Myanmar Junta Tells Media “Coup” Label Is ‘Illegal’ As Armored Vehicles Pour Into Cities
Myanmar’s military coup leaders are lashing out at both world powers and the domestic public, including national media, over this month’s dramatic events there being widely dubbed a coup d’état.
The junta is now declaring it illegal to use “incorrect words” such as coup when referring to the new government, the Ministry of Information announced Friday. The message further claimed the newly issued one year ‘state of emergency’ is “in accordance” with the constitution. The United States among other nations recently formally declared it recognizes that a coup d’état has occurred.
The army further said new laws are pending that will target “acts of instigation that may arouse civil unrest” – which presumably is aimed at media sources that use “coup” or related language in their reporting.
Already a new law unveiled last week took aim at internet content disparaging the military takeover, which saw the civilian leadership including Aung San Suu Kyi detained on Feb.1, as Bloomberg reports:
Earlier this week, the junta proposed a cyber security law that could see social media users fined or jailed for posts containing what it construes as “misinformation or disinformation that causes public panic.”
Ms Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party said the cyber security law is another attempt by the junta to limit freedom of speech and access to the internet.
The military is now attempting to clamp down on protests in support of the detained civilian leaders.
TW // Gun shot .
This is a video currently happening at Mandalay where a citizen was recording a video of the tanks going around and then a gunshot is heard as soon as they found her out. Nowhere in Myanmar is safe .
JUNTA STARTS VIOLENCE. #Feb14Coup #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar pic.twitter.com/fA1498dEsm
— Ukiyo (@Ukiyo43879775) February 14, 2021
A telecommunications blackout is still on after the internet was earlier cut to broad swathes of the southeast Asian nation which the US still refers to as Burma. Armored vehicles and tanks are now being reported on city streets.
“Armored vehicles have rolled into Myanmar cities amid fears of a crackdown on anti-coup protesters after nine days of mass demonstrations demanding a return to civilian rule,” Al Jazeera reports Sunday of the worsening situation.
Statement by Ambassadors to Myanmar: “We support the people of Myanmar in their quest for democracy, freedom, peace, and prosperity. The world is watching.” pic.twitter.com/OtRzSEIf1H
— U.S. Embassy Burma (@USEmbassyBurma) February 14, 2021
“Western embassies – from the European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada and 11 other nations – issued a statement late on Sunday calling on security forces to ‘refrain from violence against demonstrators and civilians, who are protesting the overthrow of their legitimate government’,” the report continues.
Currently the US embassy is also urging any Americans in the country to “shelter in place”.
Internet shut down across entire country of Myanmar during large anti-coup protests pic.twitter.com/8zxY23t2FY
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) February 14, 2021
This also as there are emerging reports of “shots fired” amid the growing protests and clashes with police and military security. “Security forces opened fire to disperse protesters outside one plant in Myitkyina, capital of Kachin state, footage aired live on Facebook showed, although it was not clear if they were using rubber bullets or live fire,” Al Jazeera describes.
Sun, 02/14/2021 – 14:54