The Facebook page of Rangoon Division’s new chief minister, Phyo Min Thein, was hacked on Sunday, apparently in retaliation for his announcement last week that he would ban commercial stages during this year’s Thingyan water festival.
The stages are a popular attraction during the festivities to celebrate the Buddhist New Year, featuring live DJs, alcohol and water hoses to soak fellow party-goers.
The decision to ban stages that charge revelers a fee — from US$50 to $500 for three days — was greeted with anger by many young residents of Burma’s largest city, many of whom had reserved places in anticipation of the country’s biggest party of the year.
On Sunday morning, after a number of profanity-laced comments were made in the chief minister’s name in response to complaints from users visiting his Facebook page, a post appeared on the page claiming that the account had been hacked.
It was not clear who was responsible for the alleged hacking of the account.
In recent days, other accounts set up in Phyo Min Thein’s name and using his profile photo have also been created on Facebook, in apparent attempts at identity theft.