Weekly Update 117

by mohingamatters

Hi folks, we are witnessing the second wave of Operation 1027, with the MNDAA activating battles near Lashio and the TNLA strongly attacking regime stations in Naungcho, Kyaukme, and Mogok regions. These offensives are not without consequences, as thousands of people are stuck in urban areas that have become battlegrounds. Meanwhile, the AA has captured Thandwe Airport, the air entry to Ngapali Beach in Rakhine State. Although these developments are positive news on the battleground, the regime’s oppression in their controlled areas remains relentless. They are now sending new cadets to the frontlines and torturing political inmates in various prisons across the country. Let’s not get distracted by the positive news and continue calling for the freedom of those under their control. Read the highlights below:

Internal Politics

  • U Thein Sein visited China for 70th anniversary of Peace Principles

On June 27, The Chinese Embassy in Yangon announced that former President U Thein Sein will visit China to attend the 70th anniversary of the publication of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. At 79, U Thein Sein, who regularly meets with Chinese diplomats and the coup leaders, is making his first public appearance in years. The ceremony was set to be held on June 28 and would include former political leaders, academics, journalists, and entrepreneurs. The Chinese government announced that its leadership and Communist Party leaders will also be present. Former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa was expected to attend the event, according to Sri Lankan online news. In addition to U Thein Sein, other attendees from Myanmar included Daw Than Than Nu, daughter of former Prime Minister U Nu, and the presidents of two civil organizations close to China. The Chinese ambassador and the Defense Minister of the regime escorted U Thein Sein to Yangon Airport, as per the embassy statement. Chinese Ambassador Mr. Chen Hai reportedly met with U Thein Sein a day before the trip to discuss China-Myanmar cooperation and the current situation in Myanmar.

  • NUG announced Shan-Mann Operation expanding to Mandalay

On June 27, the National Unity Government (NUG) Ministry of Defense announced that the Shan-Mann operation, involving the People’s Defense Forces (PDF) and their allies, has successfully penetrated Mandalay and is underway. Beginning on June 25, alongside the resumption of Operation 1027 in Northern Shan State and Mandalay, PDF joined forces conducting balanced operations and achieving continuous victories. The operation includes the People’s Defense Army (Mandalay), Mogok strategic battalions, Battalion No. 513 Kyauk Me District Special Attack Force, Pyin Oo Lwin District LDF, Mogok Township and Matara Township LDFs, and other forces. They are collaborating with allied ethnic revolutionary groups on fronts such as Kyaukme, Naung Cho, and Mattaya.

  • The regime denied vandalism of WFP food facility in Maungdaw

On June 27, the regime’s spokesperson General Zaw Min Tun refuted claims that the World Food Program (WFP) food storage facility in Maungdaw, Rakhine State, had been vandalized by its troops. The Rakhine Army (AA) released a video on June 25 alleging that a joint group of the regime ransacked and burned the WFP warehouse on June 21. WFP confirmed the vandalism and condemned the perpetrators in a statement. General Zaw Min Tun stated that the food was displaced by local Rohingya and that the military council distributed WFP’s supplies to over 2,000 households in six Maungdaw neighborhoods on June 22. He claimed the facility was destroyed by a fire caused by an AA drone bombing. However, the military council’s report on June 24 only mentioned delivering more than 2,000 bags of rice to local residents, without specifying that the rice came from the WFP warehouse. The provided rice bags did not display WFP logos.

  • The regime ordered teachers to relocate from Rakhine State

The regime’s Ministry of Education instructed teachers to leave areas occupied by the Arakan Army (AA) with their own plans. Currently, about 600 high school teachers from Rakhine State were ordered to relocate to regions such as Ayeyarwaddy, Bago and Magway. The regime indicated that similar orders may continue to be issued for middle and high school teachers. In Rakhine State, where intense fighting persists, the AA has established control over several areas, including Maungdaw, Kyauktaw, Rathedaung, Sittwe, Mrauk-U, Ponnagyun, and Buthidaung, as well as Paletwa in Chin State. The AA has announced plans to continue attacking and occupying military bases across Rakhine State, with current conflicts ongoing in Ann and Maungdaw. An education official from Rakhine, who requested anonymity, suggested that the directive may be aimed at dismissing teachers who face difficulties in complying with the relocation orders.

  • NUG suspended its representative over sexual harassment allegations

On June 25, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the National Unity Government (NUG) announced the temporary suspension of Salai Isaac Khen, their representative to India, following a complaint of sexual harassment by a female office worker. The investigation, conducted by the department, has been referred to the Policy Implementation Committee on Protection from Exploitation and Sexual Violence. Earlier, on June 21, the NUG Department of Foreign Affairs stated that it was handling the complaint internally. Despite attempts to contact Salai Isaac Khen, he has not responded. However, he stated on his Facebook page that he would cooperate fully with the investigation.

International Affairs

  • UN report links international banks to the regime’s transactions

Tom Andrews, the UN Special Representative for Human Rights in Myanmar, presented a new report which revealed allegations that some Thai banks were facilitating the Myanmar military council’s purchase of weapons. The banks in question have denied these claims. The report indicated that Thai banks were aiding the military council, which faces economic and financial sanctions. According to the report, the military council’s transactions through Thai banks amounted to over $60 million in the 2022-23 fiscal year, doubling to more than $120 million in the 2023-24 fiscal year. The Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) was identified as the primary provider of these services, with four other banks—Bangkok Bank, Kasikorn Bank, TMB Thanachart, and Krung Thai Bank—also involved in facilitating payments. Over the past two years, 16 banks across seven countries have allegedly provided money transfer services for the military council’s arms purchases. In response to the June 26 report, SCB stated on June 27 that it had not detected any unusual transactions involving Myanmar, emphasizing that most transactions were for energy and food products and were normal business activities. 

  • Indian FM discussed Myanmar border issues with the regime

Dr. S. Jaishankar, India’s Minister of External Affairs, disclosed on June 26 that he held discussions in New Delhi with the regime’s Minister U Than Swe regarding the protection of India’s interests in Myanmar. Expressing concern over the violence and instability affecting border areas, Jaishankar emphasized the need for engagement with all stakeholders to address these issues. He highlighted challenges such as illegal drugs, arms smuggling, and human trafficking impacting India and expressed India’s readiness to assist its citizens in Myanmar. Jaishankar urged Myanmar to return to the path of democracy and reaffirmed India’s willingness to support Myanmar in any capacity. Salai Dokhar, founder of the India For Myanmar group, suggested that India might have conveyed its stance on Myanmar’s situation during the meeting. Meanwhile, U Moe Zaw Oo, Deputy Foreign Minister of the NUG, emphasized the importance of India engaging with all stakeholders to resolve border concerns and protect mutual interests.

  • DASSK’s name to be included in the genocide case in Argentina

The Myanmar-Rohingya Association UK has stated that State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and former President U Tin Kyaw’s names are included in an application submitted by an Argentine prosecutor to court on June 28, seeking arrest warrants for military leaders accused of Rohingya genocide. In 2023, the Association urged action against Myanmar’s military leaders for their role in the Rohingya genocide. The application, initially filed in December and re-submitted recently, includes these names. However, U Tun Khin, the Association’s chairman, expressed confidence that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and U Tin Kyaw won’t be prosecuted due to Myanmar’s current political situation. He emphasized that the focus remains solely on the military’s top leadership in the court proceedings, clarifying that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has not been implicated in the investigation. U Tun Khin, the Association’s president, highlighted the importance of witness testimonies gathered during the court’s investigations.

Business Matters

  • The regime’s crackdown on rice prices intensified

Last week, we reported that the regime allegedly detained the chairperson of the Myanmar Paddy Producers Association and several rice producers and traders for selling rice above the imposed price. This week, managers of supermarkets such as City Mart, Ocean, and Capitals were also summoned and forced to sell rice at the set price. An employee from a well-known mall, speaking anonymously, stated that the regime’s Special Investigation Department questioned them from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and compelled them to resell rice at the military council’s price. A joint team from the Department of General Administration, Department of Consumer Affairs, and the Food and Drug Administration inspected shopping centers the night before. Despite being locally cultivated, rice production involves costs for labor, seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides, which are imported using US dollars. Rising dollar rates, input costs, and reliance on generators due to electricity shortages have driven up production costs, affecting rice prices. An anonymous economist noted that these increased costs have impacted rice prices, and critics also pointed out that the regime’s burning of farmlands has disrupted rice production, potentially leading to a scarcity of rice.

  • The regime blacklisted companies for alleged palm oil import fraud

The Directorate of Investments and Companies (DICA) under the regime announced the blacklisting of eight companies, including Aya Hintha Company owned by prominent businessman U Zaw Win Shein, since June 24. The companies are accused of fraudulently importing palm oil from overseas. U Zaw Win Shein, who owns A Bank and Aya Hintha Group, and recently acquired Ooredoo Myanmar, was among those affected. Myanmar Now contacted Aya Hintha Company for comment on the blacklisting, but they stated they were unaware of the decision. Other companies on the blacklist include Six Winner Brothers, Diamond Dragon, First Top Edible Oil, Thein Than Yadanar, Jewel Arrow, Agri One Trading, and Grand Unity. DICA cited non-compliance with Myanmar Companies Law as the reason for blacklisting, without specifying the violations or detailing actions to be taken. The military council’s move is seen as part of efforts to curb foreign currency expenditure amid economic challenges.

  • The regime blacklisted companies over unrepatriated export revenue

The regime announced that as of June 26, 28 companies, including Chinese state-owned firms, have been blacklisted for failing to repatriate export earnings exceeding $500,000. These companies operate in industries such as logging, tourism, and electronics across regions like Yangon, Tanintharyi, Kayin, and Sagaing States. Among those named is China International Forestry Group Corp Ltd, a Chinese government-owned entity registered in Myanmar since the mid-2000s with its office in Yangon’s Bahan Township. Also listed is Japanese electronics firm IIDA Electronics (Myanmar) Company Limited, known for importing and distributing a variety of electronic products. The regime’s move, aimed at consolidating control over foreign currency post-coup, mandates quicker deposit of export revenues into Myanmar banks and restricts the use of foreign earnings, often at rates below market value.

Humanitarian Affairs

  • More than 75% of the population lives in poverty: UNDP reports

UNDP reported on June 24 that over 42 million people in Myanmar, representing more than 75 percent of the population, are now living in poverty amid a severe economic decline exacerbated by the military coup. Additionally, more than 13 million people are experiencing food insecurity. In response to the coup, international aid to Myanmar has been significantly reduced, with UN development assistance dropping by over 40 percent between 2020 and 2022, according to the UNDP. The country’s foreign currency inflows have dwindled, leading to rampant inflation and food shortages, as well as escalating commodity prices. Economic analysts cited by RFA attribute these crises to the military council’s economic mismanagement, which has pushed the economy into recession, rendering short-term solutions ineffective.

  • NUG’s report revealed over 800 child deaths since the coup

On June 15, the NUG reported that over 800 children have been killed between February 2021 and May 2024. The highest number of fatalities occurred in the Sagaing Region, with more than 250 deceased children, followed by Shan and Rakhine states. Of the victims, 59.2 percent were boys and 31.5 percent were girls. The remaining 9.2 percent were disfigured beyond recognition, making their gender undistinguishable. The yearly breakdown shows 95 deaths in 2021, 177 in 2022, 355 in 2023, and 175 between January and May of this year.

  • Thousands of Myanmar citizens sought refuge in Manipur state

According to The Hindu, as of June 20, more than 5,400 Myanmar citizens have sought refuge in Manipur state due to airstrikes and attacks in Myanmar. The refugees began arriving in Kamjong District in 2023, with Assam Rifles officials noting their arrival and the temporary settlement of over 5,100 individuals across eight villages since November. Local authorities have gathered biometric data including fingerprints and voice recordings from the refugees. Chief Minister Anbian Singh reported in early May that over 5,800 Myanmar nationals have sought refuge in Kamjong district, with 15 casualties from natural disasters and 359 opting to return home voluntarily amidst the ongoing civil conflict following Myanmar’s military coup.

Attacks on the Junta’s Lackeys & Assets

  • Village administrator and family targeted in Nyaung-U tsp, Mandalay Region

On the evening of June 24, a village administrator and his family members were killed in Nyaung-U Township, Mandalay Region. U Aung San Oo, aged 52, his son Ko Nyi Nyi Lin, aged 28, and his daughter Khin Myat Myat Oo, aged 25, were shot dead by unknown gunmen in their house in Chaungshay Village. The responsible parties for the attack remain unidentified. U Aung San Oo had a reputation for being a regime lackey in the area.

  • Detained civilians escaped from court jail in Htilin tsp, Magway Region

On the night of June 24, five civilians detained by the junta’s forces in Htilin Township court jail managed to flee their cell and escape to safety in Gantgaw District, Magway Region. Among them was U Myint Khine, the chair of the People’s Administrative Force from Htanpinkone Village. They had been arrested during the regime’s offensive eight months ago. The junta’s forces are currently attempting to locate the escapees in the area.

  • Drone attack on police station killed and injured soldiers in Hpakant tsp, Kachin State

Around 2 pm on June 26, the Kachin PDF (KPDF) conducted a drone attack on the junta’s Sai Taung Police Station, killing many officers and soldiers in Hpakant Township, Kachin State. Witnesses reported seeing five ambulances rushing into the compound. A total of ten people, including a battalion officer, were killed, and six others were injured in the attack. Only about 20 regime soldiers currently remain at the facility.

  • Regime’s police officer shot dead in Ngazun tsp, Mandalay Region

On the morning of June 29, local resistance rangers carried out a mission, taking out a junta officer in Ngazun Township, Mandalay Region. Thet Swe, the township police chief, and his followers were sitting in a teashop in Myotha Town when the incident occurred. The rangers spotted them and followed them to the teashop. Thet Swe was killed on the spot, while his lackeys fled. The rangers confiscated a G-3 rifle, and munitions, includig bullets, and grenades.

Arbitrary Arrests, Killings & Violence

  • Political prisoner beaten to death in Mandalay’s Obo Prison

On June 21, Ko Htet Yan Naing @ Htet Htet, a political prisoner held in Mandalay’s Obo Prison, was beaten to death by prison guards. He was targeted for attempting to report a drug dealing case involving prison authorities. A group of guards beat him with wooden bats, metal rods, and vibrators until he lost consciousness. He died from his injuries in Mandalay Public Hospital. Authorities cremated his body without returning it to his family. Ko Htet Myat Naing was serving a 4-year sentence under Penal Code 52A for counterterrorism.

  • Regime’s airstrike killed 17 civilians in Indaw tsp, Sagaing Region

On the midnight of June 22, regime forces conducted an aerial strike on a monastery in Indaw Township, Sagaing Region, killing at least 17 civilians. Earlier that day, the KIA and KPDF coordinated an offensive against the regime’s army in Nanttha Village, eight miles west of town. In retaliation, the junta targeted a monastery, mistakenly bombing the one where civilians were residing instead of the one used by resistance forces. Among the victims were a monk and a 5-year-old child.

  • Over 200 political prisoners transferred from Insein to Daik-U and Tharyawaddy prisons

On the morning of June 23, over 200 political prisoners were abruptly transferred from Insein Prison in Yangon to Daik-U and Tharyawaddy prisons in Bago Region. According to the Political Prisoners Network Myanmar (PPNM), some of those transferred had participated in a strike inside the prison to honor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s birthday on June 19. Their identities remain unknown.

  • Regime’s drone attack killed seven civilians in Kyaukkyi tsp, Bago Region

On June 28, junta forces attacked a civilian ward in Kyaukkyi Township, Bago Region, killing seven people, according to the Karen National Union (KNU). Myitta Ward was targeted with three drone bombs, killing seven people between the ages of 17 and 40. Local residents reported that the regime had been conducting indiscriminate firings in the villages of Kyaukkyi Township without any battle in the area.

  • Rakhine-based reporter and office staff sentenced to five years in prison

On June 28, the regime’s tribunal in Sittwe, Rakhine State reportedly sentenced the reporter Ko Htet Aung and office staff Ko Soe Win to five years in prison. They both worked for Rakhine-On June 28, a regime tribunal in Sittwe, Rakhine State, sentenced reporter Ko Htet Aung and office staff Ko Soe Win to five years in prison. They both worked for the Rakhine-based Development Media Group (DMG) and were arrested eight months ago, charged under the Counterterrorism Act. The rest of the DMG staff, totaling 18 people, have also been charged under the same act and have warrants issued for their arrest.

Armed Resistance

  • AA captured Thandwe airport

On the evening of June 23, the Arakan Army (AA) reportedly seized Thandwe Airport, the only air entry to Ngapali Beach in Rakhine State. Prior to the capture, violent clashes broke out along the beach, forcing residents to flee for safety. Battles continue around Thandwe City, but with the fall of the airport, the regime is unable to send reinforcements and supplies. The AA continues to attack the regime’s light infantry unit 566 and infantry unit 55 near the city.

  • Clash broke out near Lashio Town, Shan-north

Battles resumed between regime forces and the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) in northern Shan State on the morning of June 23. The encounter began as regime forces launched an offensive near Panekham Village, 10 miles east of Lashio Town. A 30-minute battle was recorded around 8 am. The MNDAA and the regime had signed a temporary ceasefire agreement in January, but now both sides are preparing for military operations near Lashio again.

  • TNLA launched offensive on Naungcho, Kyautme and Mogok 

On June 25, the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) simultaneously launched attacks in Naungcho, Kyautme towns in northern Shan State, and Mogok in Mandalay Region. Within a day, the TNLA managed to occupy major parts of Naungcho and Kyautme towns. In these battles, the MDY PDF and various local resistance forces participated alongside the TNLA. Clashes also intensified in Mogok (west) and spread eastward in the following days. TNLA and MDY-PDF coordinated offensives against regime stations, whose response with heavy artillery even reached civilian neighborhoods.

  • Regime’s first batch of trainees sent to battlegrounds across the country

On June 28, the regime held a completion ceremony for the first batch of military trainees across the country. Following the ceremony, the new graduates were sent to various battlegrounds. The new cadets are transported to the warfronts without being informed of their destination until halfway through the journey. Parents are also kept in the dark by authorities. Many cadets who spoke to Khit Thit Media have been sent to warfronts in northern Shan, Chin, Karenni, and Kachin states.

  • Chin forces captured Matupi completely

On June 29, Chin resistance forces reportedly seized the last standing regime battalion station in Matupi Township, Chin State, effectively putting the entire township under their control. On June 17, the regime’s light infantry unit 304 fell, followed by the fall of the largest strategic unit in southern Chin State, unit 140, on June 29. The Arakan Army (AA) and Yaw Defense Force (YDF) coordinated the offensive alongside Chin forces.

Sources: Myanmar Now, Khit Thit Media, RFA Burmese, Mizzima News, Matupi Revolution News

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