Myanmar Spring Chronicle – April 21 Scenes
MoeMaKa, April 22 2023
The effect of the military council’s installing fear propaganda
After the military coup, well-known supporters of the military coup, departmental officials opposed to the CDM movement, some private company officials, and businesses were identified on social media with their names and position information, and Social Punishment was carried out. At that time, the forces opposing the military coup were able to gather a large force on social media, in the country, and on the streets, so it can be said that they were able to suppress those who supported the military coup, those associated with the military, and those who opposed the CDM movement. At a time when domestic protests were happening all over the place every day, the coup military council tried to block social media sites like Facebook and cut the internet but was unable to respond to the strong flow on social media.
However, after the public movements in the city went underground, and many young activists chose the armed path and reached the ethnic border areas, the military council filtered out those who remained in the city and monitored the situation to take action. During this period, the military council used a system to monitor and inform about those who opposed them by assigning some online crime reporters who hacked the personal information of famous artists. Those involved in this system have had their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts blocked, so they use Telegram to form groups on Telegram to inform about those who oppose the military council, and spread the junta’s propaganda.
This stream has gradually expanded over the past year. Now, if social media users within the country just write their views and feelings against the military council, the online monitors assigned by the military council record screenshots, post pictures of the user, and write incitements to reveal the user’s address, real name, and occupation, if known. Especially well-known people are being monitored, and even if such people write one thing against the military council, they are taking records and instigating arrest and investigation.
In other words, for example, the military council has bred bad dogs on social media, and when they see the shadows, they are made to bark and bite anyway.
As soon as individuals tasked with monitoring these accounts name an account, the military intelligence (Sa Ra Pa), police, and SB sections of the military council begin looking, making arrests, conducting investigations, and filing lawsuits. As for how such a situation might arise, it is because the forces opposing the military council in the nation have ceased their operations and have instead joined the armed forces and the underground, enabling the military council to make arrests and instill fear in the people who live under their control.
On April 11, the day of the bombing of Pazigyi Village in Kanbalu Township, the military council arrested and prosecuted some well-known people and ordinary civilians among those who sympathized with the victims of the bombing or posted slanderous posts against the military council that attacked, changed their profiles to black as a sign of their condolences, and expressed their sorrow for the victims as they stopped doing their work today. These reports have already spread widely in the news today. Journalist U Kyaw Min Swe, actor May Pan Chi, singer May La Than Sin, singer Shwe Yee Thein Tan, and 3 other civilians have been continuously searched and arrested since April 11, and today there are reports that the military council is preparing to prosecute them after interrogation.
What the military council has done is threaten the public’s right to freedom of expression with imprisonment and intimidate the public into not expressing their opinions on social media. Due to the recent events, the public will have more control over what they write on social media, but the public’s hatred and loathing for the military council will definitely have an effect.