Folks, another week of reporting under the coup. Coup leader Min Aung Hlaing proposed ridiculous prerequisites via ASEAN Envoy for dialogues to happen with democratic forces, to which the NUG instantly rejected. The public remembers the 7th July killings at Yangon University 60 years ago. Read all about it in our weekly report.
- NLD rejects the upcoming election, refuses to reopen its offices
On July 9, the NLD issued a statement which rejects the junta’s upcoming election, claiming it is yet another attempt for the regime to fool the public and international community. The NLD further denounced the new election commission formed by the regime. Again on July 5, the NLD issued a statement which said that the party would not reopen its offices and resume the party activities despite requests from some party members. While several leaders are under detention and the entire country continues to defy the military regime, the statement says that it would be an insult to them if the party restarts the operations.
- Regime revealed three prerequisites for dialogue, NUG rejects
During the ASEAN Special Envoy’s visit to Myanmar, the coup leader Min Aung Hlaing demanded three prerequisites for dialogues to happen. The demands are as follows: 1) opposition forces must not attack or destroy the current government which is the State Administration Council led by the regime; 2) the opposition forces must not replace the current government; and 3) the 2008 Constitution must be the foundation for further peace dialogues. Special Envoy Prak Skhoon said this at the post-visit press conference on July 6. On July 8, the National Unity Government (NUG)’s Foreign Minister Daw Zin Mar Aung rejected that the regime’s preconditions are impractical, and the government will not consider.
- President U Win Myint denied influencing the election commission, yet UEC leaders receives jail time
A court hearing was held on July 8 at the special court inside Naypyidaw Prison for the case against President U Win Myint, State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and NLD Minister U Min Thu for influencing the election commission under the Penal Code Article 130-A. At the hearing, U Win Myint, as an ex-lawyer himself, denied all charges. However, on the same day, Irrawaddy News reported that Union Election Commission Chair U Hla Thein, secretary U Myint Naing and member U Than Htay all received three years of imprisonment for violation of the Penal Code Article 130-A.
- Students organizations remember the 7th July killings at Yangon University
On July 7, 1962, student protesters from Yangon University were severely cracked down by then military regime led by General Ne Win. The Students’ Union building was dynamited in the morning, and over 100 students were killed. Yet General Ne Win’s government announced that the official death toll was 15. This week, Student Armed Force, People Independence Organization, People Liberation Force, and People Revolution Force (West) issued a statement remembering the atrocities committed by successive military regimes in Myanmar. As the history repeats itself 60 years later, the duty of defiance is passed onto a new generation, and the student armed forces vowed to eradicate the fascist military and to fight for a free and equal nation for all citizens.
- NUG organized final examinations for basic education students in Sagaing
Starting on July 9, final examinations for basic education students were held in Yinmabin District of Sagaing Region under the supervision of the NUG. About 600 students took the exam, and 55 volunteer-teachers including 18 CDM teachers taught the students according to a local parent.
- Domestic airlines issued new boarding rules for the junta’s soldiers to carry weapons
Private airline companies in Myanmar had no choice but to issue new boarding rules and regulations that allow the weapons onboard. The junta’s forces have been using air transport to carry weapons since May 2022. A private airline company, Myanmar Airways International (MAI) issued such regulations recently. The junta’s forces seem to rely more on air since their land transport and movements have been heavily attacked by the people defense forces (PDF). Myanmar National Airlines (MNA) has been used for such a purpose.
- Junta blamed on the PDFs for the death of two Indian nationals in Tamu, PDFs claimed otherwise
Death of two Indian nationals in Myanmar border town of Tamu sparks tensions between Myanmar and India. The two young men were visiting Tamu Town, Sagaing Region in Myanmar, and were reportedly killed by junta-backed vigilante groups on July 5. Junta’s spokesperson blamed the death on local PDFs, and claimed that the bodies have been cremated on early morning of July 6, although witnesses approached by the media and local PDF groups claim junta-backed groups as culprits. Tamu, a border town between India and Myanmar is heavily reliant on cross-border trading including its electricity supply (which has since been shut down from the Indian side) and the closure of border gate along with hostility towards the people of Myanmar is creating concerns for Myanmar citizens in the area.
- Chinese FM called on the junta to have dialogue with resistance groups
Over the past week, Myanmar hosted the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi became the most senior Chinese official to visit Myanmar since the coup. On July 4, CNN reported that during the trip Wang Yi called on Myanmar junta to dialogue with their opponents, and claimed “the China-Myanmar “pauk-phaw” friendship, nurtured by the elder generation of leaders of the two countries, enjoys extensive popular support and a solid social foundation. It has stood the test of evolving international landscape, and always remained rock-solid and unbreakable without being affected by domestic changes in each other’s country.” Myanmar counterpart Wunna Maung Lwin also thanked China for its “selfless assistance to Myanmar’s national development,” according to a statement by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- ASEAN Special Envoy signals “some progress” during his second trip to Myanmar
ASEAN Special Envoy concludes mission, hails ‘some progress’, as Min Aung Hlaing pledged full support of the special envoy’s mission and ASEAN five-points consensus, but claims as “having no sacred medicine or magic to resolve Myanmar problems at a time only six-months remaining on tenure as Special Envoy”. However, observers and the general public remain skeptical of Min Aung Hlaing’s commitment to his words. The Special Envoy also warned Min Aung Hlaing that there will be only non-political representatives from Myanmar to future ASEAN meetings for having no improvements in human rights conditions.
- Foreign automobile companies suspended operations of SKD assembling plants
Foreign automobile companies which have invested for SKD (semi knocked down) assembling plants in Myanmar announced their plants in Myanmar have suspended operations. SKD, an assembling method which imports major car components and reassembles in the destination markets, was a popular method for global car companies investing in the Myanmar market during its decade of democratization. However, since the coup, the junta’s inward-looking economic policies have barred import of essential automobile parts to be used in the assembling. The trouble is compounded by the junta’s central bank’s restriction on the foreign currency. The major automobile brands which have invested in Myanmar through SKD, and thus seriously impacted includes Japanese firms Nissan and Suzuki, Korean firms KIA and Hyundai, American Firm Ford, and Chinese firms SouEast, BAIC and Jetour. Automobile Industry representatives claim that over a dozen foreign investors in the industry have suspended operations already. Myanmar car industry (along with the entire manufacturing industry) is already facing serious problems as junta stopped car imports since October 2021, and with ever declining Myanmar Kyat (MMK) value, investors have already flocked towards tangible assets such as gold, and real estate, pushing MMK further down. Industry experts fear that these restrictions have already pushed automobile prices up, and the suspension of operations by the domestically-assembled cars could have compounded the impacts.
- Junta called tenders for six hydro plant projects for the first time
For the first time in its power siege, the State Administration Council called tenders for six hydro plant projects in Kachin State, Eastern Shan State, Kayah (Karenni) State, and Mandalay Region. Myanmar Now media recalled that during the NLD Administration, the coup leader Min Aung Hlaing interrupted hydro plant projects in the name of being “environmentally hazardous”. An anonymous civil servant who had worked under the Ministry of Electricity and Energy told Myanmar Now that five out of six plants are rather small-scale.
Civil Disobedience Movement
- Two police from Kine Taw Ma police post joined CDM with weapons
In Magway region, Myaing township, two policemen Pa San and Hla Thaw joined the Civil Disobedience Movement defecting the junta’s police force on July 8. They gave two guns and 90 bullets to the Myaing People Defense Force (PDF). Myaing PDF awarded them 5,000,000 MMK each, and they were later transported to a safe liberated area after being rewarded. Myaing PDF asks other junta forces to defect as early as possible.
- A soldier from from Tachilek, joins Tagaung PDF
A soldier, Maung Kaung Nyein, from artillery battalion 384 of Shan State’s Mong Hpayak Township defected the military and joined CDM by escaping into Tagaung’s People Defense Force (PDF). Tagaung PDF will send the CDM soldier to a safe area although they are in no capacity to give monetary reward.
- In Bawlakhe, two police sergeants joined CDM
In Karenni State’s Bawlakhe township, sergeant Ko Win Htun from the Police Crime Suppression Unit and town guard sergeant Ko Myo Swe Oo defected from the police force and joined the Bawlekhe PDF on July 3. They brought 321 bullets, two walkie-talkies and six hand grenades.
- CDM teachers in Demoso Township provide schoolings to 200 children
Five CDM teachers are providing education to 200 children in Demoso township, Karenni State, since July 2022. The children have been unable to receive education since the coup. With the intense fighting in the area, the displaced children have been moving from place to place. The teachers are currently in need of support to continue with the necessary education for the children.
- China cuts power to a border village in Shan State amidst boundary disputes
China has cut off electricity to Nawng Kham village in Shan state’s Namkham Township for nearly nine months since July 2021 due to a demarcation dispute, said Shan Human Rights Foundation. The dispute broke out when the residents protested and deterred the plan of the Chinese authorities to build a double layer of border fencing near Nawng Kham, citing the need to prevent the spread of coronavirus in October 2020. China tried to build the fence twice in July but had to stop due to intense protests. Some villagers can afford generators and solar panels. But rising diesel prices mean they can’t run generators anymore. The villagers reportedly asked Myanmar’s authorities to supply electricity but they were told to buy power from China according to the spokesman of SHRF. It is reported that China cut the power after July 2021 due to the protest but briefly restored in October but then cut again on October 19 when a house in Nawng Kham caught fire.
- Over 1300 homes from Chin State’s Thantlang torched since the coup
A total of 28 arson attacks with over 1,300 houses torched in Chin State’s Thantlang town since the February 2021 coup, according to the latest statement by the Thantlang Placement Affairs Committee – TPAC. Home to about 2,000 households, at least 70pc of Thantlang has been destroyed at the hands of junta troops. About 10,000 Thantlang residents are reportedly on the run from the clashes, and about 4,500 have fled to Mizoram State in India.
- More than 600 homes in Sagaing Region’s Chaung-U burned down by junta troops
A total of 628 houses from Sagaing Region’s Chaung-U Township were destroyed in arson attacks by junta troops and members of Pyusawhti from the February 2021 coup until July 3, 2022, a protest leader Ko Phyo Wai told DVB News. The arson attacks reportedly took place in 13 villages and this list has yet to include the cattle barns and kitchen which were also torched in some villages. Some residents were displaced by the fire and some returned to live in temporary tents on their own land.
- Clashes continues in Yaw Region, displacing over 700 residents
Fighting between the Tatmadaw troops and resistance forces continued over the July 2-3 weekend in Htinlin Township, Magway Region, resulting in several junta casualties and displacement of over 700 residents. The township is part of the Yaw region which includes Htilin, Gangaw and Saw townships. On July 2, three battalions of Yaw Defence Force attacked a column of more than 200 soldiers near Htalin village, four miles outside of Htilin’s administrative center in a recent attack against the junta forces stationed in the area. During one hour Saturday’s attack turned into fighting, at least 15 soldiers were killed according to Min Min, a spokesperson of YDF. Another 15-minute fighting took place the next day near the village of Htan Pin Kone with junta artillery exploding behind a school in neighboring Ponna village. The attacks came after the 350-strong soldiers column launched assaults around Hitlin over the last two weeks, driving more than 700 residents to flee their homes.
- Thousands Flee as junta airlifts troops into Tabayin
Thousands of civilians had to flee from 20 villages in Sagaing Region’s Tabayin Township since July 4 because of the regime’s reinforcements in transportation to Sagaing by helicopter according to resident sources. Around 70 junta troops arrived in Sagaing area and have been firing heavy artillery from the monastery grounds since the morning of July 5, one resident said. The two columns of troops have been firing relentlessly since the arrival, according to residents. Residents held the ceremony for the first anniversary of a massacre; at least two dozen residents were killed by military troops. Two Mi-35 fighter jets opened fire flying over the area on the same day. Thus, the local defense forces have called on the National Unity of Government to provide more effective weapons as they have to resist heavily armed troops. More than 750000 people have been displaced since Myanmar’s military staged a coup in February of last year according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Attacks on the Junta’s Lackeys & Properties
- Two USDP members shot and killed in Hledan Market, Yangon
On July 4, a shooting incident took place in Hledan Market, Hlaing Township of Yangon. It was reported that two sisters were targeted in the incident and both were pronounced dead as soon as admitted to the hospital. The sisters were evidently known as Dalans in the market and served as members of the United Solidarity and Development Party (USDP). A few days prior to the case, the regime’s forces stormed into Hledan Market, beating up some vendors before burning their shelves and properties for showing solidary with a flash mob in the previous day.
- Ward administrator shot dead in East Dagon Tsp, Yangon
On July 5, U Khin Maung Than, the junta-appointed ward administrator from East Dagon Township, Yangon was reportedly shot and killed on his way to open the office. He was shot at least four times in his car and died on the spot in front of Shwe Taung Gyi Tea Shop, on the corner of Shin Htway Nyo and Sal Myaung streets, East Dagon. Ultimate Revolutionary Movement Team claimed responsibility for the attack.
- Clash at railway housing wounded two policemen in Mandalay
A brief back and forth firing between the regime’s police and a resistance force was reported in Chanayetharzan Township, Mandalay on the morning of July 7. The clash took place following an explosion that was believed to be triggered by the resistance force on the former railway staff housing guarded by the junta’s lackeys. According to witnesses, two policemen from the junta’s side were critically injured whereas the rangers retreated safely.
- Child killed during “Dalan clearance mission” in Launglon Tsp, Tanintharyi Region
A seven-year-old girl was injured and passed away with a gun wound during a mission conducted by the local People’s Defense Force (PDF) in Wai Di Village, Launglon Township of Tanintharyi Region on July 9. It was reported that the PDF members raided the house of U Kyaw Hein, a notorious Dalan/military informer and since he was armed, they opened fire on their entrance. One of the bullets accidentally hit the seven-year-old niece of U Kyaw Hein as the man himself escaped narrowly. The child was not allowed hospitalization by the regime’s forces and reportedly passed away on the same night. Launglon PDF apologized for the child’s death while confessing that the young victim was not supposed to be there according to their research. There are also calls for the National Unity Government (NUG) to conduct a thorough investigation of the case.
Arbitrary Arrests, Killings & Violence
- Two Indians killed by military-sponsored armed thugs in Tamu, Sagaing Region.
One of the highlights this week has been the murders of two Indians by the military-sponsored Pyu Saw Htee armed group in Tamu Town, Sagaing Region. The 28-year-old and the 35-year-old victims were money exchange agents who were visiting their friends in Tamu when they were killed by armed thugs. Their belongings including cash were also robbed. The State Administrative Council (SAC), however, has tried to twist the reality and pinned the blame on the PDF as it flat out lied it was PDF members who killed those two. There are about 300 Burmese vendors in Moreh, the border town of India and Myanmar and many speculate that this is a deliberate effort by SAC’s lapdogs to cause border tension so it will effectively reduce the acceptance of CDM families and political activists in India.
- DVB reporter jailed for six years in Sagaing Region
U Aung San Lin, a reporter of Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) has been sentenced to six years in jail by the military tribunal on July 7. U Aung San Lin was abducted in his home in Wetlet Township, Sagaing Region back in December 2021 and charged with Sedition Act 505A and Counter-terrorism Act 52B. The reporter received no protection of law whatsoever as his lawyer was also targeted by the junta’s forces during his trial and forced to flee to safety. Myanmar is currently ranked 140th out of 180 countries in the Freedom of Press Index according to Reporters Without Borders (RSF).
- Five monks and three civilians given three years imprisonment for demonstration in Mandalay
A total of eight people, five monks and three persons participated in a peaceful protest and seriously got injured as the regime’s soldiers rammed into their rally with two private cars in October last year in Sein Pan Neighborhood, Mandalay. The wounded were detained and charged with the sedition act 505A and sentenced to three years in prison by the military tribunal on July 8. The monks are U Thiri Nanda, U Wi Lar Tha, U Thu Seitta, U Ye Wa Tha and U Wiriya Dama and the persons are Ko Htay Lwin Soe, Ko Shine Aung and Ko Win Min.
- Six civilians killed and crude oil wells burned in Myaing Tsp, Magway Region
The junta’s military columns have been conducting an offensive in Myaing Township, Magway Region and have killed civilians and destroyed their properties in the process, according to Bo Lat Yar from Myaing PDF. On the morning of July 8, six dead bodies of the villagers were found in Suu Win Village and all of them had torture signs on their heads and faces. At least four houses were set on fire too. In addition, about 100 crude oil wells in the area were reportedly burned down and ruined. Oil business generates income in Myaing Township and the junta’s aim is to destroy such businesses so the villages can no longer support PDF, according to Bo Lat Yar.
- Mandalay-based urban guerilla forces raided and detained
Mandalay-based urban guerilla force DRM Rangers- Mandalay PDF released a statement on July 9 that some of its rangers have been abducted by the regime’s forces while its safe houses were also seized and weapons were compromised. Since it conducted a detonation mission on the junta’s convoy on Pyin Oo Lwin- Mandalay Road on June 27, DRM Rangers- Mandalay PDF has been targeted by the junta’s forces and led to this situation but it vows to continue fighting for the end game.
- SAC airstrikes killed members of AA in Karen State
On the afternoon of July 4, fighter jets of SAC dropped bombs on one of the stations of Arakan Army (AA) in the territory of Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) Bridge 5 in Karen State, killing six soldiers from AA. The attack came as a surprise since there is no ongoing clash between two counterparts in this area or any armed forces near the station. According to AA’s spokesperson, the offensive was deliberate and AA will respond as much as it finds necessary. Multiple losses were caused by the airstrike including a hospital, a clinic and garment factory in addition to the soldiers’ lives.
- Clash in Pekhon, Shan State recorded casualties from both sides
A skirmish between the regime’s forces and a coalition of resistance forces led by Karenni Nationality Defense Force (KNDF) took place in Pekhon Township, border of Shan State and Karenni (Kayah) State on July 4. The combined resistance forces ignited the clash as they attempted to take over stations of the junta located on Shwe Pyi Aye and Lwal Pathar. However, the junta’s forces responded with excessive weaponry and artillery shelling hence the people’s rangers had to retreat. Both sides suffered multiple casualties; SAC’s forces lost above 40 men while KNDF a dozen.
- Yangon’s urban guerilla force to be dissolved
One of the more prominent resistance forces based in Yangon called Yangon’s People Defense Force (Bahan) announced that it has been dissolved and terminated missions due to the arrests of the leaders and the lack of funds. According to its member, the team lost two members to death and three to the interrogation center during the operation period. As it is now more difficult to receive funding, it has decided to end its mission prematurely. The team used to focus on targeting the junta’s lackeys such as military informers, police and soldiers.
- SAC’s convoy ambushed, five killed in Myawaddy Tsp, Karen State
Cobra Military Column under the command of Karen National Union (KNU) has announced that it conducted a guerilla attack on the junta’s military convoy marching toward Wawlay Town, 38 miles north of Myawaddy Town, Karen State on July 7. The attack saw five deaths from the junta including a captain. About 100 troops from the Border Guard Force (BGF) have also been reportedly marching and conducing an offensive along with the junta in Wawlay area.
- Junta’s police station under attack in Inndaw Tsp, Sagaing
A coalition force between Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and local PDFs mounted an assault on Mezar Police Station of SAC in Inndaw Township, Sagaing Region on the early morning of July 10. About 30 of the junta’s men including soldiers and Pyu Saw Htee members were reportedly killed during the clash. Reinforcement trucks were also detonated with landmines and at least five more soldiers died. The dead bodies were picked up with choppers and delivered to Kantbalu Town. The people’s side lost a ranger while a 15-year-old civilian who lived near the police station also died of a gun wound.
- Exploitation of the labor force proliferated after the coup, Myanmar Labor Union said
Myanmar Labor Union and labor rights groups stated that violations of labor rights have come worse with the coup since February 2021. Contrary to what has been proposed by the junta-led Ministry of Labor, many workers have not been able to enjoy overtime pay and rights to paid leave. Their working hours have even been exploited by the factory owners.
- Court lawyer’s house confiscated by the junta in Myitkyina
On the morning of July 8, the house of a court lawyer from Tat Kone ward, U Tin Htun Thein, was confiscated by the junta’s forces in Myitkyina Township, Kachin State. On June 15, he was ordered to clear properties from his home. The house was confiscated according to the article 54 under ‘Terrorism Act’. This is the 11th house that has been confiscated by the junta in Kachin State.
- School fights increase, and led to deathly violence
Videos of school fights between students have gone viral on Myanmar’s social media since the schools began to open its 2022-2023 academic years. On June 26 in Taunggyi township, a group of male students beat one student up in the toilet. Worse, on July 1, a group fight led to the death of one student. Some from education networks assume these violent cases happened due to high differences in the number of student-teacher ratios as some teachers have continued the CDM.
Sources: Khit Thit, The Irrawaddy, DVB, Burma VJ, Myanmar Now, RFA Burmese, People’s Spring, Students Armed Force, the Nation, CNN, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Diplomat.