- DASSK’s aide Dr Sean Turnell was moved to Insein Prison
After sentencing him for three years jail-time on September 29, Myanmar junta transferred Dr Sean Turnell to Yamethin Prison. He was found Covid-19 when he checked into the prison in Mandaly Region. The next day, he was transferred to Yangon’s Insein Prison, a souce close to the court told Myanmar Now on October 17. Since its transfer to Insein, no news about Dr Turnell was heard, including the situation with Covid.
- Protest leader Wai Moe Naing received four more years of jail time
On October 20, a junta court sentenced Ko Wai Moe Naing for more years of imprisonment under the Natural Disaster Law, and Penal Code Section 505A for incitement. His mother told the Irrawaddy that the new verdict made a total of 14 years of jail time for the protest leader who is loved by the public. Ko Wai Moe Naing initially received 10 years of jail time on August 12 for inciting the Civil Disobedience Movement. The regime soldiers rammed into his motorbike with a privte car on April 15, 2021.
- TNLA said NUG needs to build stronger bond with EAOs
In an exclusive interview with Myanmar Now on October 14, Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA)’s General Ta Phone Kyaw said that the civilian-elected National Unity Govrnment needs to strengthen its tactic to form alliance with some ethnic armed groups. According to General Ta Phone Kyaw, the armed group and the NUG have not officially formed an alliance despite some informal engagements. He continued that the NUG should put more effort in building alliance with more EAOs to ultimately uproot the military regime. However, he praised that the NUG’s plan for next one year is more strategic than the past year. TNLA is active in Northen Shan State, and currently clashes with the regime’s forces in Kutkai, and Kyaukme Townships.
- Access to Insein and Obo prisons cut off after major explosion in Insein
Following the explosion and indiscriminate shooting that took place in Insein Prison, Yangon on October 19 and killed at least eight people, access to Insein and Mandalay’s Obo Prison has been banned by the regime. Parcel-receiving is suspended for at least two weeks in both facilities. In addition, regular trials that have been held in the military tribunals in Insein Prison are also put on hold. It remains unknown who was responsible for the attack in Insein; however, the families of the detained political prisoners have already been deprived of the one and only right to reach out to their loved ones who remain behind the bars.
- Seoul University organized conference on Myanmar affairs, NUG minister in attendance
Seoul University’s department of Southeast Asia organized a conference on Myanmar titled, “Spring Revolution and Myanmar’s Long Road Toward National Unity” on October 21 to discuss Myanmar’s current situation and future. Dr Lian Hmong Sakhong of the NUG attended the confnerece in person, while Foreign Minister Daw Zin Mar Aung delivered a video message. The NUG’s federal affairs minister Dr Lian Hmong Sakhong presented Myanmar’s long civil war, and the need for federal system in the country for diverse ethnic groups.
- The NUG condemned the AWEB for inviting junta-appointed UEC
The NUG’s Foreign Minister Daw Zin Mar Aung wrote an open letter to the Assocation of World Election Bodies for inviting the junta-administered Union Election Commision (UEC) to its summit held from October 17 to 22 in Cape Town, South Africa. Junta-appointed UEC chair Thein Soe and member Aung Moe Myint attended the summit. In the letter sent on October 19, Daw Zin Mar Aung wrote that the civilian-elected NUG is the legitimate representative of Myanmar, and showed disappointment toward the AWEB for inviting the junta-appointed UEC.
- Malaysia deported 150 Myanmar nationals, including six navy officers
Reuters news reported on October 19 that Malaysia deported a total of 150 Myanmar nationals, including six navy officers on October 6 despite the risk of arrest upon arrival. Two out of six officers were arrested by Malaysian authorities last month for failing to provide valid documents. According to Reuters’ report, three out of six officers applied for refugee through UNHCR. However, one officer and his wife were detained upon their arrival in Yangon. Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah has continuously shown his condemnation towards Myanmar military coup, and urged other ASEAN leaders to engage with the civilian-elected NUG.
- FATF listed Myanmar as a high-risk country for illicit financial flows
Financial Action Task Force (FATF) added Myanmar to its blacklist which contains countries with high risks of money laundering and illicit financial flows, according to Bloomberg News reported on October 21. FATF president T. Raja Kumar explained that Myanmar’s failure to address the risks was first identified in the task force’s assessment in 2018, but no improvement was witnessed in four years. The local business community speculated that Myanmar’s entry into the FATF blacklist will cause the further departure of foreign investments.
- Few traders attended SAC’s jewelry fair
Naypyitaw’s jewelry fairs were usually crowded with traders in the past, but the opening day of the jewelry trade fair organized by SAC only had few visitors. Myanmar jewelry fair is held in Maniyadanar Hall in Naypyitaw from October 19th to 25th, and the most expensive jewel costs 3.5 million Euros. An anonymous jewelry businessmen spoke to Myanmar now that before the coup, about 2,000 Chinese traders attended the national jewelry fairs, but as of now, it is 10 times fewer than the previous attendant numbers, and most of the attendees are local businessmen. In the past, there were at least 6,000 displays of jewelry products, but there are only 2150 products now. One main reason for the fewer sellers is because the trades have to be made under the currency exchange rate set by SAC, and also due to the depreciation of Myanmar Kyats value.
- Despite invitation of Russian investment, not a single USD entered into local market
After the coup, Myanmar has faced sanctions from Western countries, and international companies have left the Myanmar market. Therefore, SAC increased their diplomatic ties with Russia, and invited Russian companies to invest in Myanmar, but so far, none of the Russian companies have entered the Myanmar market. Although the military junta leader Min Aung Hlaing traveled to Russia multiple times to seek business opportunities with Russia, not a single Russian company has invested in the Myanmar market according to the data from Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA). As of 2022 August, Russia investment stands only 0.10% out of over USD 92 billion investments. Russia’s investment amount is USD 94 million USD, which has remained the same since 1988-1989.
- Protests around the nation
Protests around the nation are still going strong, including on the west bank of the Chindwin River, in Myaing Township, and in the Leppan Taung area.
- Fundraising activities in Bangkok
On October 23, fundraising activities were held in Bangkok, Thailand, under the leadership of the Under Ground UG Family group, to help fund the ongoing Spring Revolution.
- A resistance movie screened 6 times a day in New York
On October 22 (October 23 Myanmar time), Helping Hands for Burma (H2B) and Spring Myanmar Society (SMS) jointly organized a total six shows of director Ko Pauk’s “The Road Not Taken” movie at The Zukor Theater, Kaufman Astoria Studios in New York City, USA. The short movie, based on the true story of a CDM soldier, was shot in a forest by the director Ko Pauk with an iPhone 11 camera. Myanmar’s ambassador to the United Nations, U Kyaw Moe Tun, also attended the show. The digital hand paintings of Ko Pauk will be auctioned off to raise funds, and the film’s souvenir T-Shirts and sweaters will be sold. All funds raised will go to areas in urgent need.
Attacks on the Junta’s Lackeys & Properties
- RTAD office targeted in Monywa, Sagaing Region
In the early morning of October 15, the road and transportation administration department (RTAD) under military control was attacked with a grenade in Monywa City, Sagaing Region. In total. four grenades were thrown toward the military forces on the security duty of the office. The soldiers responded by shelling artillery. Local-based Sun King Envoy Monywa (SKE) and the Democratic Guerrilla Force (DGF) carried out the mission and retreated safely when the artillery was fired. There were no casualties from the regime’s soldiers and some of them were wounded by the grenades.
- Ward administrator and his lapdog killed in Wantwin tsp, Mandalay Region
On the afternoon of October 17, Kyaw Moe Oo, the former deputy police chief/ current ward administrator of Wantwin Township, and his follower was gunned down during lunch in a restaurant in Mandalay Region. Both of them were killed on the spot while another one on the scene was also injured and taken to the hospital. Local-based WTRF claimed responsibility for the attack and cited their crimes against the public despite holding government positions.
- Military captain and wife shot dead in Yangon
On the morning of October 20 around 10 am, an attack took place in Hlaing Township, Yangon and three people were reportedly killed. The exact location where the incident took place was in Thirimyaing Ward 13, Hlaing Township. Those killed were identified as military captain U Myint Swe, his wife Ma Yadanar Oo and another solider named Aung Ko Min. The captain is said to be from Aung Pan-based military united from Shan State and he and his wife were visiting family and friends on leave when they were targeted by members of the People’s Defense Forces (PDF).
- Military soldier attacked and killed in Natmauk tsp, Magway Region
On October 22, news came from Magway Region that a soldier was attacked with a knife and killed in Kangyikone Village, Natmauk Township. Myo Thant, the dead soldier is said to be from the manufacturing factory of military equipment in Pyay, Bago Region and he was in Natmauk Township to continue his education. Local based PDF said they decided to target him since he was not joining the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM). A female ranger reportedly carried out the operation.
Arbitrary Arrests, Killings & Violence
- CDM teacher killed and decapitated by regime soldiers in Pauk tsp, Magway Region
On October 15, the regime’s forces stormed into Taung Myint Village in the south of Pauk Township, Magway Region, torturing, robbing, and terrorizing the whole village. The unthinkable was committed by the soldiers when they abducted U Saw Tun Moe, a teacher on the CDM movement who had been teaching at the schools founded by the National Unity Government (NUG). The 45-year-old man with 15 years of teaching experience in his CV had his hands tied behind his back and was forced to follow the military column. Soon, the soldiers opened fire toward the village indiscriminately, causing chaos and forcing the villagers to flee to safety. On their return to the village in the next morning, the villagers found out that the CDM teacher had been killed and his head was hung at the entrance gate in front of the school he used to teach. The rest of his body parts were also chopped off and left in the same place. The NUG has called for international attention to this and promised to find justice for the teacher’s death.
- Explosion and shoot-out in Insein Prison killed five civilians and three prison staff
On the morning of October 19, an explosion took place in the parcel-receiving area inside Insein Prison and it was followed by indiscriminate shooting from the junta’s soldiers. As a result, as many as five civilians died in addition to three prison staff. More than ten people were also reportedly injured. Amongst the victims, two were the mothers of detained pollical prisoners, one was a ten-year-old girl. Daw Kyi Myint, the mother of prominent political activist Ko Lin Htet Naing was killed as she was in line to drop off items for her detained son who was abducted by the regime in June 2022. Similarly, Daw Than Kywe, the mother of Ko Hein Min Htet who was detained during the violent crackdown of the protest in Panpingyi Street, Kyimyinnaing in last year, was also killed by the headshot. Ko Lin Htet Naing was reportedly denied by the prison authorities to attend his mother’s funeral. Although a known resistance force named Special Task Agency of Burma (STA) released a statement claiming its responsibility for the attack, many believed it was the military’s doing since most members of STA have been under detention and its social media pages are also under the regime’s control. Many urban guerillas and the general strike committee condemned the attack for hurting civilians.
- Regime’s heavy artillery killed two children in Hakha, Chin State
On the evening of October 19, a heavy artillery fell in Bonlon Village, 15 miles west of Hakha, the capital of Chin State and killed two young children and injured another severely. The victims were 6-year-old Henry Bawi Za Lian and 7-year-old James Siang Za Uk who were killed on their way back from school. Another young victim was 6-year-old girl Nancy. There was no active clash in the area and the local resistance forces speculated that the attack must have come from a drone by the military.
- Four civilians killed by military followers in Launglon tsp, Taningtharyi Region
On the evening of October 20, the armed forces of the regime reportedly killed four civilians near Maungmakan Beach, Launglon Township, Tanintharyi Region. On that day, about 20 military followers made up of soldiers and members of Pyu Saw Htee shot and killed four villagers in Kyautsin Village, 20 miles north of Launglon. The victims were 60-year-old U Maung Soe Tin and his wife Daw Khin New, their son and another villager named Ko Zeyar Tun. Ko Zeyar Tun had recently come back from overseas and he was apparently mistaken by the regime’s soldiers to have taken military training and on that base, they raided the house and killed all of them present.
- Twelve-year-old child killed by fire from regime’s navy ships in Katha tsp, Sagaing Region
On the morning of October 23 around 8 am, the regime’s navy ships that were transporting wounded soldiers in the Ayeyarwaddy River passed SinKontine Village, Katha Township of Sagaing Region. The ships were accompanied by military choppers and the soldiers continuously opened fire on the village so as to prevent an ambush from PDF. Artillery hit 12-year-old Ma Hnin Ei Lwin and she died of wounds in the chest and in the leg. Another child called Ma Zin Mar Oo was also injured but escaped death.
- SAC’s reinforcement unit ambushed, sixteen men captured alive in Kyainseikkyi tsp, Karen State
The joint forces of Karen National Union (KNU) and PDF ambushed the regime’s reinforcement columns twice on October 15 and October 16 near Tagay Village, located in the northeast of Kyainseikkyi Township and reportedly managed to capture men and weapons. The column was on its way to Wawlay, on the south of Myawaddy Town as reinforcement. The first battle on the afternoon of October 15 lasted two hours and the second one on the next day morning lasted six hours. At least six soldiers of the regime were killed and sixteen were captured alive including a colonel and two captains along with multiple weapons.
- Two-day clash broke out between SAC forces and CDF in Kanpetlet, Chin State
After nearly 1-month hiatus, fights resumed between the forces of the State Administration Council (SAC) and Chin Defense Forces (CDF) on October 20. It began when about 200 troops of the regime attempted to move to a position outside Kanpetlet Town and CDF carried out the ambush. The battle lasted until 12 noon on the next day and ended when the military forces retreated back into town. At least four personnel from the junta including top level officers were said to be killed. Following the clash, the regime’s soldiers reportedly fired artillery and some of those hit civilians’ housings.
- Ten burned bodies found in Yinmabin tsp, Sagaing Region after junta’s airstrikes
On October 19, the regime’s forces conducted airstrikes on Yinpaungtin and Puhtoe villages on the border of Yinmabin and Pale townships in Sagaing Region although there was no active fire in the area. Afterward, the choppers dropped off soldiers to the ground for clearance operation. And following that, as many as ten dead bodies were found in Shwe Hlan Village, Yinmabin Township, Sagaing Region on October 21. According to local sources, about 100 troops ambushed the temporary base of Monywa-based resistance force Aung San Myo Satt in the village and killed all of them before burning the bodies. Nine of the victims were members of PDF and aged between 20 to 25, another one was a villager and could not be identified yet.
- PDF attacked police station in Myaing, Magway Region
On October 21, combined resistance forces from three townships mounted an attack on the junta’s police station, located on the north of Myaing Township, Magway Region. The rangers said that they were determined to seize and occupy the station and as they almost made it, the regime’s military choppers arrived and attacked them from the air. Two attempts lasted six hours in total and the resistance forces had to retreat following the second round of airstrikes. At least seven men from the junta were estimated to be killed and that included the police chief.
- PDF outpost ambushed, one ranger died in Monywa tsp, Sagaing Region
On October 22, a PDF outpost in Mongway Township, Sagaing Region was raided by SAC’s forces. The station belonged to Chindwin Attack Force Unit 2 and one of its rangers was killed while fighting to defend his station. The ambush took place in the morning around 6 am and the rest of the rangers managed to escape. The fallen ranger was 19-year-old Ko Wai Yan.
- Major battle broke out in Kawkareik, Karen State
On October 21, the joint resistance forces led by KNU mounted an attack on the regime’s forces in Kawkareisk Town, Karen State, the connecting town between Hpa-an and Myawaddy, located on the Asia Highway Road. Initially, rumors were spread that the resistance forces had managed to take control of the town including administrative offices, and have released prisoners, etc. However, according to the verified reports, the situation remained unstable as the junta’s forces have been reinforced and prepared for imminent battles around the town. On the day of the clash, the regime conducted airstrikes and shelled artillery on the town, displacing thousands of civilians. At least two civilians were killed and more than ten were injured.
- About 100 Myanmar citizens arrested in Thailand
On October 23, 96 Myanmar nationals who entered Thailand illegally were arrested by Thai authorities. The arrests took place in two locations such as Kachanaburi province and Rachaburi province. Those detained in Kachaburi were said to be seeking employment in Bangkok while the other group was heading to Malaysia. The victims allegedly paid 30,000 Baht to the agents for the transportation. It remains unknown whether those detainees will face trial in Thailand or be deported back into the country.
- Junta prepared to censor TV Series
Starting from November 1, films and TV series, both local and foreign, that will be broadcast across the nation will have to go through censorship. A young director from Yangon expressed his concerns, saying that “all freedoms of expression are now being restricted.” He also stated that, as a result of this censorship, the quality of art that must be freely created will be affected.
Source: Khit Thit, Myanmar Now, Mizzima, The Irrawaddy, DVB, RFA, People’s Spring, Burma VJ, Reuters, Bloomberg