to a photo of a three-finger symbol. “Let’s support our motherland with what we’ve got.”

 

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A post shared by 🌷Nang Kae Mar 🦋 (@nang_kae_mar)

 

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A post shared by Paing Takhon (@paing_takhon)

Related:

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Coup d’etat underway after Myanmar military arrests Aung San Suu Kyi, president

Tatmadaw is not staging another coup unless it is: military spokesman

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CITY: BANGKOKCATEGORY: NEWSSUB-CATEGORIES: POLITICS

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