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Hpakant Students Struggling After Internet Partially Restored

On Monday, Mytel, a major telecommunications company owned by the Burma Army (BA), partially restored internet connectivity in Hpakant Township after it had been shut down since August. However, youth in the township in Kachin State are still struggling to continue their education even after the internet was restored after 224 days of shutdown because the pandemic has made them reliant on online study.

“People in Guay Hka, Kan See, Mawone Kalay and Leh Pyin have access to the internet again, but we have have to be very patient to use it,” a youth who wishes to remain anonymous told KNG. He said the regime only allows 2.5 hrs of connectivity a day.

A villager from Warazup, who doesn’t wish to be named, said the BA has violated the right to education for the township’s students. “The children are learning with the help of the internet and BA has prevented that by shutting it down. At the same time, (without it) we don’t know what’s going on,” he told KNG.

“Our children are getting older but they aren’t getting more knowledgeable. There’s a gap between people in urban centres and the countryside: Their critical thinking skills are quite different.”

Hpakant Township was the first place the junta disconnected in Kachin State. The junta claimed it cut the link to restore security in the township, where the BA is fighting with the Kachin Independence Army and the People’s Defence Forces.

Locals have demanded that the internet be fully restored.

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