After Facebook, now Twitter, Instagram blocked in Myanmar
Published: 11:15 AM, 6 February 2021 Updated: 12:34 PM, 6 February 2021
People take part in a noise campaign on the street after calls for protest against the military coup emerged on social media, in Yangon on February 5, 2021; Photo: AFP
Myanmar coup leaders have blocked the social media sites Twitter and Instagram for users in the country following Aung San Suu Kyi’s detained on Monday by the military.
The coup leaders blocked Facebook on Thursday for the sake of “stability”.
Confirming the matter to BBC, Telenor, one of the country's main internet providers, said it has been ordered to deny access to the two sites “until further notice.”
According to BBC, there has been a growing protest of civilians over the detention of democratically-elected leaders. University teachers and students gathered in Yangon on Friday to chant support for the country’s de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and other senior members of her National League for Democracy (NLD) party.
“Suu Kyi is under house arrest,” said her lawyer, adding that “police documents show she is accused of illegally importing and using communications equipment – walkie-talkies – at her home in Nay Pyi Taw.”
Meanwhile, following the Facebook ban, thousands of Twitter and Instagram Burmese users using hashtags to express their opposition to the takeover. However, access to those platforms had also been denied later on Friday night.
There was no official word from the coup leaders but the AFP news agency said it had seen an unverified ministry document that said the two social media sites were being used to “cause misunderstanding among the public.”
Myanmar has remained mostly calm in the aftermath of the coup, which has plunged the South East Asian country into uncertainty.
On Friday afternoon, hundreds of teachers and students gathered outside Dagon University, where they displayed the three-finger salute – a sign that has been adopted by protesters in the region to show their opposition to authoritarian rule.
“We will not let our generation suffer under this kind of military dictatorship,” Min Sithu, a student, told the AFP news agency.
Residents in some cities including Yangon have conducted nightly protests from their homes, where they have been banging pots and pans and singing revolutionary songs, and there have also been daytime flash-mobs.
Some healthcare workers, teachers and civil servants have either organized small protests or gone on strike, while others have continued to work wearing symbols of defiance such as a red ribbon.
US President Joe Biden, on Thursday, called on the military to “relinquish power” and release detained officials and activists. The US had already threatened severe sanctions on Myanmar, which is also known as Burma.
However, the military is seemingly undeterred by the disapproval, continuing down its path of consolidating power and appointing new ministers in the capital Naypyitaw, said the BBC’s Southeast Asia correspondent Jonathan Head.
The UN Security Council also called on the military authorities in Myanmar to release Suu Kyi and other detained leaders but stopped short of condemning the coup.
Source: BBC, AFP.