Anti-coup protesters in Myanmar have sloshed red paint in the streets on Wednesday (Apr 14) to symbolise the blood spilled and more than 700 lives lost in a brutal military crackdown.

Hsu Chi Ko(3.6.5) on Twitter: "#Myanmar is bleeding Flower strike in  #Yangon NEWS SUPPRESSION #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar #Apr2Coup  #InternetShutdown… https://t.co/4f51VIrnUQ"

The country is barely functioning, and the economy has stalled since the military seized power from civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1st.

The military junta has sought to quell mass protests with lethal force, and a local monitoring group has verified at least 714 civilian deaths but warns the toll is likely to be even higher.

This week is Myanmar’s New Year festival of Thingyan, but normal holiday festivities such as public water fights have been cancelled.

Instead, protesters have been using Thingyan as a rallying point, as bus shelters and pavements were sprayed red on Wednesday in cities and towns nationwide.

“The purpose of the “bleeding strike” is to remember the martyrs who died in the struggle for democracy”, a protest participant from Yangon told AFP.

“We should not be happy during this festival time. We have to feel sadness for the martyrs who are bleeding and we must continue to fight this battle in any way we can.”

In Mandalay, red paint was also spilled on the streets amid signs saying: “Hope our military dictatorship fails”, “overthrow the era of fear” and “blood has not dried on the streets”.


Protesters spray-painted a pavement red in a Yangon suburb and left a note that read: “Dear UN, How are you? I hope you are well. As for Myanmar, we are dying.”

The United Nations human rights chief warned on Tuesday that Myanmar could be spiralling towards a “full-blown” Syrian-style conflict.

Flagging possible crimes against humanity, the High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet urged countries to take immediate action to push Myanmar’s military to stop its “campaign of repression and slaughter of its people”.

“I fear the situation in Myanmar is heading towards a full-blown conflict,” Bachelet said in a statement.

The bloody crackdown has brought widespread international condemnation and calls for restraint, as well as sanctions from some countries on the Myanmar armed forces and their extensive business interests.

But diplomatic bickering has stalled concrete action, with the European Union’s top diplomat blaming Moscow and Beijing for blocking tough measures, such as a UN arms embargo.