After enforcing severe restrictions on the internet and media, the Myanmar junta has banned satellite television, prompting international rights groups to protest the military’s tightening grip on information flow in the region.
The military junta alleged that “illegal organisations and news agencies” were using satellite to broadcast programmes that posed a security threat to the nation.
Independent Burmese language broadcasters including the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) and Mizzima, which have continued to broadcast via satellite since the junta revoked their operating licences in March, seem to be targeted by the ban.
Anyone caught using satellite dishes to watch television faces a year in jail or a fine of 500,000 kyat ($320), according to the governing State Administration Council.
Every night at 8:00 p.m., Myanmar military TV’s stern newscaster would roll out the details of that day’s propaganda targets. Onscreen are the pictures and videos of those accused of political crimes. Doctors, students, beauty queens, actors, reporters, and even a couple of makeup bloggers are among them.
The sense of dread has returned three months after Myanmar’s democratic attempt was suffocated by the generals’ power grab. It does not seem to be getting any better. The military’s rule over Myanmar was fueled by terror rather than grand ideology for the better part of 60 years. A new junta is consolidating its hold by resorting to terror once more, despite the fact that most of the population is determined to fight the coup-makers.