Internet access blocked in Burma

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Timesonline, the Independent and Belfast Telegraph are among those reporting that the Burmese government has cut access to the internet, which has played a crucial role in getting out information about the pro-democracy protests to the rest of the world.

The BBC says Burmese sources have said internet access has been cut in Rangoon and is only partially available in the rest of the country. News outlets around the world have been largely reliant on the images and videos of the protests sent via the internet.  The BBC also reports sources in Burma have said that international mobile phone signals have been interrupted and soldiers are searching people for cameras and mobile phones.

According to the BBC “journalists have noticed that as the government’s measures begin to bite, fewer pictures and video have been sent in directly from people inside Burma” There have also been reports that mobile phone signals and telephone lines of domestic and foreign journalists have been cut.

Yesterday the  state-run media blamed foreign media for inciting trouble.  The New Light of Myanmar newspaper said “saboteurs” and “some foreign radio stations” were behind the instability. The official English-language television station, MRTV-3, has said that people are being intimidated into joining the protests. One caption, read by an announcer, said the BBC and the Voice of America were broadcasting “a sky-full of lies”. Another said: “Beware of destructionists, BBC and VOA”.

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