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Myanmar power company warns of supply disruption if customers continue bill payment boycott

Myanmar power company warns of supply disruption if customers continue bill payment boycott

Soldiers stand next to military vehicles as people gather to protest against the military coup, in Yangon, Myanmar, Feb 15, 2021. (Photo: REUTERS/Stringer)

YANGON: A state-backed Myanmar power company warned its customers Friday (Jul 9) their electricity supplies could be disrupted if they continue refusing to pay their bills as part of a boycott that has hit the junta in the coffers.

Myanmar has been in turmoil since a February coup that ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her government, with hundreds dead in a brutal crackdown and a mass anti-junta strike crippling the economy.

Thousands of civil servants have walked out in protest, leaving schools, universities and hospitals empty and the State Administration Council - as the junta calls itself - struggling to issue bills or collect taxes.

READ: UN rights expert urges sanctions on Myanmar's oil, gas sectors 

READ: 'Catastrophic' Myanmar situation imperils wider region: UN

The Yangon Electricity Supply Corporation noted the boycott on its Facebook page Friday.

"For the benefits of the people, you are requested to cooperate and help to regularly pay monthly fees," it said.

It added that, without money from its customers, production and supply of electricity would be affected.

Not everyone took the warning seriously.

"Don't care whether you cut off the power or not ... because I've bought enough candles," one Facebook user commented below the statement.

"Return the power to the elected government and it will get back to normal," wrote another.

Since the coup, Myanmar's economy has been in freefall and is expected to contract by 10 per cent in 2021, according to the World Bank.

The junta has justified its power grab as a means to protect democracy, alleging electoral fraud in November's election, won Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy.

Source: AFP/ic

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