Hi folks, today is the coup leader Min Aung Hlaing’s birthday. We wish him a very damning birthday and the worst returns of the year. So did many people around the world. Read our weekly wrap up of events from toilet strikes of mocking Min Aung Hlaing to the continued atrocities of the murderous regime.
- AA-SAC power struggle in Rakhine State results in detention of civilians
Rakhine State somewhat remained peaceful when the military staged a coup and occupied itself with defiance from the central/lower part of the country. Yet, the continuing resistance of the people show that the military regime has gradually lost control of the country while Arakan Army (AA) consolidates its administration in Rakhine State. After being peaceful for more than a year, arbitrary arrests began in June 2022. According to Irrawaddy News, from May 11 to June 23, AA detained a total of 13 regime police and soldiers in four townships, including a major. In response to AA’s arrests, SAC soldiers roamed around residential areas and detained up to 100 civilians. About half were later released, but to this day, 45 civilians including activist Ko Zaw Win remain detained and are interrogated by the regime according to local civil society groups.
- Myanmar-Wanbao Ltd condemned PDF’s attack at Letpadaung copper mine
On May 5, sixteen resistance forces warned Myanmar-Wanbao Mining Company to halt operations at Letpadaung copper mine, and to stop cooperating with the regime soldiers. Since the company continued its operation, local defense forces launched shellings into the compound of Letpadaung mine on June 22. On June 28, the mining company condemned the attack, claiming that the resistance forces did not value the lives of miners, and confirming that some buildings in the mine were destroyed due to the attack. On the same day, local resistance groups told People’s Spring media that the contents of Wanbao’s statement was the opposite of the ground situation. Resistance fighters said that Wanbao company allowed regime soldiers to shelter in its company compound while soldiers raided villages nearby.
- The KNDO receives military expenses from the NUG
Karen National Defense Organization (KNDO) received military expenses provided by the National Unity Government (NUG). KNDO logistic officer Major Kay confirmed on his social media on June 28 that the money has been transferred to Commander Maj-Gen Saw Nerdah Mya, and will be used wisely. The KNDO has been fighting alongside the people’s defense forces (PDF) and Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) against the military regime. The armed group joined forces in the seizure of Thay Thaw Bo outpost and Wawlay police station. Since June 26, KNDO has been taking part in the attempt to seize Ou-Kari-Hta station.
- Myanmar military apologized Thailand for entering its airspace amidst the fighting with the resistance groups
Junta’s air force chief apologizes to Thailand for its military aircrafts entering Thai airspace during its defense of a military base along Thai-Myanmar border. The incident happened on June 30 as the junta’s forces were defending an assault by KNLA-led resistance forces and the regime’s aircrafts entered Thai airspace after an airstrike mission. Thailand and Myanmar junta’s administrations have relatively good relations, and the incident happened one day after junta Min Aung Hlaing met with a senior military delegation from Thailand for improving military ties between the two administrations. The Thai Prime Minister claims this territorial violation was merely an unintended human error and there are no problems between two countries, especially now that the junta’s side has already apologized.
- ASEAN’s Special Envoy made his second visit to Myanmar
Special Envoy of ASEAN Chair Prak Sokhonn visited Myanmar on June 29, and met with representatives, supporters and those arranged by junta Min Aung Hlaing, those include ministers from SAC, EAOs which recently join peace conference of Min Aung Hlaing recently, and military-backed political parties. The request from the special envoy to meet with political opponents of the junta, including Aung San Suu Kyi, was not granted. Prior to the visit, on June 27, the special envoy issued a statement which urged the military regime to return Aung San Suu Kyi to home from solitary confinement in Naypyidaw Prison.
- Japanese brewery Kirin officially leaves Myanmar after having sold its share to the military-affiliated local partner
Japanese brewery giant Kirin completes withdrawal from the Myanmar market as its local partner, military-owned Myanmar Brewery Ltd agrees to the purchase of Kirin’s shares. Before the coup, the joint venture had 80% market share in Myanmar through its products, mainly the flagship brand of Myanmar Beer. However, since the coup, as consumers consistently refuse to support businesses with military ties, the joint venture has been losing massively. Kirin announced its intention to leave Myanmar in the early months of the coup, however it was entangled in a legal battle with the military conglomerate which owns Myanmar Brewery. With the purchase of shares worth over $164million by Myanmar Brewery, Kirin’s withdrawal has come to completion. Since the coup, international investors which entered Myanmar during the democratization period were facing increased political and economic turbulence with many having left. However, even with selling the holdings for a fraction of their investment, many had a hard time leaving, as Norwegian telecom Telenor’s exit demonstrated.
- The regime blames the country’s economic collapse on the NLD administration
Junta’s spokesperson General Zaw Min Tun blames Myanmar’s present economic woes on the NLD administration. In a press conference held in Naypyitaw, General Zaw Min Tun showed data of the country’s economic growth and claimed while the country enjoyed economic growth between 2016-2019 NLD administration, growth was halved during 2020 due to poor management of then-administration. He said, “no one can claim poor economic performance as starting under our administration, as it happened since 2020 where the NLD was in power”. Sticking to junta’s inward-looking economic views, he claimed that the poor economic performance is mainly due to favoring imports over domestic production of the NLD government, and current military administration is spending $700millions annually on interest and loan repayments as previous civilian government financed these import spending with loans. However, his claims were contradictory to international observers, the World Bank has previously warned that the junta’s inward-looking economic policies would create more destitution for the people. The World Bank data on economic growth also shows Myanmar 2020’s GDP growth, despite being low globally due to the pandemic, massively outperforming global average (+3.2% to -3.3%). However, the country’s economy collapsed due to the coup and by 2021 GDP growth was measured at -18%, the World Bank altogether stopped predicting the data for 2022 due to heightened risks.
Fundraising & protests
- KNDF launched campaign to support female warriors in Karenni (Kayah) State
Women unit, KNDF B-05, of KNDF launched the “Pyomaydoe Tawhlyan Salmon Nga doe Apyan”, which literally translates as women force’s resistance as strong as salmon finding their way back home. This fundraising campaign lasts from July 1 to July 21. This is to take pride in and to support the women frontline soldiers who are fighting alongside their male peers in Myanmar anti-junta resistance.
- PDF donated money to the junta’s arson victims in Kani Tsp, Sagaing
In Sagaing region’s Kani township, PDF members donated thirty million kyats (approx., 16000 USD) to 211 households whose homes were torched and burned down by the junta’s forces. Each household roughly receives 45 USD.
- Protests staged in Myanmar, and across the globe
In Tokyo, Myanmar people staged a protest at the Myanmar Embassy on Min Aung Hlaing’s birthday. In South Korea’s town, Ulsan, Daegu monk led the protest with Myanmar people and Korean supporters to call for an end to the fascist junta’s rule and to recognize the National Unity Government (NUG). Myanmar people in Sweden held a similar protest to call for an end to violence committed by the junta, to recognize the NUG, and to allow transborder humanitarian assistance. Protests were observant in towns across Myanmar. In Hopong, Shan State, protesters held a “toilet strike” to mock the junta’s leader’s birthday.
- Over 10,000 displaced by the Junta’s shelling, KNU Says
Junta shelling in Bago Region’s Kyaukkyi Township between June 25-26 had forced more than 10,000 people to flee their homes, according to a statement by Karen National Union on June 27. Heavy artillery fire by junta troops reportedly affected a dozen villages along both sides of Penwegon-Kyaukkyi highway and at least five people were injured. The statement by KNU called the shelling of civilian villages “an act of terror” by Myanmar military troops. A spokesperson for Nyaunglebin District Karen Affairs, a group which assists local residents affected by conflict, said that the recent fighting has made it difficult to meet the food and healthcare needs of displaced villagers.
- Myanmar crisis taking enormous toll on children
The UN Child Rights Committee warned on June 29 that time is running out to save children in Myanmar as 7.8 million children remain out of school with 250,000 internally displaced since the February 2021 coup. The committee’s warning cited findings in a report by the UN Special Rapporteur which said at least 382 children have been killed or targeted by junta troops since the coup and children are continuously abducted and recruited for armed conflicts. Additionally, over 1,400 children were arbitrarily arrested since the coup and at least 274 child political prisoners remained in detention as of May 27 this year.
- Over 750,000 people displaced since the Coup
According to the latest figures released by the United Nations on June 28, over 55,700 people have been displaced in June alone and over 750,000 people have been internally displaced since the February 2021 coup. Latest report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), Myanmar Humanitarian Update for June, estimated that the total number of IDPs in Myanmar since the coup has passed 758,000 which included more than 250,000 children. As of now the total number of IDPs in Myanmar is now over 1.1 million, including the existing IDPs prior to the coup.
Attacks on the Junta’s Lackeys & Properties
- Dalan group of four attacked in Gyopingauk Tsp, Bago Region
The junta-appointed a hundred household chief U Hla Kyi, his wife, and two staff Win Myint and Khin Zaw were attacked with guns and killed in Gyopingauk Township, Bago Region. The group, especially U Hla Kyi and wife were notorious for arresting and torturing the family members of the People’s Defense Forces (PDF). Tharyarwaddy PDF who was responsible for the attack said U Hla Kyi & co had been warned multiple times but refused to leave the innocent people alone hence the action was taken against them.
- Courts targeted in Yangon
The military-controlled courts in Yangon were targeted with hand grenades on the night of June 27. South Oakkalapa’s court was first attacked around 7.30pm, followed by the explosions at Mayangone’s court and East Dagon’s court at one-hour intervals. All locations were guarded by the junta’s forces. As the courts and the judges have been oppressing the pro-democracy detainees to please the regime, they were targeted and given warnings, according to a member of a resistance force.
- Four Dalans killed in Mandalay during June
Four alleged military’s lapdogs were reportedly killed and many were wounded in Mandalay during the month of June. On June 4, Tanpawati Ward Administrator U Aung Moe was shot and killed in front of his house in Chanmyatharsi Township. On the same day, the regime policeman Yarzar Thein was found dead on a street of Patheingyi Township. On June 6, a hundred household chief U Thein Soe was shot dead in Pyigyitakon Township. And lastly on June 21, the junta’s lieutenant Tin Myo Htwe was shot and killed on a street in Mahaaungmyay Township. In addition, at least 10 explosions had taken place in locations related to the regime in Mandalay last month.
- Junta’s new ward administrator shot dead on the way back from KTV entertainment in Paung Tsp, Mon State
U Htwe Thein @ Me’ Lone, recently appointed ward administrator to replace a former one who was attacked and injured in Paung Township, Mon State was shot and killed after a session at KTV entertainment in Natgyichaung Village on June 29. He was shot twice by gunmen on a motorbike and reportedly passed away on the spot. About seventeen villagers were reportedly abducted by the junta’s forces in relation to this incident.
- Yangon’s notorious religious extremist/nationalist/military supporter shot and wounded
Tint Lwin, chairman of Myanmar National Organization (MNO) who is known as a religious extremist/ nationalist and Dalan was attacked on the morning of July 1 and admitted to emergency. Tint Lwin was often seen leading military support rallies and also frequently harassed peaceful demonstrations from the resistance side. He used to live in Thaketa Township, Yangon, and was reportedly in hiding for a period before he reappeared in North Oakkalapa Township where he was attacked by unknown gunmen. As of reporting this, Tint Win is clinging to life in an ICU of a hospital against the will of the majority of Myanmar’s population.
Arbitrary Arrest, Killings & Violence
- Urban Guerilla Force leader shot and killed during chase in Mandalay
On the afternoon of June 25, the regime’s soldiers chased a man on a motorbike and shot him down in Mandalay City. The victim was later identified as Ko Swan Htet Aung @ Htet Shine Zaw, a leader of an urban guerilla force from Mandalay. State Administration Council (SAC), however, tried to stain his reputation as he was accused as a bank robber.
- One youth killed, two arrested during explosion in Yuzana Garden City, Yangon
On the evening of June 26 around 6.50pm, a loud explosion was heard in Yuzana Garden City and two youths were seen running out of an apartment afterward. People in the neighborhood immediately citizen-arrested the youths and submit them to the police thinking they were thugs. Later the youths were identified as members of an urban guerilla force and the explosion was caused by an experiment they were testing. The people who stopped the youths were quite criticized by netizens and another resistance group vowed to take revenge against the junta’s ward administrator and a Dalan who led the arrest.
- UN Staff charged and sent to Pyapon Jail in Ayawaddy Region
On June 3, FAO staff Ko Aung Myo Thant was arrested in Bogale Town, Ayawaddy Region during a midnight inspection at a guesthouse. His crime was sharing resistance posts on Facebook, and he was charged with sedition act 505A. This week, he has been sent and detained at Pyapon Jail. Ko Aung Myo Thant had only been in Bogale for a month as he was sent from Naypyitaw’s FAO headquarters for technical assistance.
- Father of PDF member arrested in place of his son died in custody in Kalay Tsp, Sagaing Region
On June 14, regime’s forces stormed into a house in Aung Thitsar Ward, Kalay Township of Sagaing Region looking for an alleged PDF member. As the young man was away, they instead took his father U Maung Toe. This week, the family was informed to collect U Maung Toe’s dead body and cause of death remained a mystery. U Maung Toe is survived by his wife and six children.
- Three lawyers arrested and untraceable in Mandalay as SAC targets more lawyers
Three more lawyers who had been helping political prisoners were arrested in Mandalay on June 29 and the families have not been able to contact them. The detainees were U Thuta, U Tin Win, another unidentified female lawyer. All of them were reportedly advocating on behalf of those unfairly arrested for defying the junta until the day of their own arrests.
- NLD members tortured to death in Mon State
On June 22, NLD’s members U Kyaw Myo Min (member of parliament representing Bilin Township) and U Pan Myint, U Ko Ko Maung and one villager were abducted by the regime’s forces somewhere in Mon State. The villager was shot and killed on the spot while the rest were taken into interrogation. On June 30, the dead bodies of the 55-year-old U Pan Myint and the 51-year-old U Ko KO Maung were found near the village where they were detained. The dead bodies were disfigured due to the extreme torture before death. Their legs and hands were chopped off and teeth were also removed from their faces. U Kyaw Myo Min, the only survivor still remains under custody and he is also feared to face imminent tragedy.
- Two civilians killed, several injured due to SAC’s airstrikes in Mindat Town, Chin State
On the morning of July 2, regime’s forces carried out airstrikes on the villages near Mindat Town of Chin State, targeting religious buildings and schools despite that there was no active clash going on in the area. Two fighter jets flew in around 11am and dropped five bombs in total on the Chat and Soonywa villages, 50 miles north of Mindat Town. At least two civilians were killed and several including civilians and PDF members were injured. The dead victims could not be identified yet due to their severe wounds.
- Nineteen soldiers from SAC killed during clash against KNU in Nyaunglaypin District, Karen State
Karen National Union (KNU) released a statement on June 27 that two-day clashes between regime’s forces and KNU soldiers took place between Ngabyatin and Inn-nat villages from June 25 to June 26 and at least 14 personnel from the regime’s side were verified dead. Among the casualties, a captain and a ward administrator were also included. Following the incident, KNU had to evacuate more than 10,000 people from 12 villages in that area due to the artillery shelling from the junta.
- SAC’s soldiers died of friendly fire in Paletwa Township, Chin State
Arakan Army (AA) said that regime’s forces ended up shooting each other in Paletwa Township, Chin State on June 27, thinking the other party was AA. Even heavy artillery was used in the clash between two columns from the same side that was initiated out of “too much fear for AA” according to AA’s spokesman. Casualties were reported but the exact figure has not been verified yet.
- Yinmabin PDF leader assassinated in Sagaing Region
Bo Galone, the leader of the Yinmabin-based guerilla force was assassinated by unknown gunmen in his home in Sagaing Region on the night of June 27. He was reportedly shot eight times and killed at the entrance to his house. Apparently, there is no Pyu Saw Htee or Dalan in that area and his members are now investigating the real culprit who is likely a traitor from the inside.
- Sniper took out seven junta soldiers in Pekon Tsp, Shan State
NUG Central Command’s military operation via sniper attacks reportedly took out seven of the junta’s soldiers in two separate attack in Pekon Township, Shan-Karenni (Kayah) states on June 23 and June 29. On June 23, the sniper force carried out an assault on the military base on Lwalmaku Hill, killing two. Again on June 29, a joint column of Sniper and Fighter forces took on the regime forces in Lwalhal Village, causing five deaths of the soldiers.
- SAC’s airstrikes fell on Thailand’s territory during 5-day battle at Ou-Kari-Hta Station, Karen State
Clashes between KNU- led resistance forces and regime forces have continued for the fifth day at Ou-Kari-Hta Station of the junta in Karen State on June 30. KNU and co mounted the attack on June 26 and managed to occupy it briefly on the third day of the attack. However, due to the excessive use of airstrikes from the junta, clashes have resumed to intensified near the station. Both sides have suffered casualties and the junta’s forces have allegedly lost dozens of their men. Cluster air bombs were reportedly used by SAC, some of which fell on Thailand’s territory and caused tension between the two countries.
- Nine PDF members fell victims of regime’s forces in Shwebo Tsp, Sagaing Region
On June 29, nine members of GZ Special Task Force (Wetlet) who were on their way for medical training in Ayadaw Township ran into the regime’s forces and were brutally killed in Sagaing Region. The victims were said to be unarmed and included two young girls. Wetlet Force confirmed the news and the dead members were identified as 14-year-old Ma Pa Pa Khine, 15-year-old Ma Win Ei Kyaw, 24-year-old Ma Naing Naing Aung, 34-year-old Ma Thit Thit Hlaing, 17-year-old Ko Phoe Htaung and Ko Phone Kyaw, 21-year-old Ko Thein Than Oo, 27-year-old Ko Aung Kyaw Moe and Ko Phoe Nyein. It’s still unknown how the fallen rangers fell into the target of the regime since they were supposed to have been on the route of PDF’s territory.
- Junta’s supply truck ambushed by KNDF, four including police chief killed in Karenni (Kayah) State
Around 8.45am on June 30, Karenni Nationality Defense Force (KNDF)’s unit 10 spotted a supply truck of the regime on Loikaw-Lawpita highway road and opened fire on it. It led to a 20-minute exchange of gunshots until the junta’s soldiers fled away. Four personnel on board were killed and one of them was identified as police chief Win Zaw Thein who had been transferred to the region only six months ago. A pistol, bullets and two phones were seized by KNDF.
- Mobile medical team give health-care services to internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Karenni (Kayah) State
A mobile medical team called Loyalty was founded in October 2021 by CDM doctors and health-care workers. The purpose is to provide health-care services and medical treatment to internally displaced persons (IDPs). Since the health-care system was disurpted by the military coup, many clinics and hospitals are closed which troubled the people. More than 30 IDP camps are under the care of Loyalty in Karenni State.
- NUG held award-giving ceremony and student fair in Kani Tsp, Sagaing Region
In Sagaing’s region’s Kani township, the National Unity Government (NUG) held an award-giving ceremony and student fair which was attended by students, teachers and parents. Also on June 29, a small village in the Yinmarbin town of Yinmarbin division, Sagaing region, organized a rainy season sports event that included 10 different kinds of sports during the interim academic year under the command of NUG.
Sources: Khit Thit, Mizzima, RFA Burmese, People’s Spring, Irrawaddy, DVB, Ayeyarwaddy Times, Myanmar Now, Delta News Agency, UNHCR.