February has been a red-letter month for Southeast Asia.
There was the lunar new year (a more muted welcome to the year of the ox) - and the fact that red, the colour of Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League of Democracy, has been dominant in the protests sweeping Myanmar for the third straight week since the Feb 1 military coup.
In this issue, we share photos from the streets of Yangon, provided by the local Myanmar Pressphoto Agency, as well as infographics on topics that are relevant at this time - how online Myanmar people are given the crucial role of digital spaces in the protests and approved foreign investments in the country of more than 54 million people.
A story on the mood among Myanmar journalists highlights their very uncertain professional future, not least given the detention of journalists, several internet shutdowns and the military’s order to avoid using ‘coup government’ and ‘junta’ to refer to its governing State Administrative Council. “We won’t comply (with this), even if all the operations have to be shut down,” ‘Myanmar Now’
editor-in-chief Swe Win said in a Feb 18 discussion. “There is every indication… that they (military) will go after the media sooner or later.” Due to safety considerations, his newsroom had packed up a few days before the coup.
Read about how COVID-19 helped Vietnam’s Anti-Fake News Center emerge, and how hostility toward migrant workers amid the pandemic has left rights advocates scratching their heads in frustration. A glimpse follows too of the results of the Reporting ASEAN survey ‘News Habits and COVID-19: A Southeast Asia Lens’ – the full story will be in the next issue.
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