Burmese restaurant in Thailand lets customers eat for free in return for donations to fight military coup

A Burmese Restaurant in Thailand is letting customers eat for free if they donate to the fight against the military coup in the country. The Mandalay restaurant in the capital Bangkok introduced the idea after leader Aung San Suu Kyi was toppled by the army last Monday (Feb 1). Footage from the restaurant taken this morning (Feb 9) shows how locals and migrant workers are filling the cafe for the free lunch and dropping cash into collection bowls. Si Lao Mai, the owner of the Mandalay restaurant, said: ‘Aung San Suu Kyi is my angel. She gave us hope after having to live under the military for so long. Even though we were not a hundred per cent democratic, it was much better than being under the military, like we are again now. ‘The donations will be given to the people in Myanmar fighting the coup, especially for people who worked for the state who have quit their jobs for political reasons to oppose the military coup.’ No-nonsense military chiefs in the former British trading outpost have cracked down on protests, which have grown after four consecutive days of unrest. In the capital Naypyidaw today (Feb 9), police fired water cannon and rubber bullets at crowds before letting off several warning gun shots. Onlookers said several people demonstrating against the military coup were knocked to the ground by the force of the water jets in the new capital city. Witnesses at the scene recording video of the protest said that around two hours after the use of water cannon, police fired several warning shots from guns in an attempt to disperse the crowd. Military chiefs lead by Senior General Min Aung Hlaing have threatened to use live rounds amid fears of a brutal crackdown. The protest – the fourth consecutive day of widespread unrest – also saw crowds gather outside the United Nations building in the former capital Yangon, where many demonstrators held portraits of leader Aung San Suu Kyi who was toppled by a military coup last Monday (Feb 1). Locals fear a crackdown in the coming days by no-nonsense military chiefs, with riot police waning protesters that live rounds could be used. Martial law has also been declared in parts of Mandalay and bans introduced on people gathering in crowds. Supporters are calling for the release of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and other politicians who were detained as army chiefs seized power.