Myanmar coup: Military takes country offline for second night

Access to the internet appears to have been blocked for a second night running by Myanmar’s new military rulers.

UK-based monitor NetBlocks reported a « near-total internet shutdown » from 01:00 local time (18:30 GMT) on Tuesday.

It is the fourth shutdown since the 1 February coup as the junta tries to stifle dissent, much of it online.

Earlier, the military authorities announced stiff penalties for those opposing the coup leaders.

Signs that another outage was imminent came after an internet service provider told BBC Burmese that online access was being blocked.

The latest shutdown follows a pattern aimed at disrupting continuing opposition to the coup, which overthrew elected leaders including longtime democracy campaigner, Aung San Suu Kyi, who is still in custody.

Access to Facebook, a rallying point for a campaign of civil disobedience, was restricted soon after the coup. Use of Twitter and Instagram was also disrupted.

Major telecoms provider Telenor has said it will no longer be updating a list on its website of internet disruption. It told AFP news agency that the situation was « confused and unclear » and said that employee safety was a « top priority ».

What is happening on the streets?

The military’s presence is growing. At many strategic locations, soldiers have replaced the police.

In the main city, Yangon, eight-wheeled armoured vehicles have been seen trying to navigate the rush-hour traffic, sometimes surrounded by cars honking in opposition to the coup.

Protests focused on the central bank building, the US and Chinese embassies, and the city headquarters of Ms Su Kyi’s National League for Democracy.

As demonstrators gathered in the central city of Mandalay again on Monday, there were reports of security forces firing rubber bullets to disperse crowds.

In footage posted on social media, the sound of what appears to be gunshots can be heard as crowds flee, with several people later appearing to display injuries.

A leading student activist who has gone into hiding, Myo Ko Ko, told the BBC why he and others were willing to risk their lives.

« We strongly believe in democracy and human rights. We know that it’s risky, » he said.

« I have to move to another place day by day because of being searched (for) by police. We hope the international community will help us. »

World Opinions News –

ميادين | مرآة المجتمع، ملفات، تحليلات، آراء وافكار و رسائل لصناع القرار.. صوت من لا صوت له | الإعلام البديل

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