Points To Note
According to India Today Report 21 June last year, the 3G/4G internet services were discontinue by the Government of Myanmar in eight townships of the conflict-hit Rakhine State and in one township in Chin State. Between September last year to February present year the restrictions were lifted in five states but were again restore. In Maungdaw town of Rakhine State in Myanmar, the restrictions were lifted on May 2nd 2020. The 3G/4G mobile internet services for the remaining townships will remain disconnect till the 1st August 2020, this was announced by Kyaw Myo the Ministry of Transportation and Communication of the Myanmar Government.
Begining January 2019, the Government of Myanmar has been engaged in battle with the Arakan Army (Rakhine Armed Group). This insurgent group is fighting for the independence of ethnic Rakhine Buddhists.
Rising Criticism for the Government of Myanmar
insufficiency of data would result in an under reported shortage of essential services from water, food to medical aid, etc. During covid-19 pandemic, suspension of 3G/4G internet services would have also made it difficult for the people who living in these town to get proper information about the safety standard protocols related to COVID-19 Pandemic.
The move of the Government of Myanmar has continued to draw criticism from the domestic Human Rights as well as International Human Rights Organizations. As per the Myanmar’s Telecommunication law’s Article 77, the Government of Myanmar can suspend the 3G/4G service during an emergency situation. Various domestic Human Rights Organizations now call for the amendment of the Article as it is not in line with the international standards for freedom of expression.
World Longest Internet Shutdown in Myanmar World Longest Internet Shutdown in Myanmar