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Facebook Blocked in Myanmar, Protests by Banging Pots

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Facebook blocked in Myanmar

People in Myanmar have been protesting against the military coup by making noises. These noises include banging pots, honking, banging utensils etc. Local telecom operators in Myanmar have started to temporarily block Facebook following an order from the country’s military government. Facebook blocked in Myanmar in wake of controlling the protest by the civilians.

 

Why are the people in Myanmar protesting ?

The military, led by General Min Aung Hlaing, detained the country’s elected leader, Aung San Suu Kyi on Monday. A state of emergency was declared soon after. In November, Suu Ki’s party won the country’s election by winning 346 out of the 476 parliamentary seats. However, the opposing Union Solidarity and Development Party, which has ties to the military, rejected the results of the election, claiming widespread voter fraud occurred.

Why is Facebook blocked in Myanmar ?

Facebook banned an account associated with the Myawaddy TV, which had been promoting the actions of the army to an audience of more than 33,000 people. A Facebook spokesperson said the company was “closely monitoring political events in Myanmar,” as well as working to “stop misinformation and content that could incite further tensions.”

Facebook is used by about half Myanmar’s 53 million people. The social networking giant has emerged as a key platform for opposition to Monday’s Military coup with photos of civil disobedience campaigns and nightly pot-and-pan protests widely shared.

Facebook is an integral part of Myanmar’s internet ecosystem. “For the majority of Myanmar’s 20 million internet-connected citizens, Facebook is the internet” was put across in a report from 2018. Not only that, but Messenger is the primary communications channel for most of its citizens. It’s believed around half of the country’s population holds a Facebook account. This clearly means that any attempt to block the service is a significant move.

 

Dark History of Facebook in Myanmar

In 2018, Facebook admitted that it hadn’t done enough “to help prevent our platform from being used to foment division and incite offline violence,” after critics said its platform had played a role in genocidal violence in the country. Facebook said it was investing in “people, technology and partnerships to examine and address the abuse of Facebook in Myanmar.”

Why is Aung San Suu Kyi arrested ?

According to the Police reports, six walkie-talkie radios had been found in a search of Aung San Suu Kyi’s home in Naypyidaw, claiming they had been imported illegally and used without permission.

ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR), a group of legislators from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations described the charges against Aung San Suu Kyi as baseless. “This is an absurd move by the junta to try to legitimize their illegal power grab. We have been here before. ASEAN and the international community all know where this is likely to head: back to a ruthless military dictatorship.” APHR chairman and Malaysian MP Charles Santiago said in a statement, urging the international community to intervene.

How is International agencies reacting ?

The United Nations said it would increase international pressure to ensure the will of the people is respected.

“We will do everything we can to mobilize all the key actors and international community to put enough pressure on Myanmar to make sure that this coup fails,” United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said during an interview broadcast by The Washington Post newspaper on Wednesday.

“It is absolutely unacceptable after elections – elections that I believe took place normally – and after a large period of transition.” he added.

How is the military involved ?

The military had ruled Myanmar from 1962 until the NLD won power in 2015 under a constitution that was written by the generals and guaranteed them 25 percent of all seats in parliament and a prime role in government.

What is the current state except Facebook blocked in Myanmar ?

Things are getting worse by the days passing. With Facebook blocked in Myanmar, the civilians have become even more agitated. The protests have gone to the next level and the civilians are showing their unwilling about the whole incident.

The junta, which is headed by Army chief General Min Aung Hlaing, has declared a one-year state of emergency and new elections without giving a timetable for them.

On Twitter, #CivilDisobedienceMovement was the top trending hashtag in the country. Close behind was #JusticeForMyanmar.

Myanmar’s military government reportedly arrested at least three protesters hours after it blocked Facebook and other social media platforms.

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