Weekly Update: 086

by mohingamatters

Folks, the highlight of this week is Operation 1027 declared by three members of the Northern Alliance and coordinated counteroffensive attacks at the regime’s forces and their alliances People’s Militia groups in Northern Shan State. U Ye Htut, former military personnel/information minister during the Thein Sein Administration, got arrested for spreading misinformation online. Nighttime curfews were reduced in some townships. Read all about the updates for this week.

Internal Politics

  • Operation 1027 by the Northern Alliance

On October 27, three members of the Northern Alliance announced Operation 1027 which is a coordinated offensive attack on the regime’s forces and its alliances People’s Militia groups in the northeastern part of the country. Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), Kokang’s Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), and Rakhine’s Arakan Army (AA) issued a statement in the early morning as the coordinated attacks took place about the same time. The three ethnic armed groups said that the objective of Operation 1027 is to protect the lives and livelihoods of civilians, to defend themselves, to reclaim their territory, to prevent the regime’s aerial strikes and heavy artillery attacks, and to eradicate the military dictatorship which is the will of Myanmar people. Protesters across the country have expressed their support for Operation 1027, and the civilian-elected National Unity Government (NUG) also declared to corroborate with the operation. As the clashes escalated, the Chinese government’s spokesperson Mao Ning urged in a press conference to resolve the conflicts as soon as possible. 

  • Junta relaxed night time curfews in some townships in five regions

The regime relaxed the nighttime curfew in several towns/cities in Yangon, Mandalay, Bago, Magway, and Naypyidaw starting October 27. This relaxation only includes the nighttime curfew which is now changed to 1-3 am, and other restrictions such as not allowing the gathering of more than five people or now allowing to protest remain intact. Immediately after the coup, the regime imposed Article 144 of the Penal Code which imposed nighttime curfew from 10pm to 4am, but then it was lifted from 12pm to 4am. However, resistance stronghold townships in Mandalay, Bago, and Magway regions. 

  • Junta arrested more than 90 online scammers 

Following the Chinese government’s crackdown on online scamsters in the border areas, the regime announced on October 27 that it has arrested 95 individuals who collected data of foreigners to conduct online scams. The first raid took place at the office of Supportfix Company in U Chit Maung Housing in Tarmwe Township of Yangon, and arrested 88 individuals and equipment. The second raid took place at an apartment in Insein Township and seven more individuals were arrested. Yan Lone Shin, the owner of Zhan Tu Company who recruited for Supportfix Company, managed to escape. In the announcement, the regime said that effective actions will be taken against the detained scamsters.

  • DASSK’s legal team requests an in-person visit 

As the regime has allowed prison visits in major prisons across the country, the detained leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s legal team planned to request to visit to the regime. Since the second week of January 2023, her legal counsel submitted the official request to meet with her in person but the regime side did not respond to the request. U Bo Bo Oo, vice-chair of the NLD Sanchaung Township, said that the party hoped that an in-person meeting would be granted to the Lady. He also continued that as the political party, they are working for the release of President U Win Myint and State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

  • Three Myanmar passport holders in Singapore had their passports revoked by junta

The junta revoked the passports of three Myanmar nationals living in Singapore in recent months, Myanmar Now reported on October 26. Between August and October, three Myanmar nationals who are active in anti-coup activities discovered that their passports were revoked while traveling in and out of Singapore. One of the individuals found out her passport had been canceled on August 21 at the Singapore airport, hours before she was due to leave for Thailand. The airport immigration officer told her that her passport had been canceled and showed invalid status. Two other men faced a similar situation at the airport. A man who was in Vietnam for business was banned from entering Singapore airport after returning from Hanoi, and another faced the same situation as the woman in which he wasn’t allowed to leave Singapore. All of them hold permanent resident blue cards in Singapore, and they are allowed to live in Singapore but to enter and exit Singapore, they still need to use the passport of their country of origin.

International Affairs

  • More than 300 CSOs appealed Singapore government to sanction the military council

With signatures of more than 27,700 civilians, CSOs sent an open letter to the Singapore government and appealed to sanction the Myanmar military council as a part of the Blood Money Campaign on October 29. This appeal asked the Singapore government to take action against the regime’s money transactions, to prevent the military council from accessing Myanmar’s state reserve budget of USD 4.5 billion in Singapore banks, and to investigate the Singapore-based companies for their affiliation with the military council. Blood Money Campaign’s statement also said that Singapore is the third largest country that has been supporting weapons for the Myanmar military, and a crucial country that facilitates the transactions for foreign purchases of weapons and ammunition. As of today, Singapore government has yet to make any response. 

  • CHRO and MAP opened war crimes cases against the junta chief in the Philippines

Chin ethnics opened war crime charges against the junta chief and nine others at the Philippines Court. Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO) and Myanmar Accountability Project announced in a statement released on October 25 that these ten individuals committed the killing and decapitation of civilians, torching and destroying civilians’ homes and places of worship, and weaponizing the humanitarian aid items. The organizations requested the Philippines Court to investigate these crimes under the Philippines International Humanitarian Act Law. Ten individuals include coup leader Min Aung Hlaing, regime-appointed Chin State Chief Minister Dr Wong Hsun Thang, Lt General Min Naing from the Office of Commander-in-Chief (Army), former commander of No. 1 Special Operation Lt. General Tayza Kyaw (current commander of No.6 Special Operation), former commander of Northwestern Regional Command Major General Phyo Thant (current deputy minister of the Ministry of Border Affairs under the regime), current commander of Northwestern Regional Command Major General Than Htike (successor of Maj-Gen Phyo Thant), deputy commander of Northwestern Regional Command Brigadier General Myo Htut Hlaing, tactical commander of Hakha military base Colonel Saw Tun, battalion commander of Infantry Battalion 269 Lt. Colonel Myo Zin Tun, and troop commander of Light Infantry Battalion 222 Major Nay Myo Oo.

Business Matters

  • The regime announced EV car import permits to attract remittances from Myanmar citizens abroad

The military council announced that Burmese expatriates would be allowed to import an electric car/electric motorcycle if they remitted US$50,000 a year. The Ministry of Economy and Commerce, operating under the regime’s control, introduced an incentive program for Myanmar citizens abroad, aimed at encouraging them to send money back to Myanmar. The incentive involves the issuance of permits for importing electric vehicles (EVs). On October 13, the ministry unveiled a scheme that allows individuals who remit two hundred thousand US dollars to import one electric vehicle or electric motorcycle for a year, equivalent to five percent of the remittance amount. However, many Myanmar people found this offer unfeasible and unattractive. Some questioned the practicality of remitting $50,000 annually as the majority of Burmese expatriates do not earn hundreds of thousands of kyats, making it challenging to meet the military council’s requirements. Furthermore, many of them are also hesitant to send money to the military council.

  • Myanmar seamen in a predicament as the regime forced them to pay taxes

Seafarers in Myanmar are facing challenges as the military council enforces a 2 percent salary tax, and passports are only renewed upon proof of payment. Many seafarers are reluctant to pay taxes to the military regime and feel coerced into doing so. The Myanmar Seafarers Federation (MSF) has been in talks with tax office authorities, advocating for seafarers’ concerns. The MSF is set to address the income tax issue in a meeting on November 2. Around 60,000 seafarers are currently active in the industry.

Humanitarian Affairs

  • Junta terrorizes residents of Sagaing Region with several attacks

Between October 21 and 28, junta troops and junta-affiliated militias terrorized villagers from Depayin, Taze, Htigyaing, and Kantbalu townships in Sagaing Region, causing thousands of residents to be internally displaced.

●  Depayin Township

A combination of a 100-strong junta column and Pyu Saw Htee/Pyi Thu Sitt militia groups raided 12 villages in Depayin Township starting from October 21, causing 5,000 residents to be on the run. The raid began with three villages on the west of Depayin town, and the junta troops reportedly torched seven houses and four rice mills in Ah Nat Wa Bar village, which is home to 200 households. Since then, junta forces continued raiding village after village, with the villagers fleeing into the forest area to take refuge. On October 26, 15 villagers from Shan Taw village were grabbed by junta forces as human shields, resulting in the displacement of over 10,000 residents from 10 more villages. Junta’s terror continued on the evening of October 27 to seven other villages in Depayin Township, in which 7,000 more residents fled.

●  Taze Township

Between October 25 and 26, junta troops deployed in the Taze town area, and Pyu Saw Htee militia burned down businesses, a bus station, and homes, as well as arrested ten civilians during the raids. Residents of Taze told The Irrawaddy that Taze residents had no links to the resistance and that the Pyu Saw Htee militia group was targeting out of personal vendetta.

●  Htigyaing and Kantbalu townships

Residents of Htigyaing and Kantbalu townships told RFA Burmese that junta forces launched aerial attacks between October 27 and 28, resulting in the displacement of about 5,000 residents from five villages. According to Htigyaing residents, the airstrike occurred after the junta troops and local People’s Defense Force clashed on October 27. The next morning, on October 28, the junta conducted another airstrike on some of the villages in the Koe Taung Bo area in Kantbalu Township. No other updates have come out of Kantbalu after the attack.

  • Over 1,000 villagers displaced in Lashio after clashes

In the aftermath of the military operation by the three-brotherhood alliance in northern Shan State, the junta forces retaliated by shelling civilian villages in Lashio Township, causing 1,000 villagers to be internally displaced, according to a report by DVB on October 28. The shelling in a Kaung Kan village, 9 miles away from Lashio town, destroyed two houses, a motorcycle, and a tractor and killed a cow, a volunteer helping the IDPs told DVB.

Attacks on the Junta’s Lackeys & Properties

  • Village administrators shot dead in Sintku tsp, Mandalay Region

On October 22, two village administrators appointed by the regime were shot and killed in Sintku Township, Mandalay Region. The victims, U Baydar, who served as the village administrator of Shwedone, and U Aung Naing Oo, who held the same position in Ngatsarr Village, met their fates in separate incidents. U Baydar was shot and killed in his own residence, while U Aung Naing Oo was targeted while hiding from the People’s Defense Force (PDF) in a nearby village. Both men were wanted for their alleged collaboration with the regime, which included reporting PDF locations and Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) information.

  • Airbase targeted in Mhawbi tsp, Yangon

On the evening of October 22, the Urban Special Operation (USO) launched an offensive against the Mhawbi Airbase in Yangon. They fired five 107MM rockets targeting the hangar where planes were parked. While the extent of damage to the planes remains unknown, reports from sources near the airbase indicate significant destruction in the building area. Following the attack, the military conducted a thorough inspection, deploying five drones and conducting searches for suspects in Mhawbi, Htaukkyant, and Hlegu townships. However, the rangers managed to escape.

  • Explosions took place in compound office in Insein tsp, Yangon

On the evening of October 25, two explosions occurred at the government compound office situated on Mingyi Road in Insein Township, Yangon. The first blast took place around 5 pm, followed by a second explosion 30 minutes later. The extent of casualties and losses resulting from the blasts remains unknown. Regime soldiers were seen inspecting individuals on the nearby road. The compound office is a heritage building that houses a court and holds over 20 government offices.

Arbitrary Arrests, Killings & Violence

  • PDF deserter killed by soldiers during interrogation in Kyonepyaw tsp, Ayeyarwaddy Region

On October 5, the regime announced that four youths from Kyonepyaw Township, Ayeyarwaddy Region, who had received training from the People’s Defense Force (PDF), had surrendered, abandoning their jungle hideouts and seeking refuge with the military. It was reported that each of these young men was given a reward of 300,000 MMK before being placed under house arrest. In the last week of October, one of these individuals was taken for questioning inside Kyonepyaw Infantry Unit 36, on suspicion of having communication with the Mandalay PDF. Tragically, it was later reported that this young man had died during interrogation. The regime’s forces have kept this incident under wraps, with the victim’s name remaining undisclosed.

  • Ten young men arrested at inspection gate in Nyaungtone tsp, Ayeyarwaddy Region

On October 27, at least ten young men on the way back to their homes in Pathein from Yangon for holidays were arrested by the regime’s soldiers at Pandan Inspection Gate in Nyaungtone Township, Ayeyarwaddy Region. Thorough investigations are frequently made in that gate and those young men were said to be associating and supporting PDF. The victims have been charged with the Counterterrorism Act 52A and are detained in Nyaungtone Police Station.

  • Former Minister Ye Htut detained by the regime in Yangon

U Ye Htut, a former Minister for Information in the Thein Sein administration and a long-time military loyalist, has reportedly been arrested by the regime since October 28 in Yangon. He is said to have been charged with the sedition act 505A and is currently detained in Insein Prison. Many military supporters had called for his arrest because he had been posting on social media, subtly criticizing the administration led by Min Aung Hlaing. Despite his history of supporting the military, U Ye Htut, a former military general, has frequently made comments and posts that mock the current regime, which seems to have led to his arrest.

  • Husband and wife arrested for supporting PDF in Katha, Sagaing Region

On October 28, the regime soldiers raided a house and arrested a couple in Zeyarchaung Ward 5, Katha Town, Sagaing Region. The troops opened fire on their entrance, and used excessive force to detain the 30-year-old husband and wife on that afternoon, according to local sources. Tension has recently risen between the regime’s army and the resistance forces in Katha Township, leading to the regime’s frequent arbitrary arrests.

Armed Resistance

  • Operation 1027 seized over 30 regime stations in Shan-north

On the second day of Operation 1027, led by the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Alliance Army (MNDAA) and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), have successfully seized more than 30 junta stations in Shan-north. The spokesperson for the MNDAA has reported that they maintain control over Chin Shwe Haw Town, a crucial border trade area along the China-Myanmar border. Additionally, the MNDAA captured three more stations on the second day, bringing the total number of outposts under the Operation’s control to over 30. During the course of the battles, the regime conducted at least twelve airstrikes, reflecting the intensity of the conflict. Notably, the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), a member of Operation 1027, also made substantial gains in Lashio and Naungcho townships while securing hundreds of various types of weaponry. The regime’s spokesperson has acknowledged the loss of numerous stations to Operation 1027 and is currently making efforts to stabilize the situation in the region.

  • The regime’s military targets attacked in Kawkareik, Karen State

On the morning of October 27, the Karen National Union (KNU) forces launched an attack on key administrative locations held by the regime in Kawkareik Town, Karen State. Around 5 am, residents in the northern part of the town, specifically in Kyarinnkone and Tada U wards, reported hearing various gunshots. It has been confirmed that the junta’s Military Affairs Security Office and Police Information Office were targeted and set on fire. The intense fighting in Shan-north has provided an opportunity for resistance forces across the country to take offensive actions against the regime. In response to the clashes, many residents of Kawkareik Town were left frightened and sought refuge in local monasteries for safety. Due to the intensified fights in Shan-north, the resistance forces across the country have seized the opportunity and conduct counteroffensives at the regime.

  • Clash intensified in Mogok and Naungcho townships

The Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) and the People’s Defense Force (PDF) have reportedly launched coordinated counteroffensives against the regime’s forces in Mogok and Naungcho townships. Beginning at 5 am on October 26, TNLA-led forces initiated attacks on junta troops at various locations, including Shwemyinwin Monastery, Gwaypin military station, and Kyatpyin Police Station. In response, the regime conducted airstrikes and artillery fire. The heightened conflict has left the residents of Mogok too frightened to venture outside, resulting in sparse street activity. The battles in the Mogok area have been ongoing since mid-August when the resistance forces captured the regime’s station in Konesan Village to the north. Additionally, in Naungcho Township, a clash ensued between the junta’s troops and a coalition of TNLA and PDF from 6 am to 2 pm as the resistance forces launched an offensive at the military station in Thanbo Village.

Sources: Myanmar Now, RFA Burmese, Khit Thit, DVB, Irrawaddy, Mizzima News, Ayeyarwaddy Times

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