BANGKOK: Hundreds of anti-coup protesters marched in Myanmar’s biggest city of Yangon on Monday on the third day of street demonstrations against a coup a week ago in which the army detained elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
A group of saffron-robed monks marched in the vanguard of the protest with workers and students. They flew multicoloured Buddhist flags alongside red banners in the colour of Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD), witnesses said.
“Release Our Leaders, Respect Our Votes, Reject Military Coup,” said one sign. Many protesters wore black.
Monitoring group NetBlocks Internet Observatory reported a “national-scale internet blackout”, saying on Twitter that connectivity had fallen to 16% of ordinary levels. Witnesses reported a shutdown of mobile data services and wifi.
The junta did not respond to requests for comment. It extended a social media crackdown to Twitter and Instagram after seeking to silence dissent by temporarily blocking Facebook, which counts half of the population as users.
Facebook said it was “extremely” concerned about the internet shutdown, “strongly” urging the junta to unblock social media.