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Bi-weekly Update on the Current Situation in Myanmar (15-05-2024 to 31-05-2024)


Bi-weekly Update on the Current Situation in Myanmar


(15-05-2024 to 31-05-2024)


(40) months 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 tremendously as a result of its inhumane and disproportionate acts.


As of 31 May 2024, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), the military has ruthlessly killed 5,173 people and arrested another 26,799 people. 20,543 people remain in detention and 167 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.


According to the data collected by the AAPP, during the period spanning from 1 May to 31, 2024, (70)  women and (128) men; (198) people in total were killed by the junta across the country. The identities of those who have been verified. Among (198) deceased, there are (19) children who were under the age of 18 and (32) people who were 60 years and over. Moreover, among (198) fatalities, Sagaing Region records the highest number of deaths with (64) people and the number of people killed by the junta’s artillery strikes was the highest with (58).


In addition, within a span of 1 month, (4) women and (35) men; (39) people in total were arrested in relation to the Spring Revolution and still detained by the junta across the country. Among (39) arrests, Sagaing Region records the highest number of arrests with (8) people. Likewise, during the stated period, (11) women and (31) men; (42) people in total were given prison sentences under specious charges by courts subservient to the junta, and are still detained in prisons across the country, with (2) people who are under the age of 18. Among (42) sentences, Sagaing Region records the highest number of convictions with (28) people, and there are (14) people who are sentenced to 10 years and over 10 in prisons including an individual with a maximum imprisonment of 52 years and (1) person sentenced to life imprisonment.


According to AAPP, between 1 May and 30 May 2024, junta airstrikes killed 52 people across the country, including 22 women, 30 men, 6 children under 18, and 9 people over 60. The identities of the victims have been verified, with the Magway Region recording the highest number of deaths at 22. Additionally, during the same period, artillery strikes by the junta resulted in 52 fatalities nationwide, comprising 29 women, 23 men, 6 children under 18, and 9 people over 60. The identities of these victims have also been verified, with Rakhine State having the highest death toll at 13.


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


Military failing to find Sufficient Recruits Despite Forced Conscription and is Pushing the Innocent Civilians to the Armed Conflicts


Junta’s Defence Minister Tin Aung San urged officers under his command to intensify efforts to boost military manpower during a meeting on 27 May 2024, according to a military council statement. As the chair of the military council’s central recruitment committee, Tin Aung San also emphasized that serious action would be taken against any eligible person who resists conscription, although he did not specify the actions.


The military council has established training centres to accommodate the first two batches of new recruits, in line with plans announced earlier this year to train conscripts in batches of up to 5,000. However, Tin Aung San noted that the military has faced challenges in meeting its recruitment targets. He instructed officers to take legal action against anyone resisting conscription and to prepare for recruiting the target number of recruits for the third batch. The military junta is pushing the innocent civilians to the armed conflicts.


Some locals from Mandalay reported that the military had begun signing up conscripts for the third batch in Mandalay and were pressuring families to come forward with eligible members. A resident of Chanayethazan Township stated that his neighbors had been pressured to hand their son over to recruiters. The local administrator personally visited their house, informing them that their son was on the list and needed to undergo a medical examination. When the family said their son was traveling, the administrator threatened consequences if he didn’t return within two weeks and forced them to sign a pledge.


A 22-year-old from Aungmyay Tharzan Township, Mandalay who was on the selection list for recruitment, said authorities had subjected his family to pressure and surveillance, repeatedly checking whether he was home. In Yedashe Township, Bago Region, officers pressured a family to volunteer a substitute recruit since eligible members were working abroad. Men in the eligible age range had to flee their homes and hide at farms when officials came at night.


Mass Murders, War Crimes, and Crimes Against Humanity Committed by the Myanmar Military


Massacres Committed by the Military


An independent, non-partisan research organization, Nyan Lynn Thit, recently released a report on the military massacres that occurred during the first quarter of 2024, from January to April. According to this report, within a span of 4 months, there were at least 46 incidents of massacres carried out by the junta forces, resulting in a total of 369 civilian deaths. The military conducted massacres through airstrikes, column, artillery, simultaneous use of airstrike and artillery as well as other forms. It is provided as follows:

Massacre by Airstrikes


Between January to April 2024, airstrikes carried out by the military caused the highest number of massacre incidents and civilian deaths. At least 23 incidents occurred during the said period, resulting in the deaths of 168 civilians. These incidents were concentrated in Shan (North) (6), Rakhine (4), Sagaing (4), Kachin (2), Karen (2) , Karenni (Kayah) (2) , Chin (2), and Bago (1). These aerial attacks resulted in (40) civilian deaths in Rakhine, (34) in Shan(North), (32) in Sagaing, (18) in Karen, (12) in Chin, (11) in Kachin, (11) in Karenni (Kayah), and (10) in Bago. As the highest number of civilian deaths, (22) civilians including (9) children were killed due to an aerial attack by the Military in Thar Dar village in Minbya township, Rakhine on 18 March, 2024.


Massacre by the Military Column


In this category, the military junta and its affiliate militia Pyu Saw Htee committed various atrocities such as the arrest, torture, and killing of civilians near the villages where conflicts happened with the People's Defence Forces. At least 11 massacre incidents occurred in said period through the Military Column, resulting in the deaths of 91 civilians. These incidents were concentrated in Sagaing (5), Karenni (Kayah) (2), Bago (1), Magway (1), Mandalay (1), and Shan (South) (1). These incidents resulted in (52) civilian deaths in Sagaing, (13) in Karenni (Kayah), (10) in Magway, (6) in Bago, (5) in Mandalay and (5) in Shan (South). It includes the incident in which (19) civilians were killed by the Military in Wuntho township, Sagaing on 7 January 2024, as the highest number of civilian deaths. In addition, (5) Rohingyas in Ah Bu Gyar Village, Tha Yet Oke Village Track, Maungdaw, Rakhine were arrested and killed on 17 April, 2024.


Massacre by Artillery Shelling


The military junta's use of artillery led to numerous casualties, including children, and destruction of civilian homes. At least (6) massacres occurred in the first quarter of 2024 due to artillery, resulting in the deaths of (52) civilians. These incidents were concentrated in Rakhine (2), Kachin (2), Karen (1), Shan (South) (1), leading to (30) civilians died in Rakhine, (10) in Kachin, (7) in Shan (South) and (5) in Karen. In this category, at least (22) civilians were killed due to the military junta’s artillery attack that targeted the Market near Korean port, Sittwe, Rakhine with the highest number of civilian deaths.


Other forms of Massacre


The military junta also murdered civilians through other forms. At least (3) massacres occurred from January to April 2024. These incidents were concentrated in Mandalay, Shan (North), and Shan (South), resulting in deaths of 5 civilians in Madalay, 5 in Shan (North) and 12 in Shan (South). On 21 January, 2024, in south quarter, Mongmit, Shan (North), 5 of 6 civilians fleeing from airstrike were shot dead by the military. On 27 January, 2024, 5 young men from Taungtha township who went to Myingyan were arrested and killed by the Military at night. On 4 February, 2024, the military murdered 12 Pa-O men in Hsihseng township, Shan (South).    

 

Massacre by Simultaneous Use of Air and Artillery Strikes


The military conducted both air and artillery strikes at the same time during the battle by targeting wards and villages. There were at least (2) incidents of massacres due to simultaneous use of air and artillery shellings, resulting in the deaths of (31) civilians. These incidents were concentrated in Sagaing and Shan (North), resulting in (21) and (10) civilian deaths respectively. In Sagaing, (10) men and (11) women were killed by the military using both air and artillery strikes during the battle in Kyaung Taik village, Kale Township, Sagaing.


Military Junta’s affiliates militias, Pyu Saw Htee, torture, murder civilians in Sagaing’s Pale Township


According to the Myanmar Now, four villagers who were among 24 abducted by the military junta-backed Pyu Saw Htee militia in Sagaing Region’s Pale Township were tortured to death on 21 May 2024. It is stated that Pyu Saw Htee militias based in In Ma Htee, a village about 12 miles west of the town of Pale, rounded up residents of the nearby village of Taung Ywar Thit as they were tending their fields and held them for nearly a week. While most of the villagers were released on 27 May, four were reported dead.


Member of Taung Ywar Thit’s anti-junta People’s Administration Team reported that those who were freed were weak and exhausted, having been badly beaten and stabbed in their hands and elbows. The women were tortured as severely as the men. The dead were identified as Kyaw Khine, 45, Tint Zaw Oo, 24, Tun Hlaing, 30, and Tun Naing Lin, 22. According to survivors, all four were killed on May 22, a day after being taken into custody.


Survivors detailed that they were separated into two groups: eight held in shackles and the rest detained in two cells. Each captive was interrogated separately. One survivor recounted that Kyaw Khine, one of the shackled detainees, died almost immediately after his interrogation. He was being put back in his shackles when he died. His right hand was crushed, and his elbow was also broken. His chest was covered with bruises and there was blood coming out of his mouth. He told me to tell his wife and brother-in-law to take care of his children. I said that if I didn’t die during interrogation, I would give them his message. Then they dragged away his body like a dog and threw it on a cart.


According to those who were freed, they were asked if they were involved in any local resistance groups and whether they knew about the location of landmines. They didn’t ask me much, but they kept hitting me all over the head. They also stabbed my hand, piercing it right through. When they were released, they were warned not to speak to the media about how they were treated or about the four who were murdered. We don’t dare stay here anymore. We’re worried that they will come back. I can’t even sleep at night. I’m just scared and shaking. On 24 May, the junta released a statement denying that more than 20 civilians from Taung Ywar Thit had been abducted. There have been no arrests or detentions of innocent people, the statement said.    


Junta forces shoot at displaced people in Kachin State, killing one


Myanmar Now media report that, a civilian was killed and 26 were injured on 26 May 2024 when soldiers opened fire on a group of displaced people near Hkar Shi Village in Waingmaw Township, Kachin State.  A junta infantry unit stationed in the village shot at a crowd of around 120 people - mostly banana plantation workers, as well as three monks, who were attempting to move to a safer location.  


The military junta has not released any statement addressing this incident. Rescue workers identified the deceased man as 29 years-old Chit Oo Maung. Six men and two women who were critically injured in the unilateral shooting have been transferred to the Myitkyina Hospital for treatment.

 

The junta garrison stationed at the LIB 58 base in the town of Waingmaw, which remains under junta control, has been shelling surrounding villages during the ongoing battles. Thousands of Wingmaw Township residents have been displaced and at least 500 displaced civilians are taking shelter in Lel Kone Ward in Myitkyina.


Junta Military Attack on Kyauktaw Township Hospital Leaves Casualties, Infrastructural Devastation


the military junta unleashed an indiscriminate aerial assault on Wei Gyi Dauk Hospital in Kyauktaw Township, resulting in fatalities and extensive destruction to the medical facility. The Ministry of Health of the National Unity Government revealed on 17 May 2024 that the attack inflicted injuries upon 20 medical staff, patients, and civilians awaiting treatment. Among them, 5 sustained severe injuries, and tragically, one horse lost its life. The Ministry condemned the deliberate targeting of hospitals and healthcare infrastructure, citing violations of international conventions, UN resolutions, and humanitarian laws. Emphasizing the gravity of the situation, it urged the international community to address the ongoing military junta’s terrorist assaults on Myanmar’s healthcare sector and innocent civilians. They called for swift and effective action to prevent further atrocities and extend empathy to the suffering people of Myanmar.  


Human Rights Abuses


No Justice for the Physical and Sexual Assaults Against LGBTIQ+ People


An LGBTIQ+ political prisoner at Tharyarwaddy Prison in Bago Region was seriously injured when a convicted murderer attempted to rape and assault them, according to a recent report by the Political Prisoners Network (PPNM) – Myanmar. In the first week of February 2024, 24-year-old Ye Yint Ko, known as Ye Ye, was attacked by Pyuu Gyi, who is serving a life sentence for robbery and murder. Ye Ye managed to fend off the attack but sustained serious head injuries from a kosh made with pebbles that Pyuu Gyi was carrying.


Following the attack, Ye Ye required nine stitches in the head at the prison hospital. Despite the severity of the assault, the prison authorities took no significant action against Pyuu Gyi, merely reassigning him to disciplinary duties. This response suggests that the prison authorities are condoning criminal behavior, including sexual exploitation and assault, according to Thaik Tun Oo, a PPNM Committee member. Thaik Tun Oo stated that Pyuu Gyi, who holds the position of supervisor within the ward and possesses the keys to the prison cells, abused his authority to carry out the assault.


Ye Ye was arrested by the junta in September 2021 and subsequently sentenced to 96 years in prison under various legal provisions, including Section 50 (i), Section 51 (c), Section 54, Section 17 (a), and other firearm-related sections. He was transferred from Insein Prison to Tharyarwaddy Prison, where he is being held in Section A. According to members of the PPNM Steering Committee, LGBTIQ+ prisoners, including younger LGBTIQ+ political prisoners, are targeted and frequently forced to commit sexual acts to gratify other prisoners. This occurs despite the prison manual stipulating that LGBTIQ+ youths under the age of 21 must be segregated from older inmates.


Tharyarwaddy Prison houses more than 3,000 inmates, of whom 1,800 are political prisoners. Since the military coup, political prisoners have faced oppression, torture, and even instances of murder at the hands of prison authorities. The Political Prisoners Network – Myanmar was established by political prisoners and members of the LGBTIQ+ community to systematically investigate, monitor, and expose instances of murder, sexual abuse, and corruption by prison authorities, as well as judicial biases that often go unnoticed by the public.


Junta Authorities Extend Sentences of Political Prisoners in Myitkyina Prison Following Deadly Crackdown


Junta authorities have added three and a half years to the sentences of 13 political prisoners in Myitkyina Prison after a deadly crackdown on unrest, according to the Political Prisoners’ Network-Myanmar (PPNM). The advocacy group reported that the prisoners have been held in solitary confinement since the violence erupted inside the prison last month.


Thaik Tun Oo, a member of PPNM’s central executive committee, told Myanmar Now that the prisoners have been held in solitary since 19 April and were only allowed to shower after spending a month alone in their cells. The crackdown followed a riot in the prison, during which prison officers killed at least five prisoners and injured several others. On 29 April 2024, the 13 prisoners in solitary confinement were sentenced to an additional three and a half years for "destruction of public property," according to PPNM. Two of the prisoners, Aung Kyaw Zin and Arkar Soe San, were already serving seven-year sentences on terrorism charges related to their anti-junta resistance activities. The others are also believed to have been involved in armed opposition to the junta.


Former political prisoners report that those in solitary confinement are forced to remain in dark, poorly ventilated cells for prolonged periods, are shackled, and are routinely beaten. Earlier this year, PPNM claimed that some detainees in Kalay Prison in Sagaing Region had been held in solitary confinement for more than 700 days. Following this statement, the prisoners had their chains removed and were sent back to their respective wards, according to Thaik Tun Oo. Since last month, all prison visits at Myitkyina Prison have been suspended, and additional security measures have been implemented, including a heavier police presence and the closure of roads leading to the prison, according to an inside source.


Several prison officials, including head warden Kyaw Myint Sein, junior warden Kyaw Min Oo, and prison doctor Tun Tun Aung, were questioned in court regarding the 18 April riot. It is unclear if any disciplinary action was taken against them. According to the most recent figures from the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, at least 20,479 anti-coup activists remain in junta captivity since the military seized power in February 2021.  


Actions of Resistance Forces against the Junta


Anti-junta forces seize, attack a town in Chin State in coordinated campaign


According to the Myanmar Now’s report, resistance fighters seized a junta base in Tedim Township in Chin State on early morning of 28 May 2024, capturing nine police. A spokesperson for the People’s Defence Forces of Zoland (PDF Zoland)—part of the Chin Brothers alliance—reported that they and their allies launched the attack on junta bases north of Tedim at around 4 a.m., taking over an outpost known as the Micro Tower Base later that day. He also mentioned that a Chin Brothers fighter was killed and four were injured.


During the Chin Brothers’ assaults, the junta air force conducted airstrikes on Tedim. A member of the Tedim Township people’s administration team (PAT) reported that junta’s fighter jets carried out about 12 airstrikes between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m., indiscriminately firing on the town and attacked including the civilian properties.


Reports from March 2023 by the junta-controlled general administration department indicated that Tedim comprised around 2,300 households with a population of just over 15,000. Located at the intersection of three roads in northern Chin State, Tedim leads to neighbouring Sagaing Region and the India-Myanmar border. It is also the site of the Myanmar army’s Infantry Battalion (IB) 269 base.


Chin resistance forces seize another town near Myanmar-India border


The Chin National Army (CNA) announced the capture of Cikha, a small town near the Myanmar-India border in Tonzang Township, northern Chin State, on 21 May 2024. The group revealed that it had been engaged in combat with junta forces in the area since the second week of May and was pursuing its efforts to seize control of the township’s administrative center.


CNA spokesperson Salai Htet Ni declared that they had completely captured the Cikha camp and said that there are no longer any junta troops in Cikha. He further disclosed that Chin resistance forces had already seized the police station and an army camp in Tonzang, approximately 50 miles south of Cikha, but were still engaged in battles with junta soldiers in the town. To prevent Tonzang from falling into the hands of the CNA, the military junta conducted multiple airstrikes on the town, including nine on 20 May alone, as stated by Salai Htet Ni. According to the anti-junta Tonzang Township People’s Administration Team (PAT), the airstrikes persisted on 21 May 2024.


Situated in a mountainous area on the road to India, Tonzang is home to approximately 800 households, while Cikha has around 200. According to resistance sources, the Zomi Revolutionary Army, an ethnic armed group aligned with the regime, has been collaborating with junta troops in Tonzang. In the recent clashes, two Chin resistance fighters were killed, six others were injured, and two junta policemen were captured, added the sources.The military’s indiscriminative airstrikes have displaced more than 8,000 civilians from Tonzang, Cikha, and nearby villages, as reported by the Tonzang Township PAT.


Resistance forces have gained control of several towns in Chin State, including Rihkhawdar, Lalengpi, Rezua, and Kyin Dway, while others abandoned by the junta, such as M’kuiimnu, Hnaring, Webul‌a, and Surkhua, are also under their control. In the southern part of the state, the Arakan Army (AA)—recently renamed the Arakha Army—has maintained control of Paletwa Township since the beginning of the year.


Resistance forces have also secured sections of the border with India, both in Chin State and Sagaing Region.


NUG Forces Capture Myo Thit in Sagaing Division


The Ministry of Defense of the National Unity Government announced that the capture of Myo Thit in Tamu Township, Sagaing Division. The town, previously held by the terrorist junta’s ally Shanni and Pyu Saw Htee militia, was attacked starting on 7 May 2024. By the morning of 11 May, revolutionary forces had overrun the enemy camps and taken control of the city.  During the operation, 21 individuals, including military council’s police officers, surrendered to the democratic forces. The forces seized 29 various small arms, 12 60mm mortars, 5 Energa rifle-launched grenades, 1 claymore mine, 3 station jammers, and 34 casings and bullets. The operation was a joint effort involving Tamu District Battalion-2, Special Operations Battalion-9, the Kuki National Army (KNA-B), and the National Liberation Army (NLA).

Activities of the National Unity Government


NUG Expresses Condolences on Passing of KIA Military Chief-of-Staff


The National Unity Government (NUG) released a statement on 14 May  2024 expressing sorrow and condolences on the passing of Lt-Gen Ruhkyau Hkawng Lum, the Military Chief-of-Staff of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and the commander of NUG’s Military Region 1. Lt-Gen Ruhkyau Hkawng Lum passed away at around 6:23 pm on 13 May 2024. The statement honored Lt-Gen Ruhkyau Hkawng Lum as an invaluable commander of the revolution. It highlighted that the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO/KIA) is one of NUG’s closest allies and acknowledged Lt-Gen Lum’s significant contributions and leadership in the revolutionary movement for the people and the country.  


NUG Ministers Meet with Former UN Special Rapporteur in Seoul to Discuss Myanmar’s Human Rights Situation  


On 20 May 2024, the National Unity Government’s (NUG) Union Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Daw Zin Mar Aung, and Union Minister of Planning, Finance, and Investment, H.E. U Tin Tun Naing met with Ms. Yang Hee Lee, a member of the Special Advisory Council on Myanmar (SAC-M) and former United  Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Rights, in Seoul, Korea. According to the statement of the Representative Office of the NUG in the Republic of Korea, the meeting involved an open and friendly exchange of views on the current human rights situation in Myanmar and the ongoing Spring Revolution of the people of Myanmar. The discussion highlighted the challenges faced by the people of Myanmar and the efforts of the NUG to address these issues.


NUG Ministers Meet with Korean Parliamentarians to Discuss Humanitarian Aid and Support for Myanmar


On 20 May 2024, Union Ministers from the National Unity Government (NUG) met with Korean parliamentarians to discuss ongoing support for Myanmar. During the meeting, Korean parliamentarian Lee Yong-sun pledged to urge the Korean government to provide humanitarian aid while maintaining its policy of not recognizing the terrorist Military Council. Union Minister for Foreign Affairs Daw Zin Mar Aung and Union Minister of Finance and Investment U Tin Tun Naing of the NUG met with members of Korean Parliament, Honourable Lee Yong-sun, Honourable Seo Young-seok, Honourable Lee Hak-young, Honourable Yong Hye-in, and Professor Park Eun-hong of Sungkonghoe University. Honourable Lee Yong-sun reaffirmed that the Korean government’s stance against recognizing the military council remains unchanged. He emphasized that the Korean parliament will continue to monitor the situation and advocate for humanitarian aid and progressive actions from the Korean government. The Korean parliamentarians also committed to supporting the development of Myanmar’s democratic system following its liberation from the military coup. Daw Zin Mar Aung provided an update on the current situation in Myanmar, highlighting the military council’s weakening position and advances of the people’s revolutionary. She discussed the expanding area controlled by revolutionary forces, the growing NUG’s political, military, and financial cooperation with ethnic organizations, and the bottom- up construction of a federal democratic syste.

 

 NUG Human Rights Minister Discusses Prosecution of Military Council with New Zealand Legal Experts


On 10 May 2024, the Ministry of Human Rights of the National Unity Government announced that Union Minister U Aung Myo Min met with legal experts in New Zealand to explore prosecuting the terrorist Military Council under universal jurisdiction. During the meeting, they discussed the ongoing International Court of Justice (ICJ) proceedings involving Myanmar, the possibility of transferring the case to the International Criminal Court (ICC), and the potential for taking action against the military junta in New Zealand under universal jurisdiction.


Union Minister U Aung Myo Min sought recommendations on the universal jurisdiction legal system, the methods to sue the terrorist military council in New Zealand, and the necessary information and documents to be prepared. The legal experts assured continued support and guidance. The Union Minister met with former New Zealand Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey Palmer and former ICJ Justice Sir Kenneth Keith, who provided their insights and pledged ongoing assistance.


Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun Highlights Setbacks in SDG Financing Due to Military Coup at 2024 ECOSOC Session


On 16 May, 2024, Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to the United Nations, delivered an intervention at the 2024 ECOSOC Operational Activities for Development Segment. Addressing the theme of "Means of Implementation: Financing the SDGs," Ambassador underscored the importance of Integrated National Financing Frameworks (INFFs) in achieving sustainable development priorities. He highlighted Myanmar's commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the significant strides made with the support of UNDP in mobilizing domestic and international financing. However, the severe setbacks caused by the 2021 illegal military coup, noting a 42% drop in foreign investments and stagnation in financial sector reforms, he said. The Ambassador also pointed out the adverse impact on microfinance institutions and the plight of millions of internally displaced persons and those living below the poverty line.


Ambassador emphasized that the military junta is the primary obstacle to achieving the SDGs in Myanmar, causing widespread economic, social, and political instability. He called for concerted efforts to restore peace and stability. He reiterated that eradicating the military dictatorship and establishing a federal democratic union are crucial for regaining progress towards the 2030 Agenda Implementation.


Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun Advocates for Peace and Compassion at International Day of Vesak Commemoration


Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, delivered a statement on 20 May, 2024, at the Commemoration of the International Day of Vesak in New York. Ambassador highlighted Vesak Day's significance as a time for Buddhists worldwide to reflect on compassion and happiness for all beings.


Against the backdrop of global conflicts and environmental challenges, Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun emphasized the relevance of Buddha's teachings on tolerance, compassion, mutual respect, and humanity. He stressed the importance of integrating the Four Noble Truths—suffering, its cause, its cessation, and the path to its cessation—into daily life, noting their resonance with the current situation in Myanmar, where the military junta's actions have led to profound suffering. Ambassador underscored the urgent need for peace and stability in Myanmar and globally. He concluded by extending wishes of good health and happiness to all members of the international community.  


Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun's Address at the Security Council Arria-formula Meeting on Myanmar: Urgent Call for International Action


Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to the United Nations, delivered a statement on United Nations Security Council’s Arria-formula Meeting on Myanmar convened by the Permanent Mission of the United Kingdom on 29 May 2024. Expressing deep gratitude to the organizers and Ms. Lucia Elmi of UNICEF for her insightful briefing, Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun highlighted the dire humanitarian crisis unfolding in Myanmar. He emphasized the heartbreaking loss of youth futures due to the ongoing military junta’s atrocities, including widespread displacement, destruction of property, and severe human rights violations affecting millions across the country.


The Ambassador underscored the urgent need for unhindered humanitarian assistance to over 18.6 million people, including 6 million children, currently in need. He condemned the junta’s systemic violence and called for international solidarity to stop the flow of arms and financial support to the military junta. Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun urged the UN Security Council to adopt robust measures, including referral to the ICC, to ensure accountability for crimes against humanity and war crimes committed by the military junta. He concluded with a appeal for concerted international action to restore peace, safeguard Myanmar’s youth, and pave the way for a democratic future.


Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun Urges UN Action to Protect Civilians Amid Global Conflicts and Myanmar Crisis


Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to the United Nations, delivered a speech at the United Nations Security Council Open Debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict On 22 May, 2024. In his address, Ambassador Tun underscored the alarming trend of prolonged conflicts, violence, and military coups worldwide, emphasizing their devastating impacts on civilians. He reported a significant increase in civilian casualties and displacement, citing that 33,443 civilian deaths were recorded last year, with 110 million people displaced globally. The ambassador called for stronger compliance with international humanitarian law (IHL) and international human rights law (IHRL) and urged the Security Council to hold violators accountable. He detailed the atrocities committed by the military junta in Myanmar since the attempted coup in 2021, including over 5,100 deaths, the displacement of over 3 million people, and extensive attacks on health and humanitarian sectors. Ambassador appealed to the international community and the Security Council to take decisive actions to protect Myanmar's civilians and end the culture of impunity.  


Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun Highlights Challenges and Contributions of Myanmar Migrants at International Dialogue on Migration


On 22 May, 2024, Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, delivered a statement at the First Session of the International Dialogue on Migration 2024 Panel III." In his address, Ambassador highlighted that, traditionally, migration has been a crucial aspect of both urban and rural development in Myanmar. However, the attempted military coup in February 2021 drastically reversed this positive trend. The resulting atrocities, job losses, human rights violations, insecurity, and forced conscription by the military junta have instigated a significant increase in migration from Myanmar.


He thanked host countries for their support and urged them to provide necessary resources and create a migration-friendly environment. He highlighted that Myanmar migrants, rather than being a threat, have been contributing positively to the development of their host countries by participating in labor markets and other means.


Response of the International Community


Miss Grand International 2024 Relocates Amid junta's Brutal Military Campaign and Civil Unrest


Myanmar Now reported that Myanmar has been removed as the host of this year’s Miss Grand International (MGI) beauty pageant due to the ongoing military campaign of war against its own people, according to the event's organizers. The pageant, organized by Thailand-based Miss Grand International, was originally scheduled to bring dozens of contestants to Yangon in October 2024.


MGI representative Ratchaphol Chantaratim confirmed that MGI 2024 will no longer be held in Myanmar due to the current situation. An alternate venue will be announced later. Myanmar, which opened to tourists in 2011 after decades of military rule, had become a popular destination for travelers. However, foreign arrivals have plummeted since the military seized power again in 2021. According to the United Nations, around 2.7 million people have been displaced by the conflict, with the military’s mass atrocities in its attempts to crush its own people. A night-time curfew remains in place in Yangon, and junta forces conduct regular raids and arrests of suspected dissidents. Frequent power blackouts affect entire neighborhoods, and access to ATMs and foreign exchange counters is unreliable. Many Western embassies advise against travel to Myanmar.


Australian football club Macarthur faced criticism in 2023 for traveling to play in Myanmar against official government advice. Recently, Honduran model Cecilia Garcia, who was selected to represent her country at the Miss Grand International pageant, announced she would not be traveling to Myanmar due to security risks. In the 2021 edition of the event in Thailand, Myanmar contestant Thaw Nandar Aung publicly criticized the junta and its crackdown on protests against its coup. Known professionally as Han Lay, she was later refused entry into Thailand and spent days stranded at a Bangkok airport before being granted asylum in Canada.


HRN submits statement to the Human Rights Council’s 56th session condemning the Myanmar military’s continuing violence against civilians


Human Rights Now (HRN) has released a written statement to the 56th session of the Human Rights Council (HRC) condemning the continuing violence against civilians by the Myanmar military and calling for the military to end state violence, restore the democratically elected government, and hold human rights violators accountable. HRN call on the military to end state violence, restore the democratically elected government, and hold human rights violators accountable and urge states and businesses to cut off any financial links which may support the military.


HRN strongly condemns the escalating and widespread violence against civilians by Myanmar’s military, as well its use of torture, arbitrary arrests, persecution of civil society, forced conscription, restrictions on humanitarian aid, and other human rights violations.


Myanmar Mechanism calls on Myanmar military to respond to its requests for information


The Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar has made numerous requests to the military junta for information related to the many serious crimes that IIMM is investigating.  These include crimes allegedly committed by the Myanmar security forces and by armed groups. To date, the military has not responded to any of these requests. Today, the Mechanism has sent a new request and is issuing this statement in the hope that it will lead to a response.


Today’s request asks for information about the capture and killing of two young men in Myauk Khin Yan Village in the Magway Region. In a video widely circulated on the internet, armed men tied the two men and hung them from a tree, then built a fire beneath and killed the men by burning them alive. IIMM urged the Myanmar military to fully cooperate with the Mechanism, as called for in numerous resolutions by the United Nations Human Rights Council and the General Assembly, by giving IIMM access to the country and sharing requested information.


Myanmar Faces Escalating Humanitarian Crisis Amid Conflict According to the OCHA


According to the OCHA’s report,  the Myanmar Humanitarian Needs and Response Plan Addendum revealed that escalating conflict across Myanmar is driving severe humanitarian crises, including massive displacement, worsening food insecurity, grave human rights violations, and deadly protection threats to civilians. The country is now littered with landmines and unexploded ordnance from daily aerial bombardments. Despite heavy access blockages, aid workers have demonstrated resilience by delivering life-saving assistance to almost 950,000 people in 2024, including those in the most conflict-affected areas. However, the response plan remains critically underfunded at just 12 percent, and without urgent financial support, aid agencies may be forced to make devastating cuts, risking the lives of millions in need.


The situation in Myanmar has deteriorated significantly since October 2023. The total number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) has now exceeded 3 million, equal to the original full-year projection for 2024. Food insecurity has risen sharply, with 13.3 million people now estimated to be in phase 3 or 4 insecurity, raising the specter of deadly malnutrition. Humanitarian organizations are calling for urgent humanitarian diplomacy and increased funding to address these critical needs and prevent further escalation of the crisis.


World Bank Report: Myanmar's Economy Faces Significant Challenges


Myanmar’s economy continues to face significant challenges with growth expected to remain feeble due to conflict, macroeconomic instability, and dislocation, according to a new report. The World Bank projected that the gross domestic product will rise by just 1 percent over the year to March 2025. This figure aligns with growth estimates for the previous year but is down from the December 2023 forecast of 2 percent growth. Economic output is anticipated to stay about 9 percent below 2019 levels, sharply contrasting with the performance of other large economies in the region.


The report outlines several challenges confronting Myanmar's economy and its people. Inflation and unemployment rates remain elevated, and poverty has become deeply entrenched across the country. The poverty rate reached over 32 percent in early 2024, returning to levels last seen in 2015, with an additional third of the population classified as economically insecure. Senior Economist and Program Leader Kim Edwards warned that, "Over the longer term, declining household investment in health and education, reductions in employment and job quality, and increased outward migration will hinder human capital accumulation and scar Myanmar’s future growth and development potential.  


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Date: 31 May 2024

Permanent Mission of Myanmar to the United Nations, New York

 


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