,TAIPEI, March 21 - Hundreds of people fromTaiwan's Myanmar community rallied in central Taipei on Sundayto denounce the coup there, singing defiant songs and holdingwhite and red roses in mourning for those who have diedprotesting the military. Taiwan is home to around 40,000 people originally fromMyanmar, most of whom are ethnic Chinese. Some are descendentsof Nationalist troops trapped in Myanmar, then called Burma, atthe end of China's civil war in 1949. Others have come morerecently, fleeing repression and anti-Chinese sentiment. Dressed in white, the colour of mourning, holding picturesof detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi and signs condemning thecoup, around 400 people protested at Taipei's Liberty Square,mainly Sino-Burmese but also non-Chinese Myanmar citizens,Taiwanese and Hong Kongers. "People in Myanmar are once again forced to live under thedark shadow of the military regime. As an emigrant from Myanmar,today we gather here to pay tribute to our fellow countrymen andthose fallen heroes," Yangon-born Thomas Chen, 28, a teacher ofBurmese at Taipei's Soochow University, told the crowd. People sang "We Won't Be Satisfied Until The End Of TheWorld", the Burmese-language anthem from the country's 1988pro-democracy uprising, brutally put down by the militarygovernment of the time, and bowed their heads in prayer toremember the dead. Hung Sun-han, a lawmaker for Taiwan's ruling DemocraticProgressive Party, criticised China for supporting the coup.Beijing denies this, though many people in Myanmar view China assupporting the junta that seized power on Feb. 1. "We know that behind this military coup there are forcesfrom Chinese Communist. This is the thing that people can'tstand the most," Hung told protesters. Last Sunday saw arson attacks against 32 Chinese-investedcompanies in the Yangon suburb of Hlaingthaya, thoughdemonstrators in Taipei who spoke to Reuters played down fearsof wider anti-Chinese feelings. REUTERS
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