Internet access partially restored in Myanmar as protests grow against military coup

YANGON: Internet access was partially restored in Myanmar on Sunday (Feb 7), as a nationwide internet and social media blockade did not curb public outrage and big protests against the military coup that ousted elected chief Aung San Suu Kyi.

“Partial restoration of Internet connectivity confirmed in #Myanmar from 2pm local time on multiple providers following information blackout,” mentioned Internet monitoring service Netblocks on Twitter.

Myanmar was plunged into cyber darkness on Saturday on the military’s orders.

Netblocks mentioned social media platforms remained off limits on Sunday afternoon.

But mobile phone clients utilizing providers with MPT, Ooredoo, Telenor and Mytel are actually capable of access cellular Internet knowledge and Wi-Fi.

Earlier on Sunday Netblocks mentioned connectivity in Myanmar was at 14 per cent of typical ranges.

Myanmar protest Feb 7

Protesters march throughout an indication against the military coup in Yangon on Feb 7, 2021. (Photo: AFP/Ye Aung Thu)

READ: Commentary – Myanmar military never had any intention of giving up power

In a second day of widespread protests against the military junta, crowds in the most important metropolis, Yangon, sported crimson shirts, crimson flags and crimson balloons, the color representing Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy Party (NLD). They chanted, “We don’t want military dictatorship! We want democracy!”

Sunday’s gathering was much bigger than one on Saturday when tens of hundreds took to the streets in the primary mass protests against the coup and in spite of a blockade on the Internet ordered by the junta in the identify of guaranteeing calm.

On Sunday, large crowds from all corners of Yangon gathered in townships and headed towards the Sule Pagoda on the coronary heart of downtown Yangon, additionally a rallying level in the course of the Buddhist monk-led 2007 protests and others in 1988.

They gestured with the three-finger salute that has grow to be an emblem of protest against the coup. Drivers honked their horns and passengers held up photographs of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

“We don’t want to live under military boots,” mentioned 29-year-old protester Ye Yint.

Myanmar protest Feb 7

Protesters face off with police standing guard throughout an indication against the military coup in Yangon on Feb 7, 2021. (Photo: STR / AFP)

READ: UN chief backs Myanmar people’s right to peaceful protest in face of military coup

Despite the Internet shutdown, a number of folks have been capable of broadcast on Facebook Live. Users mentioned Internet access appeared to have been restored on Sunday afternoon.

Telecom Myanmar mentioned in a tweet at about 2.30pm native time (4pm, Singapore time) that its Internet providers had been restored in the nation.

There was no remark from the junta in the capital Naypyidaw, greater than 350km north of Yangon.

An inner be aware for United Nations employees estimated that 1,000 folks joined a protest in Naypyidaw whereas there have been 60,000 in Yangon alone. Protests additionally have been reported in the second metropolis of Mandalay and plenty of cities throughout the nation of 53 million folks.


The demonstrations have largely been peaceable, not like the bloody crackdowns seen in 1998 and 2007.

But pictures have been heard in the southeastern city of Myawaddy as uniformed police with weapons charged a gaggle of a few hundred protesters, dwell video confirmed. There was no rapid report of casualties.

“Anti-coup protests show every sign of gaining steam. On the one hand, given history, we can well expect the reaction to come,” wrote creator and historian Thant Myint-U on Twitter.

“On the other, Myanmar society today is entirely different from 1988 and even 2007. Anything’s possible.”

Myanmar protest sunday feb 7

Police stand guard on a avenue throughout an indication against the military coup in Yangon on Feb 7, 2021. (Photo: STR / AFP)

READ: Biden demands Myanmar military ‘relinquish power’

With no Internet and official information scarce, rumours swirled concerning the destiny of Aung San Suu Kyi and her Cabinet. A narrative that she had been launched drew crowds out to have fun on Saturday, however it was shortly quashed by her lawyer.

Aung San Suu Kyi, 75, faces fees of illegally importing six walkie-talkies and is being held in police detention for investigation till Feb 15. Her lawyer mentioned he has not been allowed to see her.

She spent almost 15 years underneath home arrest throughout a long time of struggling to finish nearly half a century of military rule earlier than the beginning of a troubled transition to democracy in 2011.

Army commander Min Aung Hlaing carried out the coup on the grounds of fraud in a Nov 8 election in which Suu Kyi’s celebration gained a landslide. The electoral fee dismissed the allegations of malpractice.

Myanmar protest feb 7

Protesters participate in an indication against the military coup in Yangon on Feb 7, 2021. (Photo: STR / AFP)

READ: Another senior Aung San Suu Kyi aide arrested in Myanmar

More than 160 folks have been arrested for the reason that military seized energy, mentioned Thomas Andrews, the United Nations particular rapporteur on Myanmar.

“The generals are now attempting to paralyse the citizen movement of resistance – and keep the outside world in the dark – by cutting virtually all Internet access,” Andrews mentioned in an announcement on Sunday.

“We must all stand with the people of Myanmar in their hour of danger and need. They deserve nothing less.”

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