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Myanmar military blocks Facebook, social media as anger simmers against coup

Myanmar military blocks Facebook, social media as anger simmers against coup
February 04
11:39 2021

NAYPYITAW: Myanmar Army has temporarily blocked Facebook and other messaging services in the name of public interest and state stability, Xinhua reported citing a statement issued by Telenor, one of the four operators running in the country.

The statement said all mobile operators, international gateways and internet service providers in the country received a directive from Myanmar’s Ministry of Transport and Communications to block social media platform Facebook.
A directive from the Ministry of Transport and Communications to the operators and service providers was spread on social media early Thursday.

The directive asked the operators to block Facebook from Thursday to February 7, under Section 77 of the country’s Telecommunications Law, mentioning that the move is made in the name of public interest and state stability. Telenor Myanmar has decided to comply with the directive on Thursday, it said.

This comes days after the country’s army wrested control of the democratically elected government and detained several civilians leaders. The step to block Facebook has been taken in a bid to quell dissent. Facebook, used by about half Myanmar’s 53 million people, has emerged as a key platform for opposition to Monday’s coup with photos of civil disobedience campaigns and nightly pot-and-pan protests widely shared, Al Jazeera reported.

Facebook spokesman Andy Stone urged authorities to restore connectivity “so that people in Myanmar can communicate with their families and friends and access important information”. Myanmar’s military launched a coup on Monday morning and detained Aung San Suu Kyi, Win Myint and other National League for Democracy (NLD) members.

The military announced a one-year state of emergency in the country, vowing to “take action” against alleged voter fraud during the November 8 general election, which saw Suu Kyi’s NLD party win resoundingly.

The military also said it was committed to the democratic system and vowed to hold new and fair elections after the state of emergency ends. (ANI) 

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