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Myanmar battle moves on to cyberspace and social media

Despite military forces on street, people in Myanmar have made it clear that they want Aung San Suu Kyi back

The battle between the Myanmar military and the growing opposition has now moved to the social media platforms and the internet.

On Sunday, Facebook removed Myanmar's military news page on grounds of its rules prohibiting incitement of violence. "In line with our global policies, we've removed the Tatmadaw True News Information Team Page from Facebook for repeated violations of our Community Standards prohibiting incitement of violence and coordinating harm," Facebook said in a statement.

Reportedly, the Myanmar military, also called the Tatmadaw, was using Facebook to warn protesters and spread misinformation that the National League for Democracy's (NLD) win in the 2020 elections was fraudulent.

On the other hand, the ruling junta blacked access to Wikipedia in all languages. Netblocks, an internet mapping platform, has been monitoring the internet disruption in Myanmar since the onset of the

coup in late January. On Sunday night it reported on Twitter: "Confirmed: #Myanmar has entered its second week of nightly internet shutdowns with service cut for the eighth consecutive night. Real-time network data show connectivity down to just 13% of ordinary levels as of 1 am local time…"

Earlier on Friday Netblocks also reported that Myanmar had blocked all language platforms of Wikipedia along with internet services being blacked out during the week.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the use of "deadly violence" in Myanmar, which left two people dead and several injured. Guterres tweeted: "I condemn the use of deadly violence in Myanmar. The use of lethal force, intimidation and harassment against peaceful demonstrators is unacceptable. Everyone has a right to peaceful assembly. I call on all parties to respect election results and return to civilian rule."

Myanmar forces had opened fire on pro-democracy protesters in Mandalay, the second-biggest city, on Saturday, killing two people and wounding dozens. India Narrative had procured exclusive photographs and a video of the massive protests in Mandalay showing the discontent among the people against their generals.

People in Mandalay have been protesting in the central city areas, on the shipyards and on various streets. Tens of thousands of people came out on the streets, demanding the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and other members of her NLD party.

The coup has come in for widespread criticism from across the world, particularly the West. On the other hand, many Myanmarese protestors have been alleging that China has been helping the military in curbing the freedom of people by imposing IT blackouts.

Earlier this month, the military had imposed a one-year state of emergency after detaining democratically-elected leader Suu Kyi and senior partymen.