Regime Cuts Cellular Services In Putao
By Network Media Group
Tuesday, May 24, 2022
After Burma Army soldiers (BA) were seen in 30 vehicles in Putao town, the services of military-run telecommunication companies were suspended, raising fears that the regime is planning an attack on resistance fighters in the region.
Ooredoo is still functioning, but both MPT and Mytel have been inoperable in some wards of the remote town in northern Kachin State since 4pm on Monday.
“We’re worried about our security. If there are clashes here, everyone will suffer,” Dee, a Putao resident, told NMG.
In the past, the regime has cut off communications ahead of offensives against the groups it’s fighting.
According to a recent traveller from Myitkyina, buses were stopped near the village of Tan Ja at 10am on 23 May, where the source heard rifle fire and artillery shelling.
The Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and the local People’s Defence Force fought with the BA along the road from Putao to Myitkyina until mid-March. Many people fled the fighting and didn’t return to their homes until 23 March.
Further south, in Hpakant Township, where there’s been heavy fighting between the KIA and BA, internet services have been suspended since August last year.
In Sagaing Region, where resistance to the dictatorship is also strong, the junta has also cut communications to prevent the flow of information in that area and in neighbouring Chin State. The same measures were taken in Karenni State during the fighting with the resistance there.