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“We want democracy” is spelt out in huge white letters on a street in Myanmar’s biggest city, Yangon. “Justice for Myanmar” is carved on a row of watermelons by chefs protesting against the February 1 coup. The message “Reject Military” is formed by letters on the T-shirts of a row of hard-hatted protesters. All are in English.

While the language is in daily use by only a minority in the country of 53-million people, which is also known as Burma, it often dominates protest slogans and placards as protesters try to get their anti-coup message to the world...

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