Myanmar news website was blocked by hackers
YANGON: A popular Myanmar news website was blocked by hackers angry at its description of hardline Buddhist monks as “radical”, a message on the site said Thursday, accusing the publication of defending Muslims.
The Irrawaddy saw its main English-language website briefly replaced with a black screen and notice railing against a blog it ran in Burmese about Myanmar nationalist cleric Wirathu´s weekend meeting with controversial Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka.
The Buddhist-majority countries have seen rising religious hate speech and attacks on minority Muslims, with some hardline monks accused of fanning intolerance by stoking fears of a threat from terrorists.
The hackers claimed the Irrawaddy “supports jihad and radical Muslims” and was “attacking Buddhism with so called freedom of speech”.
Their notice, which was later taken down, appeared to come from Sri Lanka and demanded the publication apologise for referring to the country´s hardline Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) or Buddhist Force as “radical”. The cyber attack is the latest in a string of hacks for the Irrawaddy, which operated for years during junta rule as an exile media group based in Thailand but now also has an office in Myanmar´s commercial centre Yangon.