Tuesday was the one-year anniversary of Myanmar's military coup, an occasion marked by a lethal explosion, an instance of self-immolation, and "silent strikes" by opponents of the governing junta, Reuters reports.
Those participating in the "silent strikes" remained at home and kept their businesses closed. According to Reuters, authorities warned that such activities could lead to arrest, imprisonment, and seizure of businesses, but the strikes still went forward, leaving streets eerily empty.
Some anti-government demonstrators did take to the streets, throwing red paint on the ground in what may have been intended as a protest against the junta's bloody crackdowns, which killed some 1,500 people in the aftermath of the coup, The Hill reported.
According to Reuters, pro-junta groups also demonstrated to mark the anniversary. At one such gathering in an eastern border town, an explosion killed two people — including one soldier — and wounded 30 others, among them several veterans, local news said. No one has yet claimed responsibility for the explosion.
A man also reportedly set himself on fire in front of an electric company office in the central town of Kyaukpadaung. A local resident told Reuters the man survived but "is in serious condition."
The location he chose for his self-immolation may be linked to Myanmar's frequent power outages, which have grown more common since the coup. Multinational corporations have drawn back from the increasingly authoritarian nation, and several nations, including the United States and United Kingdom, have imposed sanctions on the regime.
The military deposed and arrested democratically elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi last year. In December 2021, she was sentenced to four years in prison and remains on trial for other offenses that, according to Reuters, "carry a combined maximum sentence of more than 150 years."