Weekly Update: 040

by mohingamatters

Internal Politics

  • The regime pardoned about 6000 detainees including 700 prisoners of conscience

Mass amnesty pardoned by the regime on November 17 included big shots such as Australian economist Dr Sean Turnell, former British Ambassador Vicky Bowman, and the Japanese filmmaker Toru Kubota. Local big names include 88 Generation Leader Ko Mya Aye, Dr Myo Nyunt, U Kyaw Hoe and U Thein Oo of the NLD, famous writer Maung Tha Cho, Shwe Nya War Sayadaw and many more. Those who followed the release pointed out that while nearly 6000 detainees were released, about 10% are political prisoners while the rest of the detainees are not categorized as such. For instance, Daw Lei Lei Maw, former chief minister of Taninthayi Region, is also part of the mass pardon but she was imprisoned before the coup with corruption charges. Reggae singer Saw Phoe Khwar and Director Min Htin Ko Ko Gyi were also released this week, but the former is detained again after his release. Experts discussed online that the regime allowed mass pardon due to international pressure while netizens showed concerns over the mass release of criminals during a time when law and order is nowhere to be found. 

  • The NUG leader gave an emergency speech, reminding not to buy into the regime’s trick

In response to the regime’s mass pardon to commemorate National Day, the National Unity Government (NUG)’s interim president Duwa Lashi La gave a speech online, reminding the public and the international community that the regime’s barbaric attacks on civilians continue elsewhere in the country. While the president welcomed the release of political prisoners who should not have been behind bars in the first place, he emphasized that the mass amnesty is part of the regime’s exit strategy. He reminded that people should not be blinded by the mass pardon as aerial attacks, torching, killing and torture continue to happen every day in Myanmar while thousands of detainees including the civilian leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and other prominent leaders remain detained. He also requested the international community to continue with the harshest pressure towards the “terrorist military”. To fellow Myanmar nationals, President Duwa Lashi La encouraged them to continue the defiance against the military regime in any way that they can since “our journey hasn’t ended and our goal isn’t achieved”. He reminds the public to be vigilant and mindful in defiance by learning from the history of the regime’s tricks and traps. 

  • The NUG opens its office in D.C. 

On November 18, the National Unity Government (NUG) launched its office at Washington D.C. to familiarize with the D.C community. U Moe Zaw Oo, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, U Htin Linn Aung, Minister for Communications & IT, and Myanmar’s representative to the United Nations U Kyaw Moe Tun were present at the event, talking to the community.

International Affairs

  • The UN adopted the resolution on Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Myanmar

On November 16, the UN’s Third Committee adopted the resolution on the “Situations of Human Rights of Rohingya Muslims and other minitorities in Myanmar” at the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly. The Assembly denounced “all abuses suffered by Rohingya Muslims perpetrated by Myanmar security and armed forces”. The UN committee also called on the military to terminate all the violence instantly”, and to start an independent investigation to end impunity. On the same day, the NUG issued a statement which welcomed the UN’s adoption of the resolution. The civlilain government also expressed its continued commitment to the implementation of the policy position on the Rohingya, which was issued by the NUG in June 2021.

  • ASEAN Special Envoy welcomes the junta’s mass pardon, and plans his third trip to Myanmar

Following the mass amnesty on November 17, Cambodian Foreign Minister and ASEAN Special Envoy to Myanmar Prak Sakhonn considered the release of the prisoners as a signal of goodwill while mentioning the renowned detainees in his statement issued on November 18. However, he included Daw Lei Lei Maw, the former chief minister of Taninthayi Region who was imprisoned under corruption charges before the coup, to which netizens showed concerns over the envoy’s understanding of the actual situation. The statement also said that the envoy is planning to pay Myanmar another visit “in the coming weeks” to support “Myanmar’s return to normalcy and democratic path”. After his previous visits, he said that Myanmar’s political turmoil is at the deadlock, and he has no magical power to solve it. 

  • US VP Kamala Harris to visit Thailand, and discuss Myanmar

On November 16, Voice of America reported that Vice President of the United States Kamala Harris will travel to Thailand to attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit which was held on November 18-19 in Bangkok. A senior administrative official told reporters that the VP would discuss about Myanmar with state leaders from Thailand and the Philippines, for the two countries are “heavily impacted” by the crackdown of the Myanmar military regime. 

Business Matters

  • Investment company committed money fraud

The investment company named Yangon Times Investment has been evading the investors by not paying interest, profit, or capital since November 14. Since the coup, the banking and financial services in the country have become chaotic, and the people invested their money in these kinds of businesses and were defrauded by them. 

  • Bagan locals anticipate tourist arrivals 

Since the pandemic and the coup, Bagan’s tourism industry has collapsed. All businesses that depend on tourism are struggling because of the low number of tourists. Although COVID-19 pandemic restrictions have been lifted, Myanmar is experiencing a deterioration in the security situation in the region due to the coup, and experts have concluded that it is still impossible for the tourism industry to recover. The locals are looking forward to the time when Bagan tourism will be blooming again.

  • SAC spokesperson claimed it’s repaying foreign loans

During the State Administration Council (SAC)’s controlled press conference on November 18, Major General Zaw Min Tun said that SAC no longer takes new loans from foreign countries, and it is already paying the previous loans from the past government. According to him, SAC has been paying both the principal and interest to the countries Myanmar borrowed money from, and so far about 1.498 billion USD repayment has been made.

  • Garment factories receive lower orders in the summer

CMP garment factory owners said they are receiving orders from foreign companies starting September. After completing the winter export orders, most garment factories in Myanmar are waiting for summer orders but the order numbers are significantly lower this year. Comparatively, it is about 40% lower than that of last year. One of the garment factory owners in Hlaingtharyar township spoke to Irrawaddy News that the business is really performing badly, and the order is very low. Some factories even have to close for a longer holiday due to the lack of order. He also added that there are difficulties in the business due to the policy set by SAC, such as setting 65% of export earnings with their currency exchange rate, lack of electricity available for business operations, and the increasing total costs. Most CMP garment factories are closing for longer holidays, reducing overtime hours, downsizing their employees, and hiring employees on a daily rather than a full-time basis. 

Humanitarian Affairs

  • Turmoil Kawlin Township of Sagaing region going through in 2022

Kawlin Revolution-KR released a statement on November 16 that between January and November 16, 2022, a total of 180 residents’ homes, one monastery and one school building were burned down by junta forces in Sagaing Region’s Kawlin Township. On the evening of November 16 as well, over 70-strong junta columns advanced towards Kawlin town, resulting in the relocation of over 4,500 residents from 7 villages to safety, KR added. The junta forces are reported to be stationed in Kawlin’s Taung Maw Tite area and the residents were relocated as there were chances of conflicts erupting at any moment.

  • Nearly 1.7 million new refugees of conflict since coup

The Institute for Strategy and Policy, an independent research group, said in a report earlier November that at least 1,650,661 people had been forced to flee their homes in regions such as Sagaing, Magway, Bago, Chin and Kayah as of November 2 in the 21 months since the military took control of Myanmar. Adding up to the number of refugees who have fled the internal conflicts in the country before the coup, there are more than 3 million displaced population from Myanmar, representing about 6 percent of Myanmar’s population of 54.4 million.

  • 20,000 Khin-U residents from 10 villages flee after Junta raids in central Sagaing Region

In Sagaing Region’s Khin-U Township, almost 20,000 residents from 10 villages fled their homes after junta forces raided the village one after another on the eastern bank of Muu River in central Sagaing Region since November 17. Khin-U Township’s PDF spokesperson said at least 18,000 people are confirmed to be on the run, including elderly and pregnant women. They had no chance to pack anything so all of the are reported to be facing shortage of food and assistance after 1-2 days.

  • 360 houses torched in 12 Villages in Sagaing and Magway regions

About 20,000 residents have fled 12 villages in Magway Region’s Yesagyo Township and Sagaing Region’s Myaung Township since November 7 after junta soldiers torched about 360 houses in their communities, residents told RFA Burmese. Residents also said junta airstrikes in the two townships on November 13 had caused an unknown number of casualties.

Protests & Fundraising 

  • Continuing protests across the country 

Protests across the country are still going strong, including in Yangon, Myaing, Yinmarbin, May Myo and Monywa. 

  • Dr Tayzar San, with a bounty on his head, lead a protest

On November 14, Dr Tayzar San, one of the junta’s most wanted figures, led a protest against the military dictatorship in Upper Myanmar. Last year, the junta issued an arrest warrant for him on incitement charges.

  • Protest by wearing longyis imprinted with anti-regime slogans 

Despite the tight security of the junta, activists from the Yangon Revolution Force (YRF) wore longyis imprinted with anti-regime slogans in public places in Yangon to show solidarity against the military regime on November 13.

  • A resistance movie raised more than $65,000

November 14: The Free Burma Action Committee—Northern California screened director Ko Pauk’s resistance film in California. About 750 fans came to see the movie at the Historic Bal Theater, and the theatre was filled to capacity. The total proceeds from donations and auctions totalled more than $65,000, and the audience received a private donation of more than $7,000 for the director. The proceeds will be donated to Myanmar’s ongoing revolution.

Attacks on the junta’s lackeys & properties

  • Military truck attacked, youths abducted in aftermath in Hlaing tsp, Yangon

On the evening of November 13 around 7.20 pm, a military truck was blasted by two bombs near Budaryone Street, Hlaing Township, Yangon. Following the explosion, gunshots were heard and a young man was arrested with a gun wound. Two more young men were also beaten and abducted. Casualty during the explosion was not reported. On the same night, War of Hunter Revolution Force – WOH carried out a mission by attacking Police Housing in Hlaing Tharyar Township as well.

  • SAC’s airbase targeted in Magway

On the morning of November 15, Karen National Union (KNU) and five local-based resistance forces coordinated an attack with free-flight rockets on the airbase of the State Administration Council (SAC) in Magway City, Magway Region. Golden Eagle Myaylatt, one of the five forces, released news that the mission was successfully carried out, killing eight soldiers of the junta and damaging at least five aircraft. It’s added that other resistance forces should also target airbases to reduce aerial attacks from SAC. Casualty news was not verified by the regime.

  • Private car attacked, two military personnel on board killed in Hpakant, Kachin State

News come from Kachin State that a private car carrying three military officials of the junta was gunned down in Hpakant on the afternoon of November 17. Two of those on board, including a captain, were killed on the spot while the other one was captured alive. It’s not disclosed who was responsible for the attack and the arrest but many speculated that it was Kachin Independence Army (KIA). On the following day, the regime’s forces reportedly blocked roads in Hpakant before shelling artillery randomly.

Arbitrary Arrest, Killings & Violence

  • Two youths murdered by military-sponsored armed thugs in Nahtoegyi, Mandalay Region

On November 12, two young waiters from a teashop were murdered in cold blood by Thway Thout, a militia sponsored by SAC in Nahtoegyi Town, Myingyan District, Mandalay Region. On that day, Thway Thout members stormed into the Pan Gantgaw Teashop, trying to find its owner Ko Myo Kyaw, whom they suspected was associated with the resistance movement. Since he was not present, they instead abducted two 20-year-old waiters. The dead bodies were found with blindfolds, cuts, and gun wounds on the roadside the next morning.  

  • Preschool attacked with artillery, five-year-old killed in Demoso tsp, Kareeni (Kayah) State

A five year old girl was killed and eight civilians including an infant were injured during the SAC’s artillery attack on a pre-school in the west of Demoso, Karenni (Kayah) State. The incident took place around 5.30 pm. All victims were said to be internally displaced persons (IDP), due to the clashes in their own villages. In November alone, 24 people in total have been critically wounded by the junta’s artillery in Kareeni State.

  • SAC’s artillery killed 10 and injured 24 in Maungdaw tsp, Rakhine State

On the afternoon of November 16, the artillery fired by SAC’s forces killed ten people including children, and injured twenty-four more in Gate Chaung Village, Maungdaw Township, Rakhine State. Three artilleries were shot toward the village deliberately according to the villagers. Similarly, on the same day, SAC’s infantry unit 539 opened artillery fire toward Chaungtu Village, Kyauttaw Township, killing four local people and injuring two. Reports describe that about 25 people were killed and over 40 were injured by SAC’s artillery within two weeks in Rakhine State.

  • SAC’s airstrike killed and injured mine workers including Chinese nationals in Kyainseikgyi tsp, Karen State

On November 16, two military aircraft conduced aerial bombs on a lead mine in Kyainseikgyi Township, Karen State, killing three workers and injuring six others. The mine, obviously not a military target is located in KNU’s territory under Brigade 6 in Thapyu Village, located 35 km north of Payathonzu Township. Victims included Chinese nationals who were working in the mine.

  • Five NLD supporters abducted in Myingyan tsp, Mandalay Region

Following an incident in which a resistance force detained seven Pyu Saw Htee members in Nganzon Township, another militia sponsored by the SAC, the regime’s forces retaliated by abducting five supporters of the National League for Democracy (NLD) from nearby villages of Myingyan Township, Mandalay Region on November 18. The victims are 48-year-old U Kan Myint and 43-year-old U Kyawt from Sone Village, 37-year-old U Phoe Thit, 47-year-old U Ngwe Myint and 58-year-old U Myint Htay from Gwei Village. All five were known as strong supporters of the NLD, who actively participated in the party campaign for the election in 2020.  

  • Unprovoked shooting by SAC soldiers killed two civilians in Launglon, Tanintharyi Region

On the afternoon of November 20 in Launglon, Tanintharyi Region, the regime’s forces that were conducting inspection checks near General Hospital committed an unprovoked shooting. They targeted youths on motorbikes without a concrete reason and as a result, two were killed and many were injured. One of the victims was named Aung Wai Yan, aged just 14 who was on his bike with his 12-year-old sister Ma Yoon Pyae Thazin, she was also wounded. Another youth was shot dead on the spot on his motorbike and his passenger too was beaten and abducted.  

Armed Resistance

  • 16 KIO/KIA officials detained by SAC in Myitkyina, Kachin State

Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) confirmed the news that officials from KIO and its armed wing KIA were detained by SAC’s forces on November 13. It was reported that in that early morning, the regime soldiers raided Happy KTV in Myitkyina City and abducted at least 16 officials from KIO/KIA. The situation between SAC and KIA has been tense since the airstrike in Anangpa, Hpakant Township that killed at least 62 people and it’s further now ignited by this incident.

  • PDF safehouse raided by SAC forces, clash broke out in Mawlamyaing, Mon State

On the evening of November 14, the regime’s soldiers accompanied by ward administrators and military informers raided a safehouse of the local-based Special Underground Movement Force in Mawlamyaing’s Zeyar Thiri Ward in Mon State, leading to a full-blown back-and-forth firing. Two officials from the SAC were shot and killed in the clash before five PDF soldiers were eventually captured alive. All detainees are now going through an interrogation process in the military compound and they are feared for their lives. It was the first time that a battle took place in the urban neighborhood of Mawlamyaing.

  • KIA and SAC clashed in Inndawgyi Road to Hpakant, Kachin State

On November 15, KIA forces carried out a guerrilla attack on SAC’s convoy that was traveling toward Hpakant, Kachin State. KIA said that there was a sign marking KIA’s territory and since SAC’s forces were encroaching on the area, it had no choice but to start a shoot-out. The battle began in the afternoon at 1 pm and lasted until 4 pm. Artillery firings were heard and SAC’s fighter jets were seen flying above the sky but no aerial bombs were witnessed.

  • Six PDF stations occupied by SAC forces in Tamu tsp, Sagaing Region

Many military camps of local resistance forces were seized by SAC’s soldiers in Tamu Township, Sagaing Region. On November 15, the regime conducted an offensive in the area with 300 troops in three columns and shelled artillery continuously toward the PDF stations. Since SAC’s forces were very much superior in manpower and weapons, the resistance forces abandoned their stations and moved to safer areas without any casualties. The regime forces did not follow them and instead burned down all the outposts.

  • Two civilians killed by artillery during clash in Muse, Shan State

On the afternoon of November 16, a clash broke out between SAC’s forces and an armed force in Muse, Shan-north following a detonation of landmines of the regime’s military convoy. The battle lasted for 30 minutes and artillery fired from the clash fell near a garage and killed two young workers in the neighborhood. The victims were 15-year-old Ko Naing Lin Oo and 19-year-old Ko Maung Naing. Many armed forces such as TNLA, KIA, MNDA, RCSS and SSPP are active in the area and it’s unclear which of those was in that clash. It remain unanswered who was responsible for firing the artillery killing two civilians as well.

  • Two PDF members killed and two injured by landmines in Khin-U tsp, Sagaing Region

Four members of Khin-U Specialforce Organization-KSO stepped on a landmine set up by its own force during a scouting operation in Khin-U Township, Sagaing Region on November 18. The members were following the military convoy under Unit 66 approaching the west side of the township from Ye-U when the explosion occurred. Two were killed on the spot and two were injured, one of them would have to cut off a leg.   


  • More and more young people leave the country to work abroad 

As the economy, agriculture, and job opportunities in Myanmar deteriorate, an increasing number of young people are fleeing to neighbouring countries. Some sell everything they own, including their land, while others lend money to go abroad and find jobs. Although many workers remain in industrial zones, they are considering leaving due to the country’s wage and commodity price imbalance.

  • Junta continues to forcibly demolish houses in Mandalay

The junta forcibly demolished more than 200 squatter houses in between 58th street and 115th street in Mandalay’s Pyigyitagon Township in the evening of November 15, said the residents. A resident said that the majority are now homeless on the street. Other residents [whose houses are not demolished] are now cooking food for them to eat. In a similar development, the junta also issued an order which urged people from more than 200 houses, municipal apartments and shops on Buu Tar street in Mandalay’s Pyin Oo Lwin Township to move by the end of November, some shop owners told Khit Thit Media. [Khit Thit Media did not report when this order was issued.] These houses and  shops have been in existence for more than 30 years and the ousted National League for Democracy government has already granted ownership certificate boards to the residents, said the residents. It is reported that the junta is now asking people from this community to move due to the “security reason” since these houses and shops are located in front  of a residential housing for the generals. Only a house and a shop where the family of former major Kyaw Khaing is living was reportedly not told to be demolished by the end of November.

Sources: Myanmar Now, Khit Thit, RFA Burmese, DVB. The Irrawaddy, VOA Burmese. Mizzima, Karenni’s Voice, Than Lwin TImes, Kachin News Group

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