Myanmar coup - police water cannon-protesters

Protesters demonstrated across Myanmar on Thursday to denounce the Feb. 1 military coup and arrest of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and police forcefully dispersed crowds, using water cannon in the capital and catapults in a northern town.

The daily protests and strikes that have paralyzed many government offices show no sign of easing even though the junta has promised a new election and appealed for civil servants to return to work, threatening action if they do not.

The Myanmar military issued arrest warrants for six celebrities who are accused of encouraging civil servants to strike and join the protests against this month's coup.

The strikes have paralyzed many government offices and businesses.

But one name on the warrant list, actor Lu Min, posted defiantly on his Facebook page, quote:

"It's amazing to see the unity of our people. People's power must return to the people."

Despite junta appeals for civil servants to return to work and threats if they do not, there has been no sign of the strikes easing.

Motorists in Yangon also continued with a campaign to show their opposition to the coup by driving at a snail's pace through downtown traffic on Thursday.

Last night in the country's second largest city Mandalay security forces opened fire with rubber bullets on railway workers who had gone on strike earlier in the week.

That's according to local residents and one charity worker was wounded in the leg.

Neither the army nor the police made any immediate comment on the incident, but the army's Facebook page said forces were providing security to "make sure people have tranquility and sound sleep."

Nearly 500 people have been arrested for taking part in the protests.

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