Myanmar’s generals on Thursday ordered Internet providers to ban access to Facebook, as UN chief Antonio Guterres said the world would have to rally to ensure the military coup failed.
The Southeast Asian nation plunged into direct military rule on Monday when de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other civilian leaders were detained in connection with the morning raids, ending the country’s brief experience of democracy.
The uprising drew international condemnation and feared that the military would take back 54 million people in decades of junta rule, turning Myanmar into one of Asia’s poorest and most oppressive nations.
After the withdrawal of troops from the streets of major cities, no major street protests were captured.
But people turned to social media to raise their voices in opposition and to share their plans for civil disobedience – especially on Facebook.
“We have the digital power […] “We have been using the military to oppose the masses since day one,” said Thinzar Shunlei Yi, an activist who is behind a so-called “civil disobedience movement”. Announced in style.
Telenor, one of the country’s main telecommunications providers, confirmed on Thursday that authorities had ordered “temporary suspension” of access to Facebook.
The Norwegian-owned company said it had to comply, but “does not believe the application is based on need and proportion, in accordance with international human rights law.”
Facebook has confirmed that “access to some people is currently affected” and called on authorities to restore contact.
NetBlocks, which monitors Internet shutdowns around the world, said the disruption is also affecting Facebook-owned apps such as Instagram and WhatsApp.
For many people in Myanmar, Facebook is the gateway to the Internet and an important way to gather information.
“The first thing we see every morning is our phone, the last thing we see at night,” said the 32-year-old businessman, who opposed the uprising.
A small rally was held in front of Mandalay Madison University on Thursday, with protesters carrying placards saying “People protest against military coup!”
Police arrested four people, local media reported, although authorities could not confirm their detention AFP.
‘Coup must fail’
Army Chief Man Aung Hlaing’s coup drew a sharp response from the international community.
On Wednesday, UN Secretary-General Guterres said he would put pressure on Myanmar’s generals to react strongly.
“We will make every effort to mobilize all key actors and the international community to put enough pressure on Myanmar to ensure that the coup fails.” The Washington Post.
“Changing the election results and the will of the people is absolutely unacceptable,” he said.
Min Aung Hlaing justified his coup by accusing the November election of widespread voter fraud.
Suu Kyi, who has not been seen in public since his arrest, won a landslide victory with his National League for Democracy (NLD), while military-backed parties drank heavily. Of was
International and local observers – as well as Myanmar’s own election monitors – did not report any major issues affecting the integrity of the vote.
Myanmar’s junta-era constitution has ensured that the military retains considerable influence, including a quarter of the seats in parliament and control of key ministries.
But analysts say the top generals feared their influence would wane and were disappointed by Suu Kyi’s continued appeal.
On Wednesday, authorities filed a vague charge against the 75-year-old to justify his ongoing detention.
According to his party, he was charged under Myanmar’s import and export law when authorities found unregistered walkie-talkies at his home.
The United States has said it is “upset” by the allegations.
Myanmar’s military has declared a year-long state of emergency and said it will hold new elections once its allegations are cleared.
This has caused great anger within the nation, but opposition to the military is fraught with danger.
During the Junta rule, several disputes were settled, including thousands of workers, including hundreds.
Censorship was widespread, and the military often deployed lethal forces, especially during large-scale protests in 1988 and 2007.
The new government has already issued a warning not to instruct people to say or post anything that could “encourage riots or instability”.
The UN Security Council convened an emergency meeting on Tuesday but failed to agree on a statement condemning the coup.
In order to adopt it, it needed the support of China and Russia, which have veto power as permanent members of the Security Council and are key supporters of Myanmar at the United Nations.
The diplomats said Russia and China had asked for more time to fine the Security Council’s response.