Fake news on social media leave Mon locals worried about terrorist attacks

September 14, 2017

Rumors and fake news spreading over social media of potential explosive attacks in Mon State by Muslim sympathizers have some locals concerned.

“From one user to another there is a message warning [people] not to travel from September 11th to the 25th as Muslim people have been planning to organize a Jihad war. I can’t say the news is true, but we feel there is a possibility so we’re afraid of being attacked and we have to be careful [in our daily life],” said Nai Jel Toi Nai from Kyar Inn Seik Kyi Township.

Rumors started swirling online after Burma’s Office of the Commander-in-Chief released a statement on September 5th 2017 suggesting the possibility of retaliatory explosive attacks in big cities such as Naypyidaw, Rangoon, Mandalay, and Mawlamyine, in response to the violent conflict in eastern Burma.

On September 6th 2017, Mon State Chief Minister Dr. Aye Zan confirmed the news of security reinforcements in Mawlamyine City.

Moreover, in response to speculation and rumor surrounding illegal immigration of Muslims into Mon State, community organized security forces have begun patrolling villages and river banks in some areas.

“In our region nearby Kawdut village and Kalla Gote Island, security guards patrol the river bank for the whole night. We often heard that there would be illegal immigration of Muslim people and some said they saw [abandoned] boats of Muslim people. Because of the rumors, the villagers have been worrying,” said Nai Ong Jana from Arru Tong village in Northern Ye Township.

“The security guard is patrolling for the whole night in our village. We share the message to our villagers to stay in the village and to tighten security. The villagers have been worrying so they dare not travel anywhere. The students are always accompanied by their parents,” said Mi Moe from Thanbyuzayat City.

On September 9th 2017, the Information Committee, a Facebook page run by the State Counselor Office Information Committee, denounced the rumors as fake news and announced that those spreading it will be punished by the law.

Comments

Got something to say?