In Myanmar, live rounds have been fired at reporters. Media outlets have been raided and the Internet has been completely disconnected.
It appears that diplomacy and international sanctions are not enough to rein in the constantly escalating repression of the Myanmar junta’s systematic persecution of journalists and its determination to suppress all news sources to which its citizens have access.
Reporters without Borders (RSF) is calling on multinationals still operating in Myanmar to end all cooperation with the junta, both in their business activities and the financial support they provide.
With over 500 people killed and nearly 60 journalists arrested, the repression has taken a shocking turn. However, most of the companies with a presence in Myanmar have taken no credible measure.
RSF is urging these ten companies to take concrete steps to stop directly or indirectly funding Myanmar’s generals and, where relevant, to end their complicity in the widespread censorship that the junta is trying to impose.
Letters to this effect have been sent to the CEOs of ten multinationals – the French hotel chain Accor, the French TV group Canal+, America’s Chevron, Sweden’s Ericsson, Korea’s Lotte Hotels and Resorts, Japan’s Okura Nikko Hotel Management, the South Korean steel and energy giant POSCO, the Norwegian state telecom company Telenor, the French oil firm Total and the Anglo-Dutch food processing conglomerate Unilever.
Opponents of military rule in Myanmar observed a ‘silent strike’ on Friday while others wore black and held small marches in several cities and towns to mourn the hundreds of people killed in protests during the February 1st coup.
Infuriated by the return of military rule after five years of civilian government led by democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi, many Myanmar citizens have been taking to the streets day after day.
Meanwhile, the opponents of the country’s military coup have now announced that they are forming a National Unity Government which will include ousted members of parliament, protest leaders, and ethnic minorities.
According to them, they aim to remove the military from power and restore democracy.
By Theodora Aidoo
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