Weekly Update: 020

Folks, this week we learned that the detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi was moved from house arrest to solitary confinement in Naypyidaw prison. Regardless, the resistance keeps on growing. The NUG said its PDFs have controlled 90% of the villages in Sagaing and Magway plains. Read all about it in our latest weekly update.

Internal Politics

  • Aung San Suu Kyi moved to solitary confinement

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was moved from house arrest to solitary confinement in a prison in Naypyidaw. RFA Burmese reported that she was moved to a small building inside the Naypyidaw Prison due to “security reasons”. BBC Burmese reported that the lady was accompanied by three female staff members. After the news broke out, Khit Thit media reported that the coup leader Min Aung Hlaing ordered his lackeys to make sure that Aung San Suu Kyi will never reappear in the state’s political scene. 

  • Activist and student leader James was arrested

Jame @ Lin Htet Naing, a prominent activist and student leader, was detained by soldiers and police somewhere in Botahtaung Township, Yangon on June 18. Khit Thit media reported that he was withheld at Botahtaung Police Station for one day, and later moved to an interrogation center. The family said there had been no contact/information since the arrest. 

  • One man protest against Voice of America Burmese Service

Hlaing Win, a Myanmar citizen in Washington D.C., staged a one man protest against the VOA Burmese Service for giving platform to the military regime in its news programs such as exclusive interviews. He demanded VOA Burmese Service to stand with the people of Myanmar for the democracy struggle. He said, “VOA is funded by the US government, in other words, taxpayers’ money. It should stand with us the people, instead of voicing the military regime frequently”. On June 25, he protested in front of VOA headquarters, and the US Capitol. He plans to protest at BBC headquarters when he travels to the UK. 

  • Tension in Rakhine State between AA and ARSA

Tweeting to his 53,000 followers, Arakan Army (AA)’s chief Twan Mrat Naing blamed the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) for the abduction of two teachers in Maungdaw Township on June 16. ARSA responded that the group was falsely accused, and called on AA Chief that he was attempting to halt the Rohingya repatriation process. To ARSA’s statement, Twan Mrat Naing immediately responded with another tweet, calling ARSA “masters of casuistry” and the statement “pharisaical”. 

  • PDF controls 90% of main roads in Sagaing and Magway plains

The National Unity Government (NUG)’s Press Secretary Nay Phone Latt said in a press conference held on June 21 that the People’s Defense Force (PDF) under the NUG has controlled 90% of main roads, and 80% of villages in Sagaing and Magway regions. He continued that the PDFs used guerrilla tactics previously, but they can now operate combats if necessary. Although no detail of arms was revealed, Nay Phone Latt said that the NUG provided more weapons to the PDFs in the most conflict prone areas, and fewer to the fighters in more peaceful areas. 

  • Warning issued within the military for losing more than 2 percent of its soldiers 

A warning was issued against a proper management of human resources in the military as the junta seems to be losing its members increasingly, reported on June 21. Only in March 2022 alone, the military lost 58 soldiers in Karenni state, 102 and 51 in Sagaing region and Kachin respectively. The number of soldiers in the military has decreased due to defection, imprisonment, battle loss, and leave. 

International Affairs

  • Malaysian FM said that Myanmar’s political turmoil hinders ASEAN’s trade ties

Malaysian Foreign Minister bemoans the political instability stemming from Myanmar coup is hampering ASEAN’s attempts to promote business ties with international trading partners. Mr. Saifuddin Abdullah, citing the collective nature of ASEAN, claims that as one country’s unwillingness to sign trade treaties drags down the entire bloc, the Myanmar situation is hampering improving bilateral trade ties between ASEAN and EU and other economies. 

  • Regime’s top delegation attended Russia’s St. Petersburg International Economic Forum

SAC’s top delegation on foreign investment, led by the minister of commerce, minister of investment and foreign economic relations and deputy governor of central bank, was in Russia for 25th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum last week. Key issues discussed were to attract Russian investments in Myanmar’s oil and gas and in industrial zones and on improving bilateral business ties among two pariah states. 

  • Embassies expressed condolences for fallen civilians 

On June 22, major embassies in Myanmar, such as the US embassy, EU and its member countries’ embassies, etc. marked remembrance for the death of 2000 civilians at the hands of the military since the coup by changing their social media display pictures to black. In the statement, the embassies expressed sadness and the need for accountability from the junta’s military. 

Business Matters

  • Intercities buses reduce operation due to an increase in gasoline price

Higher petroleum prices causing inter-city buses to reduce operations. Bus operators claim that the bus companies which are still operating at break-even points are still running, however many are facing losses and reducing or stopping bus routes due to higher fuel costs and declining commodity flows. 

  • Min Aung Hlaing’s son and partners seeking to import petroleum from Russia

A group of military-backed businessmen, led by son of junta Min Aung Hlaing, is seeking opportunities to import Russian petroleum. Irrawaddy news reported that Aung Pyae Son, son of Min Aung Hlaing, and his partners are persuading existing petroleum importers to invest in his company and cooperate with them, effectively forming a cartel monopolizing the essential industry. One key partner of Aung Pyae Sone is Shwe Byine Phyu Co. ltd, the buyer of Norwegian telecoms Telenor in Myanmar. Myanmar is facing a serious fuel shortage and Russia is seeking new buyers as its traditional European buyers increasingly seek to reduce reliance on its energy products. Myanmar currently imports most of its petroleum from Singapore, and while the Russian supplies are a lot cheaper, logistical requirements pose a serious challenge according to industry insiders. Irrawaddyrecently reported that Aung Pyae Sone also recently won major solar projects for national electrification without going through the tendering process.

Protests & Fundraising

  • Protesters commemorate Salai Tin Maung Oo

On June 26, many protesters commemorated the 46th anniversary of anti-junta activist, Salai Tin Maung Oo, who was hanged in 1976. A student activist, Salai Tin Maung Oo, famous for his last words “I will never kneel down under the military boots” was commemorated by pro-democracy protesters and student activists today. Somewhere in Yangon, student unions and protesters remembered his unfair death sentence by holding banners with his courageous last words against the military. Protests were observed nationwide remembering him.

  • Second round of “Dancing with the Ladies” fundraiser for Sagaing region’s defense forces 

Literally translated, “Dancing with the Ladies”, fundraising campaign is ended to give support to the people defense forces in Karenni (Kayah) state. The campaign successfully raised a little more than five hundred million MMK within 21 days from May 26 to June 15. The secretary of Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF) Mawi told the media that the group will soon organize a second round of the “Dancing with the Ladies” campaign, for Sagaing region, to support the defense forces there.

Humanitarian Affairs

  • Artillery shells force around 500 IDPs to abandon their camps in Kutkai, to be in urgent need of food

In Shan State’s Kutkai Township, nearly 500 IDPs including young children had to flee their refugees camps after clashes between junta troops and EAOs such as KIA, TNLA and MNDAA erupted within Muse District. According to charity organizations, camps are struck by artillery shellings, causing the people to be in dire need of food and necessities. An artillery shell reportedly fell into Kongyan refugee camp in Honaung Village-tract on July 16 and another shell into Zutaung refugee camp in Galai Village in Kutkai Township on June 17. Consequently, the IDPs in those camps had to leave. Over 200 people in 56 households from Kongyan refugee camp are currently staying at the hilly missionary school in Kutkai and around 200 IDPs from Zutaung refugee camp are taking shelter at the Roman Catholic Church in Ward-3, Kutkai.

Attacks on the Junta’s Lackeys & Properties

  • SAC’s sergeant on leave shot dead in hometown, Kawlin Tsp, Sagaing Region

On June 22, Tun Lin, a sergeant from the junta Wuntho-based military unit 111 was shot and killed by the People’s Defense Forces (PDF) in his home in Kawlin Township, Sagaing Region. He was on leave from duty and staying with his mother and son when the incident took place. Tun Lin attempted to respond with grenades and PDF members shot him five times until his death. The family members were not harmed by the people’s forces.  

  • Dalan officer of SAC from Shan State found dead in Meikhtila District, Mandalay Region

U Min Khine Oo, an officer from SAC’s Environmental Conservation and Forestry Department was shot dead in Kywal Kan Village, Wundwin Township, Mandalay Region. He was known as a dalan/military informer as he used his position to spy on the resistance movements in Ywar Ngan Township, Shan State. Wundwin Township Revolution Force (WTRF) claimed responsibility for the attack. The military truck that came to fetch his body and investigate was attacked with a detonation of landmines and six soldiers were estimated to be killed.

Arbitrary Arrests, Killings & Violence

  • Two children killed by the regime’s bomb in Gantgaw Tsp, Magway Region

On the evening of June 19, two children named Mg Pyae Sone Maung and Mg Min Htut Zaw, both aged seven were killed by a bomb explosion in Gantgaw Township, Magway Region. It was later verified that the bomb was left behind by the junta’s military column. PDF-Gantgaw has warned civilians that they should not touch any weapons found unattended.

  • Murder of PDF member from Bago discovered six months later

On January 19, Bago PDF member Ko Thiha and two friends were detained at the inspection gate outside Bago City due to a military informant. No news was heard of them until six months later this week. Ko Thiha was killed during an interrogation session three days after his arrest in Taungoo Town, according to his friends who were given lengthy sentences in prison. Ko Thiha is survived by his wife and an infant daughter.

  • One of eight civilians abducted by SAC in Rakhine said to be killed in interrogation

Following the arrest of its soldier by the Arakan Army (AA) on June 16, the regime has retaliated by abducting civilians in Rakhine State in the past weeks. Eight civilians were forcefully detained last week in Ponnarkyun Town and one of them called Ko Myo Thwin taken from his home on June 19, aged 27, is said to have been killed in interrogation. The rest of the detainees were also completely cut off from their families.

  • Hundi business robbed by the regime’s soldiers in Dawei, Tanintharyi

On the early morning of June 23, a household in Dawei Town, Tanintharyi which was running a money-transferring business between Myanmar and Thailand was raided and robbed by Min Aung Hlaing’s soldiers. The troops reportedly arrived in three cars and stole cash worth USD 50,000, a safe, foreign currencies, and a vehicle.

  • Security measurements tightened in Yangon & Mandalay

On the morning of June 24, the regime’s forces released news that they arrested a 20-year-old man in Mandalay for attempting to fire a rocket toward the Palace compound where the army is camped and conducting the most notorious interrogations. Following the incident, more raids and midnight checks have been done in the name of heightened security in Mandalay. Likewise in Yangon, since protest posters were hung across the overhead bridges, the regime has banned the use of such passages altogether, forcing civilians to pass the roads through the traffic.

Armed Resistance

  • PDF ambushed by SAC’s troops, 12 killed in Pwint Phyu Tsp, Magway Region

One of the most tragic news of the week took place on the morning of June 22 when an ambush on the truck carrying PDF members and weapons was carried out near Mezali Bridge, Pwintphyu Township, Magway Region. As they received the information prior, the regime’s forces were waiting for the truck and launched a rocket toward it before gunning down on people on board. Nine members were killed on the spot and five were abducted with wounds while about fifteen others escaped into nearby forests. About 25 guns were also seized. Three of those who were arrested are also said to be killed three days later. One Magway-based PDF member said that such an attack took place due to the lack of coordination among local PDFs on the road before travelling.

  • PDF strike back, 11 policemen killed during attack in Khin-U Tsp, Sagaing Region

On the same day PDF members were killed during an ambush in Magway Region, nearly a dozen of the junta’s policemen was also killed in a very similar fashion in Khin-U Township, Sagaing Region on June 22. The guerilla attack took place on Khin-U – Ye-U road when the regime’s policemen came back from collecting road fees near Myin Daung Village. All 11 policemen on board including Captain Soe Htut Khine were killed while their weapons were also seized by a coalition of local resistance forces.

  • Five-hour long skirmish killed 10 junta’s soldiers in Kalay Tsp, Sagaing Region

Junta’s convoy consisted of over 100 troops travelling near Hal Loat Village, Kalay Township of Sagaing Region met with a guerilla attack on June 22 and at least 10 soldiers were reportedly killed, according to Chin Land Defense Force. The clash lasted over five over and local resistance forces such as CDF-KKG, PDF Kalay, CNDF, RKDF coordinated the attack. One ranger died and four were injured from the people’s side. A separate ambush took place in the form of landmine detonation on the regime’s 7-vehicle convoy on the evening and killed about 20 soldiers on Kalay-Tamu road.   

  • Junta’s police station ambushed, called for choppers in Myaing Township, Magway Region

A coalition of local resistance forces mounted an assault on Thayetkan Police Station in Thayetkan Village, Myaing Township of Magway Region on the early morning of June 25. The station was manned by 200 soldiers and this was reportedly the second clash that took place there. It started around 3.30am in the morning and lasted about an hour. The junta’s soldiers were severely hurt that they called for help from the choppers and the airstrikes took place around 10am for about 30 minutes. The exact number of casualties on both sides have not been verified yet.

  • People warned to stay vigilant in Kyaikhto and Shwebo towns

Thaton-based PDF warned civilians to avoid staying or driving close to the regime’s vehicles starting June 26 in Kyaikhto Town, Mon State. It also urged the civilians not to go out after 8 pm except for strictly emergency purposes. Similarly in Shwebo Town, Sagaing Region, C&T Shwebo has instructed people not to use Shwebo-Naunggyiai Road from 8pm to 5am starting June 26 as more intensified clashes will be conducted against the junta’s soldiers.


  • NUG-recognized University of Medicine (1) Council will issue temporary graduation certificates to medical students

The National Unity Government (NUG) announced on June 25 that the NUG-recognized-University-of-Medicine (1) Council will issue CDM students temporary graduation certificates, for those who had attended masters and undergraduate programs. It was to prevent the graduates from losing employment and further opportunities due to having no graduation certificates.

  • 10 short films for the Inernational Day in Support of Victims of Torture 

Many civil society groups and local activists produced 10 short films to remember those who had lost their lives from the junta’s violence in post-coup Myanmar. The short film competition was held and 10 best films were chosen to highlight the junta’s violence and courage of the youth of Myanmar against injustice in their cry for freedom and democracy. The short film number five is named ‘Can’t accept that he’s gone’ which is a story about a Ta’ang youth leader, Mai Min Naing, who lost his life during the peaceful protest in Shan state. 

  • Pekhon PDF destroyed boxes of Dagon beer, a brand owned by the junta

Pekhon people defense forces found boxes of Dagon beers in a twelve-wheeled truck on June 21 along Pekhon-Loikaw expressway. The boxes were immediately destroyed, and a warning was issued against any distribution, selling and consuming the military-owned-products.

  • Workers’ Rights Violated at Chinese-owned Garment Factory in Yangon

 A Chinese-owned garment factory in Yangon Region’s Shwepyithar Industrial zone is violating a convention of the International Labour Organization, say labor activists. They said the GTIG Huasheng (Myanmar) garment factory was violating the ILO’s Convention 87, under which workers have the right to organize and bargain collectively. As well as violating the convention, the factory was also collaborating with a “yellow” union formed by the owner to comply with standards set by prominent brands such as PEP&CO and Primark. These big brands were reportedly trying to pretend that they adhered to the right of freedom of association and that they did not obstruct workers from forming workplace unions. In reality, management had formed a yellow union. The factory had also been accused of forcing employees to work overtime without being paid for the extra hours, as well as taking advantage of them in other ways.

Source: BBC Burmese, Khit Thit Media, RFA Burmese, BETV Business, Irrawaddy, People’s Spring, Myanmar Pressphoto Agency, Mizzima News, DVB News, Eleven Media.

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