Myanmar’s embattled citizens struggled with a drastic cut-off of internet and wireless data services Friday following a military junta order aimed at staunching the flow of videos and photos of atrocities to a global audience, activists and web users said.
The Ministry of Transport and Communications on Thursday ordered the suspension of all wireless broadband data services, providers said, intensifying a clampdown on information flows that began with the blocking of social media sites and a 1 p.m.-to-9.a.m. cutoff of wireless service days after the Feb. 1 coup.
“This shutdown is mainly because they don’t want the news from citizen journalists on the ground to reach the media and then go from the media to the public,” said J. Paing of the Myanmar Press Photo Agency.
“Another purpose is to keep journalists working on the ground uninformed,” he told RFA’s Myanmar Service, noting that the lack of Internet access made it very difficult to obtain local information.
RFA’s Myanmar Service. Translated by Khin Maung Nyane, Ye Kaung Myint Maung and Kyaw Min Htun. Written in English by Paul Eckert.