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Myanmar military junta unblocks Facebook

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Myanmar military junta unblocks Facebook

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Photo: STR

The Facebook ban imposed by the Myanmar military during last week’s coup is expected to end today.

On Monday, democratically-elected State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and other National League for Democracy (NLD) party leaders were detained by the military. The military’s accusations of voting irregularities in the November elections had widened the political rift between the democratically elected civilian leaders and senior members of the armed forces.

Myanmar’s military imposed strict lockdowns on the internet, including Facebook, to minimise the risk of public backlash after detaining the NLD leaders. Suu Kyi’s detention, based on allegations of illegally importing communications technology, will further pit the military against the people.

Suu Kyi, the first democratically elected leader following 25 years of military rule, is still wildly popular amongst her constituents. Anticipate the people to take to the platform en-masse when the Facebook ban ends today, using it to organise protests and demonstrations against the coup. The NLD leadership’s detention and regression to military rule are unlikely to be accepted without resistance, so expect Aung San Suu Kyi’s detention to be met by increasingly aggressive public outcry and demonstrations, which may possibly lead to violence.

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