Ex-servicemen protest against Facebook and show support to the military

Ex-servicemen protest against Facebook and show support to the military

More than 200 ex-servicemen participated in a demonstration yesterday to show their support to the military and call Facebook to reinstate personal Facebook accounts of military officers.

The Ex-servicemen’s Organization in Monywa Township, Sagaing Division, led a demonstration showing their support to the Tatmadaw and their objection to Facebook’s removal of military general accounts yesterday.

Retired captain Tin Ngwe, chair of the township’s Ex-servicemen’s Organization, said their intention of the demonstration was also to show support to Burma’s military and defend their role in Rakhine State.

“International community including the UN is attempting to charge our military leaders under criminal case. So, we are demonstrating now to show our support to the Tatmadaw,” said Tin Ngwe. He continued, “the Tatmadaw prevented the killing of ARSA terrorists to our ethnic people in Northern Rakhine State. The Tatmadaw conducted its duty assigned by the constitution in accord with the law. ”

The ex-servicemen defended the Tatmadaw’s actions in Rakhine State, which have caused over 700,000 Rohingya to flee to Bangladesh. The military began an operation against Rohingya militants, who attacked security posts and an army base in Rakhine State on 25 August. The United Nations have called for six senior military officers to go on trial and be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for their role in the Rohingya crisis which the UN calls a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing.”

In their demonstration in Monywa, participants chanted  “we 100 percent support the Tatmadaw” and “we completely denounce Facebook that interferes in Burma’s politics which is not their business.”

They said their protest, was in part, also a response to Facebook’s decision to remove 18 accounts and 52 pages associated with the Burmese military in August, including the page of its commander-in-chief, Senior-General Min Aung Hlaing. Facebook justified the removals, saying it would “prevent them from using our service to further inflame ethnic and religious tensions.”

Human rights groups have widely documented rapes and killings of the Rohingya by security forces. The Burmese government has denied any allegations of ethnic cleansing.

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