Myanmar's military junta blocks all internet as protests grow
DW, 06 Feb 2021
Myanmar's military junta has cut off internet access across the country amid growing protests against this week's coup. Crowds of people took to the streets of largest city Yangon on Saturday to denounce the military takeover. Riot police blocked the streets using barricades and water cannon. Many of the protesters wore red in support of arrested leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Resistance appears to be growing. A demonstration in Yangon is the first such mass public protest since the military took over the country. Among the chants: 'Military dictator, fail, fail. Democracy win.' And demands for the release of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Authorities were not far away. Army chief Min Aung Hlaing seized power on Monday, alleging fraud in a Nov. 8 election won by Aung San Suu Kyi's NLD party. The electoral commission dismissed the army's accusations. Now the country's internet access has been severely reduced.
Independent monitor NetBlocks says Myanmar is "in the midst of a second nation-scale internet blackout," with internet connectivity at almost half of ordinary levels. Other reports say the military government ordered the shutdown of Facebook and Twitter, claiming the spread of fake news.
Protests against the military coup have also spread to other countries. In Melbourne, Australia, hundreds of demonstrators expressed their concern. And in Taiwan hundreds of members of the Myanmar community there also came out in force.
For the time being in Myanmar, despite efforts to silence protestors, calls for an end to the coup are still loud and clear in the country.
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