Submit to DeliciousSubmit to DiggSubmit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to StumbleuponSubmit to TechnoratiSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn


Facebook has banned the Myanmar army from using its platforms with immediate effect due to to "exceptionally severe human rights abuses and the clear risk of future military-initiated violence in Myanmar", as well as the army's repeated history of violating Facebook's rules, including since the coup.
This is perhaps first time when the Tech giant has taken action against any country's army in the digital history. In a blog post, Facebook stated that ever since February 1 coup, inlcuding deadly violence, have precipitated a need for the ban. "We believe the risks of allowing the Tatmadaw (Myanmar army) on Facebook and Instagram are too great," said Facebook in a blog. Facebook's ban has come as a setback for the army against whom mass demonstrations continue in the Southeast Asian country after it military seized power on February 1. At least three protesters and one policeman have been killed in violence at rallies.
Meanwhile several NGOs have urged the Japanese government to take urgent action to pressure the leaders of the military coup in Myanmar to restore the democratically elected government and respect human rights. These NGOs include Human Rights Now, Human Rights Watch, Japan International Volunteer Center, Justice For Myanmar, and Japan NGO Action Network for Civic Space.
In a letter to Japan Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi on Thursday , these organizations urged the Japanese government to take joint action with other countries, including imposing targeted economic sanctions against the Myanmar military and companies that it controls, supporting a global arms embargo, and triggering human rights-based conditionals enshrined in Japan’s Official Development Assistance programs and charter. “As a major and influential donor, the Japanese government has a responsibility to take action to promote human rights in Myanmar,” said Teppei Kasai, Asia program officer. “It should urgently review and suspend any public aid that could benefit the Myanmar military.”