UN chief calls for pressure for Myanmar coup to fail; Facebook is blocked in the country

    Amid protests, access to social media has been dropped. A civil leader who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, she was formally accused of having a radio communication device at home.

    UN Secretary-General António Guterres said he would do everything in his power to ensure that the international community “exerts sufficient pressure” on Myanmar so that the coup would “fail”.

    “It is absolutely unacceptable to change the results of the election and the will of the people,” Guterres said in an interview with the newspaper “The Washington Post” on Wednesday (3).
    The military seized power and arrested the country’s president, Win Myint; the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize, Aung San Suu Kyi; and other civilian leaders on Monday (1st), causing strong reaction from the international community (except China and Russia).

    The President of the United States, Joe Biden, also called for international pressure for the Myanmar military to “resign immediately”.

    After the coup, a one-year state of emergency was declared in the country and General Min Aung Hlaing, commander of the Armed Forces, was appointed acting president.

    Nobel Peace Prize Suu Kyi was formally accused of having a radio communication device at home, and in the midst of protests, the military overthrew access to Facebook and other social networks essential for Burmese communication.

    Facebook announced that access was “interrupted for some people” and asked the country’s authorities to reestablish the connection.

    Norwegian company Telnor, one of Myanmar’s leading telecommunications providers, confirmed that authorities had given orders to “temporarily block” Facebook. “We do not believe that this measure is in conformity with international law”.

    The communications and information minister said the social network, which is used by half of Myanmar’s 53 million inhabitants, will be blocked until Sunday (7) because people are “disturbing the country’s stability” by using the social network to spread “false news and misinformation”.

    The goal is to prevent the demonstrations from gaining strength. This Thursday morning, a group of protesters gathered in the streets of Mandalay, the country’s second largest city, calling for a return to democracy.

    A video posted on Facebook shows a group gathered in front of Mandalay Medical School with a banner with the words “The people protest the coup.”
    On Wednesday (3), doctors and health professionals, who wore red ribbons in protest, announced that they would refuse to work, except in the case of a medical emergency.

    “We will only obey the democratically elected government,” Aung San Min, director of a 100-bed hospital in the central Magway region, told the France Presse news agency.

    Staff at Yangon General Hospital gathered in front of the building and saluted with three fingers, a gesture of resistance adopted by pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong and Thailand.

    A group called the Civil Disobedience Movement on Facebook was also created, which already had 150,000 subscribers before the social network went offline. The description on the page says that “the army should be ashamed” and “the military are thieves”.

    On Tuesday (2), residents protested with pots and honks in Yangon, the country’s economic capital. Many shouted “Long live Suu Mother”.

    Acts also took place in Rangoon and many asked on Facebook for the population to rebel against the seizure of power by the military, in response to a request from Suu Kyi.

    UN meeting

    Asked about the accusation against Nobel Peace, for having an imported radio at home, Guterres said that “if we can accuse it of something, it is because we have been very close to the military, for having protected them too much”.

    “I hope that democracy can advance again in Myanmar, but for that purpose all prisoners must be released and constitutional order must be restored,” said the UN secretary-general.
    He also regretted that the UN Security Council, which met on Tuesday (2) to discuss the situation in Myanmar, did not reach an agreement – China and Russia blocked the approval of a declaration condemning the coup.

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