Posted on 04.13.2021 by Chandana Sirimalwatte in World with 0 Comments
Myanmar youth are fighting the junta’s internet shutdown and information suppression with an explosive underground printed newsletter they are secretly distributing across communities.
Thirty-year-old Lynn Thant,(a pseudonym), started the underground newsletter and gave it the edgy name ‘Molotov’ to appeal to young people.
Police and soldiers have arrested more than 3,000 people since the coup, according to local monitoring group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.
He said the publication had a reach of more than 30,000 people on Facebook so far and the main audience was generation Z activists. For 56 days straight there have been internet outages in coup-hit Myanmar, according to monitoring group NetBlocks.
Copies of the newsletter are also being distributed under the radar at produce markets. Thousands of readers across the country are downloading the PDF version of the publication and printing out and distributing physical copies across neighbourhoods in Yangon and Mandalay and other areas.
The country has a long history of underground publications attempting to circumvent junta suppression.
Independent media is under threat, with 64 journalists arrested since the coup and 33 still in detention, according to monitoring group Reporting ASEAN. The junta has also revoked the licenses of five media outlets.
Myanmar lived under military rule for 49 years before it transitioned to democracy in 2011.
The country has been in turmoil since democratically-elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi was ousted in a February 1 coup, triggering a mass uprising that has resulted in a brutal security crackdown and more than 700 civilian deaths.
Two hundred high profile celebrities including actors, singers and social media influencers are on an arrest warrant list and could face three years’ jail if convicted of spreading dissent against the military.