Weekly Update 114

by mohingamatters

Internal Politics

  • NLD patron U Tin Oo passes away at 98

U Tin Oo, a founding member of the National League for Democracy (NLD) alongside Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, passed away in Yangon at the age of 98 due to heart failure. A military veteran with 33 years of service, he served as the commander-in-chief of the Myanmar military from 1974 to 1976. He joined the Burma Defence Army at the age of 16, fighting against Kuomintang troops near the Thai-Myanmar border and Mujahideen at the Bangladesh-Myanmar border in the 1950s. After co-founding the NLD to promote democracy in Myanmar, he endured years of imprisonment by military leaders for his unwavering commitment to democratic principles. His funeral was held on June 5 in Yangon.

  • Shuffle of military leadership in Nay Pyi Taw

General Saw Than Hlaing, the commander of the Nay Pyi Taw Regional Military Headquarters, has retired and been transferred to the reserve force. General Soe Min, previously the commander of the Coastal Regional Military Headquarters, has been appointed as the new regional commander for Nay Pyi Taw. According to some military observers, General Soe Min’s transfer to the less active Nay Pyi Taw region may be due to recent attacks by the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) and People’s Defense Forces (PDF) on military council camps in Tanintharyi. The Coastal Division Commander position, vacated by General Soe Min, has been filled by Brigadier General Ping Lin. Brigadier General Ping Lin, a graduate of DSA-40 School of Military Academy, has served as Brigadier General of the Military Headquarters in Nay Pyi Taw and the Commander of the No. 6 Operations Command Headquarters since the coup in 2022.

  • One of the brigadier general from Laukkai MOC received 10 years of imprisonment

Brigadier General Min Maung, commander of the No. 1 Military Operation Command, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison by the military council, according to Irrawaddy news sources. During Operation 1027 by the Three Brotherhood Alliance, he refused to surrender at the Laukkai military headquarters, leading to his continued appointment as commander of MOC 1. In contrast, the five brigadier generals who chose to surrender were arrested, tried, and received life sentence. When Laukkai was besieged by the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), Brigadier General Min Maung, a graduate of the Military Academy (DSA-40), refused to surrender. He joined the No. 33 Infantry Regiment in Tang Yang with over 350 troops and military helicopters after retreating to Point 2022. Approximately two months later, in early May, he was arrested and subsequently sentenced to 10 years in prison by a military court.

  • SSPP condemned TNLA over territorial disputes

The Shan State Progressive Party (SSPP) announced on May 31 its opposition to the Ta’ang National Liberation Army’s (TNLA) actions regarding a territorial dispute. Amid heightened tensions between the TNLA and SSPP/SSA, the SSPP criticized the TNLA for leveraging political advantages and engaging in actions that could lead to military conflict. The SSPP emphasized its commitment to resolving issues through political dialogue, stating that some allies’ actions mislead public opinion and undermine political dignity and peaceful coexistence. The SSPP cited an April 21 discussion where representatives at the central and local levels agreed on resolutions, which the SSPP has adhered to. However, the SSPP accused the TNLA of unwillingness to coexist peacefully.

International Affairs

  • U Kyaw Moe Tun urged UN to refer Myanmar situation to the ICC

Ambassador U Kyaw Moe Tun has once again urged the United Nations Security Council to refer the Myanmar situation to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and hold perpetrators accountable under the law. Speaking at the UNSC Arria-formula Meeting on Myanmar, held on May 29 at the United Nations headquarters and organized by the UK, the ambassador highlighted the need for a comprehensive approach to resolve the Myanmar crisis. He emphasized that the prolonged delay in addressing the issue demonstrates the necessity of a multifaceted solution involving Myanmar’s neighbors, regional countries, and the international community, including the UN. The ambassador stressed that efforts must align with the expectations of the Burmese people.

  • Shangri-La Conference discussed diplomatic solutions for Myanmar

At the Shangri-La Conference in Singapore on May 31, the session on “Diplomatic Opportunities Between Different Approaches to Peace in Myanmar” addressed the ongoing conflict. Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Britain’s Minister for Indo-Pacific Affairs, urged all parties involved, particularly the Military Council, to prioritize civilian protection. She emphasized the need to pressure the military to cease human rights violations and committed to continuing advocacy through the UN Human Rights Council. Additionally, the Director General of Malaysia’s National Security Council and Indonesia’s Special Envoy to Myanmar discussed the future of Myanmar and the role of the international community in supporting its people.

  • ICG warns of the balkanization in Myanmar but the pro-democracy groups rejected

On May 30, the International Crisis Group (ICG) reported that Myanmar’s military is rapidly losing control over many border areas to revolutionary forces, potentially leading to the collapse of central authority. In response, the military council has resorted to aerial bombardment in these lost territories as a form of retaliation. Salai Peter Thang, vice president of the Chin National Defense Force (CNDF), remarked that the ICG’s prediction depends on the continuation of the current situation. He expressed hope that the country would not fragment, viewing the reclaiming of territories by ethnic groups as a restoration of their original ownership. The ICG noted that revolutionary groups formed post-coup have expressed intentions to fight the military but face shortages in weapons and ammunition. However, U Maung Maung Swe, Deputy Secretary of Defense for the National Unity Government (NUG), stated that revolutionary forces are making progress in terms of armament. The report highlighted that ethnic armed groups are strengthening their control, expanding administrative systems, and managing public affairs in their regions. It warned that the ongoing territorial fragmentation poses a challenge to the establishment of a federal union desired by the people of Myanmar. Political analyst U Than Soe Naing believes that the ICG’s assessment reflects the current situation and that most ethnic armed organizations will continue their struggle to eliminate the military council.

Business Matters 

  • PSLF/TNLA imposes ban on mining businesses in its controlled areas

The Palaung State Liberation Front (PSLF/TNLA) announced the cancellation of government permits and business licenses, including those for mining operations, and has banned rare earth mineral exploration activities in Ta’ang state, an area under their control. The TNLA stated that it does not recognize private enterprises, including the mining industry, operating in Ta’ang with permits, licenses, or orders granted by previous Myanmar governments. These businesses must temporarily suspend operations and obtain the necessary permits by November 30. The PSLF/TNLA General Administration Department warned that any activities without the required permissions by the deadline would be seized as public property, and action will be taken against continued operations. Additionally, TNLA has declared a prohibition on the exploration and mining of rare earth minerals in Ta’ang state during the preparation of a natural environment conservation and protection project. All entrepreneurs, whether small or large, are forbidden from engaging in mining and production, with strict penalties for non-compliance.

  • Bridge destruction in Mon State causes price surge in basic goods and fuel

The destruction of Ma Saw Bridge and Kyung Bag Bridge in Beilin Township, Mon State, due to detonation of mines, has led to a significant increase in the prices of basic food and fuel in Mawlamyine, Ye and Thaton townships, according to local residents. These bridges were crucial for connecting Mon State to Karen State and the Tanintharyi Region, and their destruction has disrupted the supply chain for goods exported from Yangon. In Thaton, the price of a bag of Shwebo Porsan rice has risen from 150,000 kyats in April, before the bridges were destroyed, to 170,000 kyats. The price of one pound of cooking oil has surged from 7,000 kyats to 10,000 kyats. In Mawlamyine, the price of a bag of rice has increased from 130,000 to 150,000 kyats since the bridges were damaged. Residents also reported that some major gas stations in these townships have closed due to fuel shortages, with gasoline prices ranging from 3,500 to 5,000 kyats per liter. 

Humanitarian Affairs

  • Half a million displaced due to the regime’s violence in Karen State: KNU reports

The Karen National Union (KNU) reports that nearly 500,000 people have fled their homes due to military attacks following the coup in Karen State. The KNU states that residents live in constant fear as the military council deliberately targets civilians using various terrorist methods. Since the military seized power until April 2024, 494,590 people have been displaced, according to the KNU. Additionally, in the Bago Region, the KNU reported that an attack by the military on villages in Nyaung Lai District injured four people, including three children, and damaged homes. Between May 24 and 29, regime troops conducted six heavy artillery attacks across KNU-controlled areas, injuring numerous civilians, including children and teenagers.

  • Fighting in Kachin State displaced 50,000

The fighting that erupted on March 7 in Kachin State persists, leading to significant displacement. Civil society groups aiding refugees report that approximately 50,000 people have been forced to flee across seven townships, including Myitkyina. The number of people fleeing continued to rise due to the military’s airstrikes. A resident of Mansi, who requested anonymity for security reasons, told RFA that the entire city of Mansi, home to nearly 8,000 people, is evacuating. Many locals from areas fled to nearby villages such as Mai Khao, Man Wein Gyi, Han Htet and Mantha, where up to ten families are sheltering together in a single house. The city-occupation battle that began on May 9 in Mansi has resulted in at least 30 homes being burned down and at least five civilians being killed. In Moe Mauk, more than 10,000 residents have been forced to leave their homes due to ongoing clashes. A local who fled to the KIA controlled area described the lack of security due to the military council’s air raids. The KIA has been attacking the military council’s 437th Battalion in Moe Mauk since May 9, leading to intense fighting. The military council has conducted airstrikes and used heavy weapons and arson, destroying more than a hundred houses in Moe Mauk.

  • Roadblocks in Southern Rakhine State cause food and medicine shortage

Residents report that the military council has been blocking access to Thandwe Town in southern Rakhine State, where fighting has been ongoing. This blockade has led to severe shortages of medicine and food. For over a month, people have been unable to use the main road to travel the 20 miles north to Thandwe. Due to the region’s abundance of rivers, those fleeing from the conflict have switched to using the Sin Gaung-Kin Maw waterway. However, on May 20, the military council also blocked this vital water route, which many war refugees and residents from surrounding villages relied on. The blockade, enforced with threats of shooting, has been in place for about 10 days, causing severe food shortages and pushing some residents towards famine. A resident of Shwe Hlay village said, “Every household is running out of rice. Manual laborers and those who can afford it have bought supplies in advance, but it’s becoming increasingly difficult for others to purchase food or medical supplies from stores.”

Attacks on the Junta’s Lackeys & Assets

  • Regime’s jet crashed in Winemaw tsp, Kachin State

On May 26, a Y-12 jet belonging to the junta reportedly crashed due to an engine fault in Khetcho Village, Winemaw Township, Kachin State. The pilot was said to have been captured by resistance forces. The jet, used by the regime’s air force to bomb the Winemaw area, is considered one of the most feared regime weapons in the armed resistance.

  • Ward administration office targeted in Insein tsp, Yangon

On the evening of May 30, a ward administration office in Insein Township came under attack. Yangon-based Together Urban Force conducted an ambush using small rifles. Both administrative staff and Pyu Saw Htee members were present at the time of the incident. Casualties are still being verified. The guerrilla forces were able to escape without casualties. Together Urban Force claimed that the administrative office was trying to enforce conscription laws and tax the public illegally.

  • Village administrators targeted in Bago Region

As the regime’s recruitment for conscription continued, more of its lackeys were targeted in the process. Around 2:30 pm on May 31, Village Administrator Nyunt Soe from Kyopinwine Village was shot dead on his motorbike in Paukkhaung Township, Bago Region. Nyunt Soe was responsible for forced conscriptions and sending information on resistance forces to the regime, which resulted in multiple arrests. Pyay PDF (PPDF) claimed responsibility for the killing. Similarly, a new village administrator was also shot dead in Thaekone Township, Pyay District, Bago Region. Aung Win, the new administrator of Dahthwaykyauk Village, was shot dead by PDF rangers in his house around 7 pm on May 31. Aung Win was also responsible for spying on resistance activities and drafting youths for mandatory military service.

  • Ward administrator from Mandalay shot dead

On the morning of June 5, ward administrator U Ye Lwin was shot dead in a teashop in Pyigyitagon Township, Mandalay. The incident took place around 8 am when two gunmen arrived at the teashop located between 133rd and 53rd streets, opening fire on the 50-year-old man, who was sitting with three followers. The administrator died on the spot. It is still unknown who carried out the mission. In Mandalay, the regime is recruiting for conscription through ward administrators.

  • Pyu Saw Htee leader shot dead in Kyaukse tsp, Mandalay Region

On June 6, the regime’s recruiter and Pyu Saw Htee leader Thein Swe was reportedly shot dead in Kyaukse Township, Mandalay Region. Around 12:45 pm on that day, Thein Swe and his wife were returning to their village from Kyaukse Town when the resistance forces carried out an ambush. Thein Swe was killed on the spot while his wife was injured. Thein Swe was notorious in the area for coordinating with the regime. Kyaukse Resistance Army (KRA), KDDF, and Sintkine PDF conducted the attack. A pistol was seized from Thein Swe’s body.

Arbitrary Arrests, Killings & Violence

  • Regime’s bombing on wedding ceremonry resulted in 28 deaths

On June 3, the junta’s air force conducted an aerial attack on a wedding ceremony in Mataw Village, Mingin Township, Sagaing Region. Two bombings took place around 8:15 am, one near the ceremony pandal and another near the house of the bride and groom. Initial reports stated that seven people were killed in the incident, but the casualties reached up to 28 within days. Among the victims were six children, and at least 54 people were also injured. Many injuries involved the loss of legs and body parts. There is also a lack of medicine and medical staff. The bombings left craters around six feet wide, showing the severity of the explosions. Military lobbyists wrote online that it was the wedding of local resistance force members and hence the attack was justified.

  • Explosion in primary school killed a child, injured dozens in Dawei, Tanintharyi Region

On the afternoon of June 4, an explosion occurred in a primary school located in Eainshaepyin Ward, Dawei Town, Tanintharyi Region, killing a 9-year-old child. A group of children found a bomb in the school compound and started playing with it. The blast killed Mg Htet Myat Aung and injured 26 children and a parent. There is a regime inspection gate near the school, where minor shootings between soldiers and resistance forces had frequently taken place. This could be one of the spoils from those battles, making it difficult to determine which side left it. The regime’s newspapers said it was due to the shooting of the Launglon PDF. The school has been closed since June 5, and the regime’s soldiers conducted a mine clearance mission.

  • Regime’s aerial strike on hospital killed a child in Shwegu tsp, Kachin State

Around 11:30 pm on June 1, the regime’s forces reportedly conducted an airstrike on Myokone Hospital in Shwegu Township, Kachin State. Four bombings targeted the hospital and nearby houses, although there was no active battle in the area. A 7-year-old child was killed, while six others, including nurses, were injured. A father and son were severely injured, both requiring amputation. The hospital was previously attacked by the regime’s artillery in 2022.

  • Regime forces committed massacre in Byain Phyu Village, Sittwe, Rakhine State

On the morning of May 29, the regime’s soldiers and the Arakan Liberation Party (ALP) forces reportedly raided Byain Phyu Village, on the outskirts of Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine State. The soldiers arrested more than 1,000 people, both men and women. The detainees were blindfolded for more than 48 hours and were tortured and interrogated for their alleged association with the Arakan Army (AA). The victims were denied food, water, and shelter until they were released on May 31. In the process, at least 76 people were said to have been killed, and only about 113 people remained from the initial 1,000. The rest were thought to have been captured and transported by the military.

Armed Resistance

  • Resistance forces captured 25 regime stations in Sagaing Region

The Ministry of Defense under the National Unity Government (NUG) announced that local resistance forces conducted an offensive at the regime’s stations located in Mawlaik and Khandee District and captured at least 25 stations. The offensive was launched on May 23. In the skirmishes, about 100 regime soldiers were killed, and several firearms were confiscated. Twelve resistance rangers were also killed. The junta’s forces utilized aerial strikes in the battles, even in civilian areas where there was no active battle.

  • Chin forces captured regime’s district administrative office in Matupi, Chin State

On May 30, Chin Defense Forces (CDF) launched an offensive at the junta’s district administration office located in Matupi Town, Chin State. On the same morning, the Chin forces managed to capture the office compound, forcing the regime’s security soldiers to flee into the nearby villages. One Chin ranger was injured by stepping on a landmine.

  • Battle broke out near Ngapali Beach, Rakhine State

On June 2, a skirmish occurred between the regime’s forces and the Arakan Army (AA) near the world-famous Ngapali Beach, located in Thandwe Township, Rakhine State. The skirmish has continued for days, and the junta is said to be using navy ships, ground forces, and aerial attacks. On June 5, the regime’s aerial attack on Sin Gaung Village, 10 miles north of Ngapali Beach, resulted in dozens of civilian deaths. The AA has now captured nine cities, more than half of Rakhine State.

  • AA captured six regime stations in Maungdaw tsp, Rakhine State

In the first week of June, the AA launched offensives at the regime stations in Maungdaw, Thandwe, and An Townships. Following the capture of all regime stations in Buthidaung, the offensive was launched at the neighboring Maungdaw on June 2. Within a week, six stations had already fallen into AA’s control, and the attack intensified to capture the rest.

  • KNLA and co moved to capture the rest of regime stations in Hpapun tsp, Karen State

The Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) and allied resistance forces reportedly continued efforts to capture the remaining regime stations in Hpapun Township, in the north of Karen State. Three regime stations remain in the area, and the junta’s forces are still defending them with aerial attacks. The offensive from the resistance forces in Hpapun Township was launched on March 26.

Sources: Myanmar Now, Khit Thit Media, Irrawaddy, RFA Burmese, DVB, Tanintharyi Times, Chin World

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