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Bi-weekly Update on the Current Situation in Myanmar (1-05-2024 to 15-05-2024)

Bi-weekly Update on the Current Situation in Myanmar

(1-05-2024 to 15-05-2024)

Over three years ago, on 1 February, 2021, the Myanmar military attempted an illegal coup, toppled the civilian government, and unlawfully detained State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, President U Win Myint, and other senior members of the civilian government, parliamentarians and activists. Since then, the Myanmar military has ignored the will of the people of Myanmar, placed the country in turmoil, and made people suffer as a result of its inhumane and disproportionate acts.

As of 15 May 2024, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), the military has ruthlessly killed 5,063 people and arrested another 26,683 people. 20,462 people remain in detention and 166 people have been sentenced to death, including 119 post-coup death row prisoners and 43 in absentia since 1 February 2021, when the military unleashed systematic and targeted attacks and violence against innocent civilians. Four democracy activists who were sentenced to death were executed by the military junta in July 2022.

Crimes committed Across Myanmar by the Junta Troops and its military wings

Crimes perpetrated by the junta troops and its associates, militias across Myanmar include extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests and detentions, torture, sexual violence, enforced disappearances, and the targeting of civilians, including children. These atrocities have led to widespread displacement, destruction of civilian properties, and a climate of fear and insecurity among the civilian population. The junta's brutal widespread and systematic tactics are aimed at suppressing dissent and maintaining its grip on power, regardless of the human cost and violations of international law.

Junta Implements Forced Conscription Amid Crackdown, Extortion, and Youth Abductions

Myanmar Junta Bans Men From Leaving Country for Work

The Myanmar military junta has suspended issuing permits for men to work abroad amid its forced conscription of new military recruits, which has prompted thousands to leave the country.

The permanent secretary of the junta controlled Labor Ministry informed local media on 2 May 2024 of the temporary ban on men leaving to work abroad. He said the measure took effect 1 May 2024 and would remain in effect “as needed”. He offered no explanation for the move.

The owner of an overseas employment agency in Yangon said they had heard the news on 30 April 2024 when it was shared by other agencies. As pursuing forced conscription, the junta began its first intake of forced recruits in March 2024, prompting many citizens to head abroad.

In late April, the junta began its second round of conscription. It also been abducting young men from their homes and snatching pedestrians off the street to enforce the law.

Currently, male workers mostly go to Thailand, Malaysia and other neighboring countries for job opportunities, while a few head to Japan, Dubai and other countries further afield, where procedures to apply for a job are more difficult, according to some overseas employment agency in Yangon.

The suspension of permission to work abroad has caused difficulties for Myanmar youths, who invest a lot of time and effort in preparations for overseas employment, including taking language lessons and training in other necessary skills. Some youths said that if they can’t go abroad, had no choice but to join the People Defence Forces of the National Unity Government.

Violences of Myanmar military against Civilians in Armed Conflicts

Myanmar's Women Casualties Mount: 223 Women Killed in Four Months

The AAPP reported that between January and April 2024, the junta killed 223 women nationwide, including 40 girls under the age of 18. Among these deaths, the Sagaing Region had the highest toll with 70 women, followed by Rakhine State with 53. Additionally, of the 223 killed, the most common cause of death was artillery strikes by the junta, which claimed 98 women, followed by airstrikes, which killed 82 women.

Children and Senior Citizens Killed by Myanmar Military During Armed Conflicts

According to the data collected by the AAPP, from January to April 2024, (40) girls and (66) boys; (106) children in total who were under the age of 18, including a 10-month-old girl, were killed by the junta across the country, with Sagaing Region recording the highest number of deaths with (29) children. Among the (106) fatalities, the highest number of deaths were caused by the junta’s airstrikes, killing (53) children.

In addition, during the four-month period, the junta killed (39) women and (48) men; (87) people in total who were over 60, across the country, with Sagaing Region recording the highest number of deaths with (29) people. Among the (87) deaths, the junta’s artillery strikes caused the majority of deaths at (39) people.

Myanmar is a member of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which it joined in 1991. Myanmar is also a member of the Optional Protocol to the CRC on the involvement of children in armed conflict. Article 38 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child specifically addresses children in armed conflict, requiring states to take all feasible measures to ensure protection and care for children affected by conflicts. Myanmar also accepted the UN Security Council Resolutions 1261 (1999), 1379 (2001), 1539 (2004), and 1998 (2011), which call for the protection of children in armed conflicts. The illegal junta military is nowhere near to abiding by these provisions. In addition, Security Council Ddemanded immediate end to violence in Myanmar, with the resolution No. 2669 in 2022. 


Military junta forces massacres more than 30 in Sagaing Region

Myanmar Now reported that military junta forces carried out a brutal attack on the village of Let Htoke Taw in Myinmu Township, Sagaing Region on 11 May, 2024, resulting in the slaughter of more than 30 civilians, approximately 40 miles west of Mandalay Region. Eyewitnesses reported that junta personnel, some in soldiers’ uniforms  while others in plainclothes, fatally shot 33 villagers and set fire to civilian homes, resulting in the death of an elderly woman trapped in her burning house. Residents recounted that the junta forces detained all men found in the village and executed them. Additionally, an elderly woman was shot dead in the street during the raid.

The assault extended to a monastery on the east side of the village, where junta forces entered around 5 am, searching for members of the People’s Defence Forces (PDF) of the National Unity Government (NUG). Witnesses described how approximately 50-60 innocent unarmed civilians taking shelter in the monastery were subjected to questioning and intimidation by the junta forces.

A survivor of the massacre, a 37-year-old man who hid under a bed in the monastery, recounted the terrifying ordeal. He witnessed the junta forces threatening and shooting men who refused to disclose information about the PDF. Despite the threats, some men managed to hide and survive the onslaught. Another survivor reported that the junta forces targeted women for information, warning villagers against supporting the PDF and threatening further violence against the village if resistance continued.

Witnesses stated that the junta forces also torched homes and contaminated a vital water source, leaving surviving villagers facing severe challenges in accessing drinking water.

According to a member of the PDF and the Let Htoke Taw People's Administration Team, the village has been repeatedly targeted by junta forces, with hundreds of households destroyed in previous attacks. The recent assault saw the destruction of makeshift homes erected to replace those previously demolished. The victims of the massacre were primarily civilians, underscoring the ruthless nature of the junta's actions against civilian populations.

The actions of the junta forces constitute a form of collective punishment, which is strictly prohibited by international law. These victims are civilians, not directly involved in the armed conflict, and are supposed to be protected at all costs according to the Geneva Conventions and their additional protocols. The Geneva Conventions, to which Myanmar is a state party, explicitly prohibit collective punishment, as well as attacks on civilians and civilian objects. The Additional Protocols further emphasize the protection of civilians and the distinction between combatants and non-combatants. The junta's actions are a clear violation of these international humanitarian law principles, and those responsible must be held accountable for their crimes.

At least 15 killed in junta airstrike on a monastery in Magway Region


Myanmar Now report that at least 15 people perished and several others sustained injuries in a junta’s airstrike on 9 May 2024, on a Buddhist monastery situated north of Kyaukhtu Town in Saw Township, Magway Region.

The aerial assault struck the Akyi Pan Pa Lun village, positioned within the rugged Ponedaung and Ponya mountain ranges of western Myanmar, approximately five miles north of Kyaukhtu. Following the attack, local administration team reported 10 fatalities and around 30 wounded.

Despite no recent hostilities between the junta soldiers and resistance forces in the vicinity, a resident recounted that a junta jet flew over the monastery twice before unleashing its bombardment. The strike directly targeted the religious property, the monastery. The monastery, constructed from wood and corrugated iron sheets, was razed to the ground, leaving behind charred remnants of the victims.

Dr. Kyi Soe Tun, a leader within the Saw administration team, indicated that the identities of the deceased remained unvarified due to the extent of the destruction. Communication lines in the area had been severed after the preceding attack in the morning, hindering rescue efforts compounded by ongoing junta aircraft activity overhead during the night. Dr. Kyi Soe Tun expressed concerns of potential future airstrikes in neighboring Chin State, which shares a border with Saw Township. The Yaw region, encompassing Saw, Gangaw, and Htilin townships, has emerged as a stronghold of anti-junta resistance since Myanmar's 2021 coup.

The incident is not an isolated event, as the military has frequently launched airstrikes targeting civilian infrastructure across the country. Notably, in November 2021, over 2,000 villagers were displaced following military helicopter attacks on PDF positions along the road linking Saw’s administrative center with Kyaukhtu. A report by the Nyan Lynn Thit Analytica research group documented nearly 936 civilian deaths and over 870 injuries in junta airstrikes since the coup. Last month, the United Nations Human Rights Council has called for member states to cease jet fuel exports to Myanmar to curtail the military's aerial assaults on civilian populations.

Myanmar military’s drone attacks kill woman in Kyaukphyu Township, Rakhine State

A series of drone attacks carried out by the junta in Rakhine State's Kyaukphyu Township on 8 May resulted in the death of one woman and injuries to around a dozen others, according to local sources. The attacks targeted the town of Sane, situated on the Kyaukphyu-Yangon highway, approximately 38 miles southeast of the township's administrative center, beginning around 8 am. A local resident, speaking anonymously, described witnessing eight drone bomb attacks targeting various public spaces, including a post office, a bus station, a hospital, and a vegetable market. The second bomb struck a teashop where a woman was selling tea, causing her death and injuring at least 10 others. Sane, located approximately 17 miles from Ramree, captured by the AA in March, has become a frequent target of shelling from a nearby junta tactical base. The AA currently controls several townships in Rakhine State and one in southern Chin State.

Local residents remaining in Sane expressed bewilderment over the attack, highlighting the absence of clashes in the area during that time. They pointed out of the junta's targeting of civilians and emphasized the importance of seeking refuge in bomb shelters during drone attacks. Despite their precautions, they expressed concerns over the uncertainty and danger posed by the military attacks.  


Human Rights Abuses

Myanmar: A Deadly Landscape for Journalists, Ranked Among the World's Worst for Press Freedom

The Irrawaddy reported that Myanmar remains a dangerous country for journalists with a significant risk of being tortured, jailed and murdered according to the Reporters Without Borders (RSF). RSF’s press freedom index, marking World Press Freedom Day on 3 May 2024, ranked Myanmar 171 among 180 countries. 

The country is the world’s second-worst jailer of journalists with the military raiding media offices, revoking publication licenses and arresting journalists in the wake of the 2021 coup. Many media outlets and most of the independent medias are operating in exile. The International Center for Not-For-Profit Law (ICNL) reported that by February this year, 206 journalists, including 31 females, from almost 100 media outlets in Myanmar had been detained by the junta since the 2021 coup. Of those, 147 journalists were released by the junta after serving an average of six months while 55 remain behind bars. Junta courts have handed journalists up to 20-year sentences, ignoring domestic and international law. The ICNL said three journalists have been killed in detention by the junta with RSF saying at least five journalists have been killed by the junta since the coup.

In February, junta soldiers detained by the Arakan Army confessed to involvement in the execution of seven Rakhine civilians, including a rapper and a Western News journalist. Western News on World Press Freedom Day called for action to be taken against those responsible for the death of Ko Phoe Thiha, also known as Ko Myat Thu Tun.

Myanmar junta closes hospital for employing protesters 

The Military junta shuttered a hospital in southeast Myanmar for hiring staff who oppose the military junta, according to the Radio Free Asia’s report. The report stated that military junta administrators ordered the private Aye Thandar hospital, in the Mon State capital of Mawlamyine, to close for three months. Military controlled Ministry of Health, sent a notice telling  the hospital to close from 8 May 2024.

The Civil Disobedience Movement, which at one time included more than 350,000 striking state employees erupted in opposition to military rule after a coup in 2021, when the generals ousted an elected government led by democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi. Doctors and nurses were at the forefront of the protests that swept the country in the weeks after the coup but  teachers, doctors, and other public employees were later  forced to make difficult economic decisions to secure their livelihoods. Many medical professionals have sought work at institutions opposed to the junta or providing healthcare to ethnic minority organizations battling the junta, sometimes making themselves a target in the process.

The junta’s controlled health minister, Thet Khaing Win, made a threat in annual Myanmar Private Hospitals Association ceremony on 8 May 2024 that private healthcare providers that failed to comply with business license rules would face action in accordance with the private health businesses law. Junta closed two hospitals this year in Yangon, both for two months.  Six hospitals in Mandalay, where doctors launched the Civil Disobedience Movement in 2021, were forced to close in 2022 after being accused of employing workers opposed to  the junta

US Commission Slams Myanmar’s Religious Freedom

The Irrawaddy News reported that Myanmar has again been listed as one of the world’s worst violators of religious freedom as places of worship are repeatedly destroyed by junta troops. The US Commission on International Religious Freedom’s annual report on 1 May 2024 includes Myanmar on its list of 17 countries of particular concern, alongside Afghanistan, China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Eritrea, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

The report said religious freedom in Myanmar continued to decline significantly in the last year. Since the 2021 coup, junta troops have destroyed nearly 200 religious buildings, including 85 churches in Chin State and 40 Buddhist monasteries, a nunnery, six churches and three mosques in Sagaing Region, the report stated. In 2023, the junta continued to target, occupy and destroy places of worship, particularly those belonging to religious minorities, it said.

The junta bombed and then occupied Christ the King Cathedral in Karenni (Kayah) State in November 2023, mirroring previous army occupations of Baptist churches in Chin State, the report added. The junta’s campaign of arson against villages has not spared Buddhist monasteries, despite junta boss Min Aung Hlaing’s attempts to promote himself as a protector of Buddhism and his military as representing the Buddhist majority. Observers said junta soldiers were following orders from Naypyitaw when they burned down Buddhist monasteries and churches in Chin and Karenni (Kayah) states and Magwe and Sagaing regions.

The US commission listed Myanmar as a country of particular concern in 2020 under the National League for Democracy government, citing the military’s crackdown on Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State. It called for the US government to engage with the pro-democracy opposition and for the US Congress to implement the Burma Act. The legislation was passed in December 2022 to authorize non-lethal aid to anti-junta forces, including justice and accountability mechanisms for the Rohingya and other minorities.

20 years added to Sagaing protest leader’s prison sentence

Myanmar Now report that a special court inside Monywa Prison in Sagaing Region sentenced prominent protest leader Wai Moe Naing to an additional 20 years behind bars on 10 May 2024, according to the Monywa People’s Strike Committee. Wai Moe Naing, who was arrested in April 2021 after being deliberately hit by a car while leading an anti-coup protest, has since faced a range of charges, from incitement and unlawful association to armed robbery, murder, and treason. This special court, mostly know is kangroo court run by the junta personnel and the victims do not have the right to enjoy fair trail before these courts.

Last week, a sentence was handed down for three charges—murder, abduction with intent to murder, and incitement—related to the killing of two police officers in Monywa in March 2021. The sentences imposed for the charges related to the killing of two police officers in Monywa in March 2021 are baseless and one-sided, as they were delivered without a fair and impartial trial, and thus lack any legal validity or credibility. These charges collectively carry a sentence of 42 years. However, the judge ruled that some of the sentences could be served concurrently, reducing the total to 20 years, according to Shin Thant, a central executive member of the Monywa People’s Strike Committee.

This sentencing comes almost a year after Wai Moe Naing was found guilty of high treason by the junta’s prison court, which added 20 years to the 34 years he was already serving for other charges. The latest court decision increases his total sentence length to 74 years. Another central executive member of the strike committee, who spoke to Myanmar Now, indicated that Wai Moe Naing might be transferred to another prison now that all 10 charges against him have been adjudicated.

Five other defendants—Kyaw Swar Win (also known as Tayoke Gyi), Than Naing Min, Kyaw Swe Win, Ye Min Thu, and Kyaw Naing Tun—received 20-year sentences for their alleged roles in the murder of the two police officers. Additionally, thirty others charged simultaneously with Wai Moe Naing were reportedly given two-year sentences. In a statement released on 10 May 2024, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) condemned the latest sentence against Wai Moe Naing, labeling it unjust due to the lack of evidence linking him to the murders. The AAPP also reported that there are currently 20,434 anti-coup activists detained by the junta, with 8,987 having received prison sentences.

Actions of Resistance Forces against the Junta

Myanmar Ethnic Armed Group Captures Junta Military Command, Takes Hundreds Prisoner in Rakhine State

Channel News Asia from Singapore reported that a Myanmar ethnic armed group, Arakan Army (AA) had captured a junta military command and taken hundreds of junta personnel prisoner in western Rakhine State on 6 May 2024, the latest blow to the military. Clashes have rocked Rakhine since the end of a humanitarian ceasefire in November last year. The junta forces still hold the state capital, Sittwe, but AA fighters have seized territory in surrounding districts, including bases on the border with India and Bangladesh. A video released by the AA's media channel said the group had captured "Military Operations Command 15 (MOC 15)" near the town of Buthidaung, around 90km north of Sittwe. The video did not say when its fighters had captured the site but local media have reported regular clashes around Buthidaung in recent days.

It is learnt that the junta troops had faced total defeat and surrendered to the AA. Images showed a long line of men, some wearing what appeared to be military uniforms, walking single file through a field. Some were in shorts, T-shirts and sandals while others were not wearing any footwear. Some shots showed women and children accompanying the men. One man with a bandage around his knee was limping and some were being carried in makeshift stretchers.  

Karenni resistance forces shoot down junta helicopter  

Myanmar Now reported that allied resistance forces in Karenni State shot down a junta helicopter in Hpasaung Township on 6 May 2024, according to an officer of the Karenni Army (KA). Col Phone Naing, the adjutant general of the KA, said that the incident occurred at 11 am of 6 May 2024. The aircraft may have been transporting junta personnel, he said.

Col. Phone Naing reported that a fighter jet dropped bombs on the area before the helicopter arrived, which was supposed to carry junta soilders. Further information about the incident and the helicopter’s passengers was not available at the time of reporting. Typically, helicopters have been used to airlift reinforcement troops to a site, transport supplies, or to evacuate junta personnel.

Resistance forces have not raided the crash site, which was reportedly located in an area in which no troops from either side were present. Clashes between Karenni resistance forces and the junta forces were ongoing in Hpasawng town as of 6 May afternoon.

Activities of the National Unity Government

NUG Announces Media Position on World Press Freedom Day

On 3 May 2024, in observance of World Press Freedom Day, the National Unity Government issued a statement reaffirming its staunch opposition to any form of intimidation or harassment against media personnel. Citing the foundational principles of the Federal Democratic Charter, particularly Article (42), Part (1), which upholds the protection of media freedom and the right to access and disseminate information, the NUG emphasized its commitment to thwarting threats against journalists and safeguarding their well-being. The statement underscored the vital role of independent, responsible, and transparent news outlets, including regional ethnic media, and pledged support to uphold their integrity.

NUG Provides Assistance to Youth Fleeing Military Conscription

U Nay Phone Latt, spokesman for the Prime Minister’s Office of the National Unity Government (NUG), disclosed during a press conference on 30 April 2024, the third anniversary of the NUG’s formation, that young individuals seeking to escape forced conscription from the Military Council are being connected with ethnic groups and assisted in finding refuge in liberated areas. Citing the military junta’s forced conscription, which has prompted approximately 15,000 individuals to seek refuge with the NUG between 30 March and the present, U Nay Phone Latt noted that the majority of these individuals are men between the ages of 18 and 35. He explained that the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management (MOHADM) of the NUG is coordinating for this assistance operation, utilizing a Telegram Hotline to directly communicate with those in need. Furthermore, U Nay Phone Latt highlighted that those who seek assistance include parents and relatives. He noted that this assistance initiative is conducted in collaboration with ethnic resistance forces, aiming to provide refuge and support to fleeing youth.

55 Online Schools Granted Extension as Interim Basic Education Public Schools

The National Unity Government’s Ministry of Education announced on 2 May 2024 that 55 online schools meeting accreditation policies have had their approvals extended, designating them as interim basic education public schools. Schools that satisfactorily complied with the 11 accreditation policies and information technology security procedures have received recognition based on the analysis and evaluation department’s assessment. Meanwhile, the Ministry is collaborating with on-ground public education schools and online platforms to ensure continued education for students deprived of their right to education.

National Unity Government Marks Three-Year Anniversary with Strategic Activities of More Than 60% Territorial Control by Revolutionary Alliance Forces

On 30 April 2024, the National Unity Government held its three-year anniversary press conference, highlighting significant territorial gains and strategic advances. In the military domain, the NUG and ethnic revolutionary forces have secured control over more than 60 percent of Myanmar, including five border trade cities. They have successfully targeted key military installations such as Nay Pyi Taw, Pyin Oo Lwin, and weapons factories. In the administrative sphere, the formation of the People’s Defense Force (PDF) and People’s Security Team (PST) has bolstered security in NUG-controlled areas, preventing power vacuums. Complementing this effort, People’s Administrative Teams (PAT) and judicial offices ensure law enforcement, while relevant ministries swiftly deliver public services.

NUG Prime Minister Emphasizes Fiscal Accountability

Prime Minister Mann Win Khaing Than stressed the importance of maintaining accurate records regarding fund utilization, during the Interim Local Public Administration Development Central Committee meeting on 2 May 2024. While emphasizing the need to safeguard public interests and ensure balance, the Prime Minister underscored the imperative of proper and effective management and oversight of funds acquired through tax collection. He emphasized the criticality of maintaining meticulous records concerning fund usage. Furthermore, the Prime Minister urged stringent measures to curb self-use and misuse of public funds. He emphasized the importance of a seamless transition period, emphasizing the responsibility and accountability of government officials in all financial matters under their purview during transfers of authority.

Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun Calls for Global Support to End Military Dictatorship and Restore Peace in Myanmar at UN General Assembly

Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to the United Nations, delivered a poignant speech on May 2, 2024, at the 78th session of the UN General Assembly under Agenda Item 14: Culture of Peace. In his address, the Ambassador praised the efforts of the UNAOC and UNESCO in promoting interreligious and intercultural dialogue and reaffirmed Myanmar's alignment with ASEAN's stance on the matter. Highlighting the 25th anniversary of the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace, he expressed concern over the deteriorating global peace and security environment, exacerbated by geopolitical competition, protracted conflicts, and military coups. The Ambassador emphasized the importance of the upcoming Summit of the Future as a critical opportunity to rebuild public trust in global governance and redouble efforts towards achieving peace. The Ambassador condemned the junta's obstruction of humanitarian aid and the atrocities amounting to war crimes and crimes against humanity. Emphasizing the urgent need for international action, he urged countries to cease supporting the military junta to prevent further loss of innocent lives.

Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun Calls for International Support to Protect Myanmar's Youth and Restore Development at UN Commission on Population and Development

Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to the United Nations, delivered a poignant speech on May 2, 2024, at the General Discussion of the Fifty-seventh Session of the Commission on Population and Development. In his address, the Ambassador praised the efforts of the UNFPA and acknowledged the progress made by member states in implementing the Programme of Action (PoA) of the ICPD. He underscored the uneven progress among countries, particularly those in conflict or low-income situations, and stressed the need for appropriate actions to further implement the PoA. Emphasizing that human beings are central to sustainable development, the Ambassador highlighted the intrinsic link between population and development, asserting that advancements in one can catalyze improvements in the other.

The Ambassador expressed grave concerns over the deterioration of both population and development aspects in Myanmar since the attempted military coup in 2021. He detailed the severe impacts on poverty, gender equality, reproductive health, international migration, and education, citing alarming statistics and personal stories. He condemned the military junta's actions, which have led to widespread human rights violations and a collapse of essential services. He called for robust international support for the National Unity Government (NUG) and Ethnic Resistance Organizations to end the military dictatorship and build a federal democratic union. Highlighting the appeal of young people for a better future, he urged the global community to protect Myanmar's youth and support their efforts for a peaceful and prosperous nation.

Responeses from the International community

Myanmar Anti-junta Ethnic Group Leader Calls for Japan’s Help with Democracy, Humanitarian Aid

The leader of an ethnic revolutionary group fighting against the Myanmar junta’s military expressed his hope that Japan would help his country establish a federal democracy and create a constitution, during a interview held on 15 May with The Japan News and The Yomiuri Shimbun. Padoh Saw Kwe Htoo Win, chairman of the Karen National Union (KNU), also called for the Japanese government and people to help internally displaced people in Myanmar, whose numbers have reached 3 million due to the civil war. In an interview in Tokyo, the KNU leader expressed the desire to end military rule and transition towards a better nation founded on federalism. Also participating in the interview were the NUG Health Minister Zaw Wai Soe and Chin National Front (CNF) General Secretary Salai Thla Hei. The KNU chair said he had met a Japanese Foreign Ministry official during his trip. He asked for support for the daily lives of internally displaced people. The KNU chair stated that transitional justice mechanism is needed to be created to ensure that the military is held accountable for the crimes it has committed against civilians.   

Hun Sen requests video meeting with State Counsellor H.E. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

Cambodia’s Senate President Hun Sen has asked Myanmar’s military junta leader Min Aung Hlaing to consider organising a video conference between himself and State Counsellor H.E. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi  for the purpose of paying an “online visit”. Hun Sen made the request during a 7 May 2024 video conference with the military terrrorist leader Min Aung Hlaing. The meeting was held to share updates on recent developments in Myanmar.

He stated that he has once again requested junta’s Min Aung Hlaing to consider holding a video conference between arbitrarily arrested Myanmar’s State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and himself, mentioning that he and State Counsellor have been colleagues for many years and have discussed numerous ASEAN affairs. During the meeting, Hun Sen also stressed the importance of implementing the ASEAN five-point consensus, and hoped that the implementation of the consensus would contribute to the peace finding process.

Myanmar Military Actions Spark Fears of Imminent Rohingya Bloodbath, UN Expert Urges Immediate Global Response

Thousands of innocent lives will be lost if the international community fails to respond to ominous signs of another Rohingya bloodbath in Rakhine State, warned Tom Andrews, the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar. He stated that once again, the world seems to be failing a desperate people in their hour of peril while a hate-driven unnatural disaster unfolds in real time in Myanmar’s Rakhine State. Andrews noted that, despite the military-imposed internet shutdown making it challenging to get information from Northern Rakhine, alarming and credible reports of killings, enforced disappearances, and widespread arson are emerging. Satellite imagery reveals the burning of large parts of Buthidaung town, with reports indicating that tens of thousands of Rohingya are being displaced. The Special Rapporteur emphasized that the information already emerging from northern Rakhine State more than warrants an immediate emergency response by the international community.

Joint statement by Japan, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States following their visit to the Rohingya Refugee Camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh

Several countries, including the United States, Japan, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland, have issued a statement emphasizing the urgent need for sustained international support to protect and save the lives of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. They highlighted that the crisis, now in its seventh year, continues to impact the vulnerable population while funding from the international community has dramatically decreased.

According to the statement, in 2023 alone, the Joint Response Plan reported a funding gap of USD 301 million. This reduction in funding has led to distressing adjustments in assistance packages, including reductions in food rations, exacerbating food insecurity and increasing vulnerability to exploitation.

The statement commended Bangladesh's dedication to hosting one million refugees but stressed the imperative for action to ensure that Rohingya refugees and host communities receive the support and protection they deserve. Observations during their visit revealed that Rohingyas are bearing the brunt of decreasing humanitarian resources, with nearly half a million Rohingyas soon to be exposed to harsh weather conditions as fire and monsoon season approaches.

The countries warned that if insufficient funding continues, over 150,000 individuals will be unable to access essential services, including food, safe drinking water, shelter, protection, and healthcare. Additionally, nearly 100,000 households may resort to collecting firewood instead of using Liquid Petroleum Gas, potentially leading to the extraction of 14,000 tons of firewood monthly, causing deforestation and negative environmental impacts.

The statement insisted on reversing the trend of reduced funding. Efforts to promote self-reliance and livelihood opportunities for Rohingya are deemed crucial to reduce their full aid dependency, for their well-being, and that of their host communities. Following their visit to Cox’s Bazar, the United States announced a contribution of USD 7.6 million, Japan contributed USD 2.6 million, and Norway announced a contribution of NOK 6.5 million. Additionally, Sweden and Switzerland expressed political support for the Joint Statement and the 2024 Joint Response Plan.




Date: 15 May 2024

Permanent Mission of Myanmar to the United Nations, New York



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