Surreal workout video during military coup goes viral, as world watches on

Nick Whigham
·Assistant News Editor
·4-min read

A truly surreal workout video has gone viral appearing to show a woman unwittingly performing a live exercise routine while a military coup quietly develops in the background.

A coup unfolded in the southeast Asian nation of Myanmar on Monday as the military moved in to seize power and take captive the country’s senior politicians including leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

As much of the world watched on in horror, the bizarre moment captured in the video has since grabbed the attention of the internet.

In the clip, the woman named Khing Hnin Wai, dances for more than three minutes in an 80s style aerobics outfit, seemingly oblivious to the military and police vehicles amassing in the background as the army prepares to seize control of the government.

A woman dances in front of a passing military truck in Myanmar.
The workout clip has racked up millions of views as world leaders condemn the actions of the military in Myanmar. Source: Getty

Given the bizarre nature of the clip, there were doubts about the authenticity of the vision but the footage at least appears to be real.

As the video racked up millions of views after spreading on social media, digital sleuths worked to seemingly authenticate the location of the video as the woman in the clip also defended it.

The video appears to have been taken on a raised platform on the Royal Lotus Roundabout which sits near the Ministry Zone in the capital city of Naypyitaw.

“The sheer absurdity of it all,” remarked one social media user.

The clip was originally posted to the woman’s FaceBook page on Monday, which lists her as a physical education teacher employed by the country's Ministry of Education.

She has since claimed the clip is real, following the sudden wave of attention.

The woman shared a handful of previous videos of her exercising in the same spot, writing on Facebook that she did not post the clip to be famous, and said she had been exercising at the same location for the past 11 months.

West condemns military’s toppling of government

Western nations including Australia have condemned the sudden turn of events in Myanmar, which derailed years of efforts to establish democracy in the poverty-stricken country.

The army said it had responded to “election fraud”, handing power to military chief General Min Aung Hlaing and imposing a state of emergency for a year in the country.

The generals made their move hours before parliament had been due to sit for the first time since the National League for Democracy’s (NLD) landslide win in a November 8 election, viewed as a referendum on Suu Kyi’s fledgling democratic rule.

Aung San Suu Kyi casts a vote in her Myanmar's election.
Aung San Suu Kyi casts a vote in her country's election last October. Source: Getty

After years of military rule, Suu Kyi’s party established the first civilian government in half a century in 2015.

The UN Security Council was set to meet Tuesday amid calls for a strong international response to the latest development in the country also known as Burma, where neighbouring China has a powerful influence.

On Monday, troops and riot police patrolled the streets while residents rushed to markets to stock up on supplies and others lined up at ATMs to withdraw cash.

Phone and internet connections in the capital, Naypyitaw, and the main commercial centre Yangon were disrupted and state television went off the air after the leaders were detained.

The World Bank overnight said it was gravely concerned about the current situation, warning the events risked a major setback to Myanmar’s democratic transition and its development prospects.

“We are concerned about the safety and security of people in Myanmar, including our staff and partners, and are troubled by the shutdown of communications channels both within Myanmar and with the outside world,” the Bank said in a statement.

The military coup has sparked renewed threats of sanctions by the US government and raised questions about the outlook for a million Rohingya refugees in the country.

with Reuters

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