Weekly Update: 019

Internal Politics

  • Aung San Suu Kyi turns 77 

Another birthday of the lady passed under house arrest. Many may disagree with her political moves, but millions, if not tens of thousands, still show their love and support to Aung San Suu Kyi on her birthday. From Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan to resistance fighters in the jungle, people wished her well on her 77th birthday on social media. Guerrilla protesters in Yangon, led by Yangon Revolution Force, Yangon Rebels Strike Committee and Revolution Force, took to the streets with banners which read, “We wish you well, Aung San’s daughter”, and “Suu turns 77” to commemorate her birthday. 

Source: Khit Thit

  • Leaked video shows Myanmar soldiers slaughtered civilians with no remorse 

Radio Free Asia retrieved a video and photos from a mobile phone owned by one of the regime’s soldiers, and reported the contents. In the video, three regime soldiers had conversations about how they killed civilians – one said he killed 26 while another one said five, explicitly describing how they chopped bodies off or slit throats. The man who claimed to have killed five people said that he enjoyed killing, and called himself “an expert at killing”. In addition to the video, photos of about 30 civilians detained, tied their hands at what seemed like a monastery. More photos showed five of them were killed in a pool of blood. According to RFA’s investigation, the three soldiers are from Light Infantry Battalion 708 which was deployed in Sagaing Region, and the killings were committed in Ayadaw Township in early May, 2022.

  • Junta’s matriculation exam results polarized netizens 

This week, the junta’s Ministry of Education announced the results of matriculation exams. After the coup in 2021, many students, from basic education to higher education students, boycotted the military regime’s slave education and refused to go to school or sit exams. When the regime released the exam results, some netizens blamed that students should continue to boycott the junta education while others argued that every child has the right to education regardless of the political crisis they are in. Amidst all the heated online conversations, the National Unity Government (NUG) announced that the parallel government will not recognize the exam results released by the junta in 2021-2022 academic year, and will only recognize the NUG’s affiliated schools. The parallel government continued to ask for the people’s cooperation in the revolution. 

  • Regime’s peace dialogue continued

On June 16, the coup leader Min Aung Hlaing met with Pa-O National Liberation Organization (PNLO)’s vice chairperson Khun Tun Tin. According to One News Myanmar, the pair exchanged views on multiparty democracy, federalism and nation-building. PNLO marks the seventh ethnic armed organization which has met Min Aung Hlaing for his peace dialogues. 

International Affairs & Business Matters

  • People demands the French Total to stop channeling blood money to the junta

Myanmar people demanded the French Petroleum Company Total to refuse paying taxes to the military that will help them buy weapons to kill the citizens. The Blood Money Campaign led by pro-democracy activists together with the people of Myanmar demanded the Total to refuse paying of 250 million dollars to the junta.

Civil Disobedience Movement

  • In Magway’s Yesagyo township, a soldier joined CDM

A foot soldier from Magway’s Yesagyo township of Pakhangyee station joined the civil disobedience movement by coming to Young Force (UG) with a pistol, two cartridges and 100 bullets. The resistant group Young Force transferred the soldier to a safe area.

  • A CDM soldier, Phoe Htaung, urged fellow soldiers to join CDM

A CDM soldier named Phoe Htaung, talked about the suicide committed by the soliders in the military due to the serious depression after the coup. The video was published by the Karenni Pyithu Yingwin group. The soldier urged former colleagues of his to leave the posts and join the people’s anti-coup movement. Including human rights violation, inequality, discrimination and corruption in the military, he talked about the rising cases of suicide due to the depression and that he is ready to help if anyone is to defect. 

  • Arakan Army (AA)’s spokesperson, Khaing Thukha, confirms defections of soldiers into AA

A spokesperson from Arakan Army(AA) Khaing Thukha confirmed that hundreds of soldiers had defected into Arakan Army at a press conference held on June 14. He further said AA has welcomed those defectors and helped them refuge in a safe area. The defectors are taken care with respect to human rights.

Campaign & Protests

  • In Yangon, “revenge on the junta” campaign was launched by the democracy activists 

On June 17, anti-coup protesters launched a campaign to take revenge on the junta if the four political prisoners were to be executed by the junta. Former NLD MP Phyo Zayar Thaw and another veteran political activist, Ko Jimmy, together with two other anti-coup protesters were sentenced to death in January. Public angrily reacted to the confirmation from the military’s spokesperson, and several student and youth unions launched a campaign across Yangon declaring serious revenge is unavoidable if the execution was to be conducted.

  • On the streets of Monywa, flowers were spread to celebrate the birthday of ASSK

In Monywa today for the celebration of Daw Aung San Suu Gyi’s 77th birthday, pro-democracy protesters marched throwing rose petals on the streets. Many home protests and street protests were held today to celebrate the democracy icon of Myanmar across the country. 

Humanitarian Affairs

  • US Official urges action to prevent a Lost Generation of Children in Myanmar

In a 40-page report titled “Losing a Generation: How the military junta is attacking Myanmar’s children and stealing their future”, a U.N special rapporteur, Tom Andrews said the international community must “reengage and refocus” on Myanmar to prevent a looming crisis which will result in a “lost generation” of children who were already suffering since February 2021 military coup. The report also highlighted that junta has systematically abused children since taking power by murdering, abducting, detaining and torturing children in a campaign of violence instigated by soldiers, police officers and military-backed militias. The report said more than 250,000 children have been displaced by military attacks while more than 1,400 youths have been detained and at least 61 are currently being held hostage. About 142 children were reported to have been tortured—beaten, cut, stabbed, burned with cigarettes, deprived of food and water—since the military coup.

  • More than 5,000 civilians flee as junta troops burns villages in Sagaing

Between June 10 and 12, over 1,000 houses from four villages in Sagaing Region’s Mawlaik Township, resulting in the displacement of more than 5,000 residents. Within three days, about 250 junta troops raided Yuwa, Magyi Tan, Mawku and Tatkone villages on the western bank of the Chindwin River without any clashes going on in the area. A rescue worker told The Irrawaddy on June 14 that two Magyi Tan villagers were detained and tortured to death by junta soldiers and Pyu Saw Htee members on June 10. The troops were reported to have killed the residents’ livestock and looted valuables, causing most residents to take refuge in the forests and IDP camps.

  • Thousands displaced by recent clashes in Chin State

Recent clashes between the junta troops and resistance forces in Chin State’s Kanpetlet Township have forced as many as 2,500 people from their homes, a resident priest told Myanmar Now. Among them, nearly half are reportedly stuck in the forested areas without basic necessities. Majority of the displaced residents are women, children and elderly residents of some 15 villages from Kanpetlet Township. According to the priest, the displaced residents did not even have plastic to make tents, and are in dire need of food and medications as many have become ill due to the poor living conditions.

  • The SAC, again, forcibly destroyed homes of Pyi Gyi Tagon residents, Mandalay

SAC’s administration accused any residents without property ownership papers as illegal “slum dwellers” and destroyed more than 200 residents’ homes on June 13. The netizens reported that more than 500 homes were forcibly destroyed by the military since June 10 in the area. Some of the homes were well-built residential homes and some have settled there for many generations. 

Attacks on the Junta’s Lackeys & Properties

  • Wholesale outlet in Mandalay warned by PDF

On the night of June 12, an explosion occurred in Aung Myin Thu Wholesale outlet in Mandalay City. Later, Mandalay’s urban guerilla force released the statement that they were responsible for the attack and said it was due to the company’s involvement in the forced removal of squatters in Mandalay. Aung Myin Thu company reportedly have massive ties with the military and is said to have been awarded land management contracts since the period of the government-led by the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) in 2011, the military proxy party.

  • Municipal staff shot in Mandalay

Municipal staff in Mandalay that had been harassing and blackmailing truckers were shot in their car in which one of them was severely injured. The incident took place on the morning of June 17. According to the local sources, the staff were going around town in a car, stopping trucks and extorting money when they were targeted by two gunmen on motorbikes in Maharaungmyay Township, Mandalay. During the shooting, U Yu Maw, an accountant aged 50 suffered a shot in the forehead and immediately admitted to the emergency. Locations associated with the municipal officials have been targeted since the coup but this is the first time someone is injured.

  • SAC’s member shot and killed in Monywa, Sagaing Region

On the morning of June 19, a district-level member of State Administration Council (SAC) from Monywa Town, Sagaing Region was found dead in his car. The man was U Than Zaw Tun, 40-year-old, he was shot and killed while driving around the town, according to the sources. Regime forces have reportedly blocked the town and searched extensively whilst yelling and cursing. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Arbitrary Arrests, Killings & Violence  

  • Lawyer committed suicide and died as family taken hostage by SAC in Mandalay

On June 8, regime’s soldiers raided a house in Ohm Chaw Village, Patheingyi Township of Mandalay, attempting to find a lawyer named Ma Phyu Phyu Khine who they believed was supporting the people defense forces (PDF). Since she was away, they beat up her family members before eventually taking her younger brother and two sisters as hostages. Detainees have been reportedly placed in the notorious interrogation center located inside Mandalay Palace. Hearing no news about her siblings in four days, the 29-year-old Ma Phyu Phyu Aung who was taking refuge in a safe house committed suicide on June 12. People nearby immediately tried to rescue her but since the location was remote, no medical attention was given soon enough and she passed away on the same day. Ma Phyu Phyu Aung’s last wish was said to be the release of her young siblings.

  • Eight civilians killed in cold-blood by SAC soldiers in Shwebo Tsp, Sagaing Region

On June 10, combined forces of the SAC soldiers and Pyu Saw Htee members stormed into Ta Ohn Village where internally displaced persons (IDP) reside and immediately opened fire and killed a villager named Ko Hnin Maung. Following the murder, they forcefully took other IDPs as human shields as they continued they route toward more villages. On June 12, seven of the hostages were found dead with  bullet wounds while their hands were tied behind their backs. The victims were Ko Kyaw Lin, Ko Sein Mann, Ko Maung Htoo, Ko Win Swe, Ko Thein Tan, Ko Phoe Htoo and Ko Ye Lin.

  • Five PDF members burned to death in Yesagyo Tsp, Magway

Yesagyo resistance force (N-YSC) released a statement on June 15 that its five members including three women were burned to death by SAC soldiers during a raid of a station. The horrendous crime took place on the early morning of June 10, an outpost of the force located in the northern Yesagyo Township, Magway Region was seized by three columns of the junta’s forces. Five victims such as a pregnant teacher on Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) called Daw Khin Hnin Wai, a certified nurse called Daw Zarli Naing, a school headmaster on CDM called U Win Kyaw, supply staff Ma Thae Ei Ei Win, and a ranger Wukone @ Htay Min Oo were burned to death and their remaining were found on June 14.

  • Law student and father detained and sent to interrogation in Yangon

On the night of June 15, Ma Shwe Yi Win, a second-year law student from East Yangon University and her father were abducted by excessive forces of the junta from their home in Kyimyindaing Township, Yangon. They were reportedly sent to the interrogation center the next day. The cause of the arrest remains unknown but close friends and family fear for their lives.

  • Fifty youths abducted during midnight raids in Yangon

In this week, security has been tightly heightened by the junta’s forces in Yangon following the incident where a protest banner was held up in front of Shwe Dagon Pagoda that says “The pagoda is closed for the country is facing a death sentence”. It has angered Min Aung Hlaing & co, leading to more midnight raids to find members of guerilla protest groups. At least 50 youths were reportedly arrested during those inspections this week.

  • Four civilians killed by regime soldiers in Launglon Tsp, Tanintharyi Region

On June 16, the regime soldiers committed three killings and one indirect murder in three incidents in Launglon Township, Tanintharyi Region. Around 10pm on that night, the military forces arrested a woman called Ma Nweni Htay during the raid of Waidi Village and killed her on the way before burning down a house. Later at midnight, the same folks entered GawInn Village, opening fire on six houses in which the 40-year-old Ma Amy Phyo Wai was shot and killed while another woman also died due to the heart attack. In the same village, the soldiers put on another shooting spree, targeting two men around 1am in the next morning. One of them called Ko Zaw Latt was shot and killed on the spot and another one named Ko Nay Lin made it to the hospital.

Armed Resistance

  • Wawlay police station occupied by KNDO, free nine PDFs in Myawaddy Tsp, Karen State

On the early morning around 4am on June 13, Karen National Defense Organization (KNDO) mounted an assault toward Wawlay Police Station and successfully seized it. Nine PDF members and one policeman on CDM who had been detained inside the station were freed. The detained PDFs are from Burmese Young Network (BYN) and BYN wrote a heartfelt thanks letter to KNDO after the release of its soldiers.

  • Bomb attack on navy ship via drone killed eight SAC soldiers in Myaung Tsp, Sagaing Region

A navy ship that was providing security to the junta’s fuel ship faced an irony as it was attacked with a bomb on June 13 and suffered casualties in Myaung Township, Sagaing Region. The attack was coordinated by nine local resistance forces and it was speculated that at least 8 soldiers of SAC were killed by the bomb. At least 30 personnel including Pyu Saw Htee members were said to be on board.

  • Twenty-two junta soldiers killed in Karenni (Kayah) State

Karenni Nationality Defense Force (KNDF) released a statement that encounters between the regime forces and the local resistance forces have resulted in the deaths of at least 22 soldiers from the junta’s side during the second week of June. On the day of June 12 alone, Dawnyingu battle in Hpruso Township reportedly killed more than 10 soldiers.

  • Three civilians killed by SAC’s artillery in Mindat Tsp, Chin State.

On the morning of June 16, an artillery shot fired by SAC’s soldiers exploded in the civilians’ neighborhood and killed three residents in Mindat Township of Chin State. A total of six explosions were heard by the local on the day and three victims; one 70-year-old man, and two women aged 30 and 60 were killed. On Monday, Chinland Defence Force (CDF) in Mindat announced that five junta soldiers were killed and several more injured during an attack on military bases in the township.

  • Shots exchanged and casualties reported in Htantapin Tsp, Yangon

On June 17, an encounter between resistance forces and regime soldiers was reported in Htantapin Township. It happened around 3pm in the afternoon and there were allegedly many casualties and detainees shortly afterwards. At least three youths were seen being arrested. Travelers on the road were told to look away from the scene and not to take pictures. However, there was no verified news on how many were killed and who were detained yet.

Others

  • Ta’ang National Party leader from Shan State’s Kutkai Town blames woman for being raped

 A leader of the Ta’ang National Party in Shan State’s Kutkai Township has blamed a woman’s behaviour as the reason why she was raped, resulting in her being ostracized and forced to give birth outside her village. In June 2021, U Aik Dae, 27, the father of two children, alleged to have raped the woman in a tent near fields. Instead of punishing the alleged perpetrator, village officials fined the woman K400,000 and shunned her from the village and she had to give birth in the tent where she was said to have been raped. The incident was resolved according to village tradition and news about it was suppressed until women’s rights activists were informed and began taking action in May this year. U Aik Dae was arrested by the Ta’ang National Liberation Army in the second week of May. The TNP township leader expressed that the issue was resolved according to the village tradition and it was unnecessary for the TNLA to get involved without informing the village officials. He further accused the woman’s behavior as the reason for her rape incident, and said that the woman tried to seek relationships with men for her personal benefit. The woman is facing pressure from other village residents, a source close to the victim told Shwe Phee Myay News Agency. According to the source, the perpetrator’s parents yelled at the woman in front of everyone and accused her of disgracing the entire village. On June 8, the perpetrator’s father and a villager took the woman to Kutkai to meet the TNP township leader and to demand U Aik Dae’s release.

  • Damaged fence on border with Bangladesh becomes key source for illegal entry and drug smuggling

Damage to a border fence along the Mingalargyi creek in Rakhine State’s Maungdaw Township is contributing to an increase in illegal immigration from Bangladesh as well as in drug smuggling, say residents. A resident of Kyane Chaung village in Maungdaw Township said the border fences on land meet the necessary standard but those along rivers and creeks do not meet the standard, causing an increase in drug smuggling and illegal entry. The fence with the most damage is along the Mingalagyi creek, which has become a major entry point for illegal immigrants and drug trafficking between the two countries, residents said. WY-brand methamphetamine tablets from Myanmar are smuggled into Bangladesh and drugs such as morphine and phensedyl are smuggled from Bangladesh into Myanmar.

  • In Sagaing, NUG and locals organized student fair and sports event 

On 18th June, the Ministry of Education of the National Unity Government (NUG) held an outstanding award ceremony and student fair in Sagaing. Previously on 14th June, the same Sagaing region held a sports event for the students under the NUG. 

  • An alternative learning for students who boycott the military’s education 

A founder of an “eduLamp” told Khit Thit media that the group is preparing an education program for students who are displaced and who have no access to the internet and electricity, different from their regular online classes.

Source: RFA Burmese, Khit Thit, DVB News, Shwe Phee Myay News, One News Myanmar, Irrawaddy, Myanmar Now, Mizzima News, People’s Spring, HTY Information

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