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Myanmar conflict zones kept offline despite Suu Kyi digital push

Portions of ethnic states remain in internet blackout as criticism grows

Myanmar authorities began strengthening their grip over the nation's cyberspace in March, with directives to mobile operators to block certain websites.   © Reuters

YANGON -- Myanmar citizens living in some of the country's ethnic conflict zones are facing difficulties accessing the internet due to government restrictions and the low level of communications infrastructure, despite national leader Aung San Suu Kyi's push for a digital economy in the aftermath the coronavirus pandemic.

"Although access to [the] internet is a human rights issue in the digital era, there are places with no internet, slow internet and imposed internet shutdown by the government, especially in the conflict zones," Athan, an activist group supporting freedom of expression in Myanmar, said in a report critical of the government that was released on Dec. 23.

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