Yangoon: Myanmar's military regime has shut down the internet for a second straight night, in a bid to stifle the country-wide protests. The military had overthrown the civilian democratic government in a coup on Feb 1.
As a prelude to the internet shutdown, the military regime enacted a new telecom law, signed off by army chief Min Aung Hlaing, which was announced by state-run MRTV. The details of the internet shutdown are to be announced on Tuesday.
Reports also say that government moves to block telephone and internet services are aimed at preventing organisation of demonstrations and detaining dissidents, for which the new law authorizes the government to make such interventions.
On Monday again, protests were held in defiance of a ban on public gatherings. Military leaders have been struggling hard to keep control of the streets. The regime is expected to give its first press briefing on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the US regime, evidently critical of the regime for its recent actions, seems to have moved in to protect its citizens in the country. US Ambassador to Myanmar Thomas Vaida is planning to hold a virtual town hall meeting for US citizens.
The military takeover of the government was closely followed by arrest of key personnel of the democratically elected government led by Aung San Suu Kyi, whose party had won a landslide victory in the November elections. She, together with other political leaders totalling about 400 people, were arrested after the coup and more arrests have been taking place since then.
A court hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, but Suu Kyi is to be held in detention, as reported by Reuters citing her lawyer. Meanwhile, she has urged the country's 55 million people to oppose the military's hold, calling it "an attempt to bring the nation back under the military dictatorship".