Myanmar Junta Confiscates Radios to Silence Shadow Government Broadcasts

By The Irrawaddy 20 August 2021

Myanmar’s military regime is confiscating radios from shops and planned to restrict imports after the parallel civilian National Unity Government (NUG) launched a radio station.

Radio NUG, named after the shadow government formed by the ousted National League for Democracy and ethnic representatives in April, launched on Friday and will air twice daily for 30 minutes at 8am and 8pm on 17.71 MHz on a 10-band radio.

A Yangon police source told The Irrawaddy: “It was discussed at a security meeting in Yangon to confiscate radios from shops like with PSI satellite dishes before. It was decided at the meeting to seize all shortwave radios. Some suggested restricting people’s access to radios, for example, requesting shops not to sell radios to the public for a certain period.”

Police and ward and village administrators will be tasked with seizing radios, he said.

Regime troops confiscated radios from an electronics shop at Ga Mone Pwint shopping mall in Bogale Zay Street, Yangon, on Friday morning, according to witnesses.

“We saw them confiscating radios. We don’t know what they told the shop owner,” a witness told The Irrawaddy on condition of anonymity.

Radios have been in high demand since the NUG announced its radio station this week.

When the regime restricted internet access after its February coup, people used radios to listen to Radio Free Asia, the BBC and Voice of America, fueling demand for radios.

In April, the regime confiscated PSI satellite dishes that provide access to news from several domestic independent media outlets to restrict access to anti-regime news.

Under previous military dictatorships, citizens were detained for listening to the BBC and teashops were shut for screening Norway-based DVB.

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