• Vidhi Daga

CRY FOR HELP BEING SUPPRESSED, AS THE MYANMAR GOVERNMENT SHUTS DOWN INTERNET

The former British colony, Myanmar, is descending into chaos for the past two months following the military’s overthrow of Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected administration, which has sparked anger across towns and cities and reignited hostilities between the armed forces and ethnic minority insurgents. Myanmar is currently embroiled in protests against the military government, which has responded with increasingly totalitarian surveillance and censorship measures. The military leadership has ordered a wireless broadband shutdown without a deadline, another way designed to interfere with protestor organizing and to prevent Myanmar citizens, journalists, and human rights activists from more easily broadcasting what’s happening on the ground to the rest of the world and to stifle an opposition that is demanding the restoration of civilian rule and release of Aung San Suu Kyi and other key figures in her government.

According to sources, Myanmar has cut mobile data services for 18 days. While they have imposed a wider shutdown every night for almost 50 days. The recent cuts affect wireless broadband, though fiber services still appear to be working. Khit Thit Media reported shots were fired at a protest during the night, where 400 troops were present. According to the Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) advocacy group, some 543 people have been killed in the uprising. The situation seems to deteriorate. The security forces opened fire at a rally on Friday where four people got shot and two wounded critically. Police have been shooting from the hills and worsening the situation. British colony, Burma, hostilities between the armed forces and ethnic minority insurgents have broken out in at least two regions. Across the country, “flower strikes” were being held, leaving bouquets, some with defiant slogans, at significant locations like bus stops, where activists killed by security forces had departed on their last journeys. People held roses in the air while making three-finger salutes, a symbol of resistance. One arrangement of dandelions and red roses on a lakeside walkway read: “Myanmar is bleeding”. The extent of the internet shutdown still hasn’t been clear because pictures of marches, flower strikes, and a funeral of a slain protester still being posted and shared on social media. Meanwhile, fresh charges against the Novel laureate of violating the official secrets act have been filed. This charge could cost her 14 years of imprisonment. The United Nations’ special envoy for Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener, on Wednesday warned that “a bloodbath is imminent” if the international community did not act to quell the violence. The UN official acknowledged that by waiting until they are ready to talk, “the ground situation will only worsen”, meaning “a bloodbath is imminent”. The council has waited for too long as patterns of human rights violations and international crimes have been committed by the Myanmar military. They must take quick actions in order to avoid the worst outcomes.

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