Tue. Oct 19th, 2021

The generals who seized power in a coup three months ago tried to further isolate the country by continuing to oppose their rule.

Myanmar’s military-controlled media has announced a ban on satellite television dishes, saying outside broadcasts pose a threat to national security, since the generals who seized power in a coup on February 1 accused Japanese journalists of spreading false news.

“Satellite television is no longer legal. Anyone who violates television and video laws, especially those who use satellite dishes, will face up to a year in prison and a fine of 500,000 kyats (320), ”MRTV state television said Tuesday.

“Illegal media outlets are broadcasting news that undermines national security, the rule of law and public order, and encourages those who betray.”

The generals, led by Army Chief Min Aung Hlaing, arrested the elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and members of her government during the seizure of power, ending Myanmar’s slow progress toward democracy.

The country has been in turmoil since security forces killed more than 7,660 people as they fought to stop daily protests against their rules.

They have blocked mobile internet access, forced independent media outlets and arrested journalists. At least 50 people are currently detained.

Yuki Kitazumi, a Japanese journalist arrested for the second time last month, was charged Monday.

Kitajami became the first foreign journalist after the coup. A Polish photographer arrested during a protest rally in March has been released after nearly two weeks in custody.

Japan, Myanmar’s top donor for years, has been pushing for Kitajumi’s release.

“Naturally, we will continue our best efforts to secure the release of the Japanese national as soon as possible,” Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi told Japanese reporters during a visit to Britain, the national broadcaster told NHK.

Japanese journalist Yuki Kitazami went to Yangon police station when he was first arrested in February. He has been accused of spreading fake news [File: AP Photo]

Pro-democracy rallies continue despite efforts by the military to quell opposition.

On Tuesday, protesters gathered in Mandalay, Myanmar’s second-largest city, after education workers called for a boycott of schools and universities after the reopening in June, the Myanmar News Agency reported.

Local media reported that at least five people were killed in a parcel bombing on Tuesday, including a rising legislator and three police officers who joined the civil disobedience movement against martial law.

Meanwhile, the newly formed militia China Defense Forces in the Indian border state of China said on its Facebook page on Tuesday that its forces had killed at least four Myanmar soldiers and wounded 10 in overnight clashes.

The Myanmar army has not commented on the claim.

A day after another local official was stabbed to death in Yangon, Indonesia’s largest city, villagers found the decapitated body of a military-appointed local administrator in the northwestern Sagaing region.

The Reuters news agency could not be reached for comment.

The army defended its seizure of power by accusing it of rigging the November election, which Aung San Suu Kyi’s party won by landslide and denouncing the protesters as rioters and terrorists.

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