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Myanmar junta throttles internet during pro-democracy press conference

Bangkok, Jun 4 (EFE).- Myanmar’s military junta on Friday stifled the country’s internet to restrict access to a press conference by the self-styled National Unity Government.

The NUG is made up of pro-democracy politicians and activists opposed to the Feb.1 military coup.

Internet tracker Netblocks said traffic dropped 25% below normal levels between 5-6 pm local time, when the press conference was aired.

The head of international cooperation for the NUG, Dr. Sasa, said in the virtual press conference that Myanmar would only stabilize once the “nightmare” of military rule was over.

He said the unity government’s aim was to eradicate the “military dictatorship,” rebuild the country’s armed forces and install a democratic system for the Burmese people regardless of “race, color or religion.”

Dr. Sasa said the unity government “had everything prepared” to replace the Tatmadaw, Myanmar’s army. He fell short of giving details on the growth of the People’s Defense Force, a nascent armed resistance movement that anti-coup politicians hope will develop with the help of ethnic militias.

The NUG called on the international community to enter a dialogue on the situation in Myanmar.

Formed on April 16, the NUG brought in members of Myanmar’s ethnic minorities and called on their respective militias to fight the country’s army, which is led by junta chief Min Aung Hlaing.

While some ethnic militias like the KNLA and the KIA have supported the civil movement against the junta, other powerful groups like the Arakan Army and the United Wa State Army, which has up to 20,000 members, have not made their stances public.

The military justifies the coup d’état alleging fraud in the November election, in which the party of deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi won by a landslide, and which has the endorsement of international observers.EFE

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