Protests continue in Myanmar as military cut internet, deploy tanks
The military junta deployed extra troops around Myanmar/Burma and choked the internet on Monday as the army intensified a crackdown against anti-coup protests. Thousands of defiant demonstrators have once again taken to the streets.
The military has steadily escalated efforts to quell an uprising against their seizure of power two weeks ago, which saw civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi detained along with hundreds, including members of her democratically elected government.
The generals imposed an hours-long internet shutdown on Monday morning and ratcheted up the military's presence across the country overnight, sending armoured vehicles onto the streets of Yangon, the nation's commercial hub and biggest city.
Fresh protests again flared in the city, near the central bank where troops were deployed.
'The fear is going away'
"Patrolling with armoured vehicles means they are threatening people," said 46-year-old Nyein Moe, among the more than one thousand gathered in front of the bank.
"People are marching on the streets and they don't care about being arrested or shot. We can't stop now. The fear in our mind is going away."
Hundreds of engineering and technology students also protested in a northern district of Yangon.
There was a rally in the southern city of Dawei too, a verified live stream on Facebook showed, with hundreds of protesters accompanied by a marching band.
Some carried banners against the military that read: "They kill in the day. They steal at night. They lie on TV."
Protesters also came out in large numbers in the capital Naypyidaw and the second-biggest city Mandalay.
'State-ordered information blackout'
Monitoring group NetBlocks reported that a "state-ordered information blackout" had taken Myanmar almost entirely offline early Monday.
⚠️ Confirmed: A near-total internet shutdown is in effect in #Myanmar as of 1 a.m. local time; real-time network data show national connectivity at just 14% of ordinary levels following state-ordered information blackout; incident ongoing 📉— NetBlocks (@netblocks) February 14, 2021
📰Background: https://t.co/Jgc20OBk27 pic.twitter.com/wWWVzb0c0G
Internet connectivity was later restored around the start of the working day, with NetBlocks saying the blackout lasted around eight hours.
But the monitor noted that most users in Myanmar were still barred from social media.
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