Weekly Updates on Current Situation in Myanmar (10 July 2022)
Weekly Updates on Current Situation in Myanmar
It has been over 17 months since 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 with inhumane and disproportionate actions.
As of 8 July 2022, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), 2,074 people were ruthlessly killed by the military, 14,517 people have been arrested and a total of 11,451 people remain in detention, whereas a total of 115 people have been sentenced to death of which 74 (including 2 children) who are detained and 41 in absentia, all since 1 February 2021, when the military unleashed systematic and targeted attacks and violence against innocent civilians.
Serious crimes committed by the Military
Displacing the people in Sagaing Region
According to Irrawaddy News, the military’s three helicopters carrying over 50 military forces landed in Tabayin Village of Sagaing Region on 4 July 2022, and due to the airlifted reinforcements of the military into the area, around 5,000 residents from over 10 villages within Tabayin Township have been forced to flee their homes.
It is reported that the military troops stationed in the villages of Set Pyar Kyin and Boke used heavy weapons to attack the local resistance fighters. A local resident said that the military forces killed not only children but also elderly persons, and they further committed brutal actions of burning people alive, slitting their throats, and shooting people in their heads.
A volunteer who is helping those displaced said that the people continued to flee until midnight under rain. It is added the existing challenges of the crowded temporary camps, and the people are facing many troubles.
Shelling heavy artilleries and conducting airstrikes in eastern Bago Region
According to Myanmar Now published on 5 July 2022, due to the clashes between the military forces and the Karen National Union (KNU) over the weekend in Kyaukkyi Township of Bago Region, nearly 40,000 civilians fled their homes.
The KNU mentioned in a statement issued on 4 July 2022 that the military forces used airstrikes and heavy artillery, triggering the mass exodus. The statement said that the KNU and its allies overran the outposts in Kyaung Pyar, Aung Laung Sein, Kyun Pin Seik, Kawt Pyin, and Kyaung Su, which are located in the east of the Sittaung River and about 30 km from the town of Kyaukkyi. The KNU said that the military’s indiscriminate shelling and aerial attacks displaced the residents from 26 villages. The displaced villagers lack not only food but also adequate shelter, in which they are at risk of contracting malaria and dengue fever.
A spokesperson for Nyaunglebin District Karen Affairs – a group that assists local residents affected by conflict – said that the military forces also raided three villages which are located near the outposts of Kyun Pin Seik, Aung Laung Sein, and Tat Kone. The Spokesperson added that the military troops looted and destroyed houses and furthermore, they beat the civilians.
The Spokesperson for the Karen affairs group said that as the military has been sending reinforcements, everyone is very afraid right now.
Murdering a villager in Kale Township
According to the news, the military column raided Yae Shin Village in Kale Township of Sagaing Region on 4 July 2022. During this raid, a local villager named Mone Pe was arrested and then tortured to death. It is reported that when the military forces left the village on 6 July 2022, the body of the villager, who was brutally killed, was cremated.
Setting fire to the villages in Pale Township
According to AAPP, the military forces raided and set fire Mwae Tone Village and Min Village within Pale Township of Sagaing Region on 7 July 2022. It is reported that as the two elderly people were unable to run away from the fire set by the military, they were burnt alive. These two people are 80-year-old civilian named Tin Pe from Mwae Tone Village, and 70-year-old civilian named Kyaw Han from Min Village.
Torching and destroying the villages in Magway Region
According to Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB), the military forces raided, burned down and destroyed the houses within the villages of Magway Region on 8 July 2022.
Local residents said that a military column consisting of 40 troops arrived at Seikham Village in Seik Phyu Township in the evening of 7 July 2022 and then the military forces stationed at the Monastery in the Sei Phyu Village of Pakokuu Township.
On 8 July 2022, this military column raided and destroyed the Shardu Village, 1 km away from Sei Phyu Village, and they set fire to the houses. Of the 187 houses in the village, it is reported that 98 houses in Shardu Village were torched and destroyed. In addition, it is reported that in the afternoon of 8 July 2022, the military forces set fire to the houses in the village of Sei Phyu, where there are 135 houses in the village.
Improperly charging and sentencing civilians
AAPP reported on 8 July 2022 that a civilian named Myo Thandar Kyaw (a.k.a Athay Lay), who is a third-year student majoring in Mathematics at Maubin University and who is also a member of Maubin University Students’ Union, was sentenced to five years imprisonment. It is reported that she was charged under Section 52(a) of the Counter-Terrorism Law by the special court in Pyapon Prison.
According to Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB), the five monks and three people, who were arrested by the military, were sentenced to three years imprisonment on 8 July 2022. It is reported that a court in Prison in Mandalay charged the monks and three people under Section 505 (a).
The Killing of two Indian citizens in Tamu Town
According to the local news, two Indian citizens were shot dead in Saw Bwar Ward in Tamu Town in the afternoon of 5 July 2022. The incident occurred at Tamu, which is 4 km away from Moreh, triggering unrest in the border town of Moreh in Manipur. The victims were Tamils living in Moreh and they were identified as Mr. P Mohan (28)and Mr. Aiyanar (35).
The reports from responsible People’s Organizations in the township said that the killings of two Indian citizens were executed by the members of Phy Saw Htee, a pillar of the military. It is added that the members of Phy Saw Htee Phoe Sein and Zaw Ye committed this killing under the direction of Maung Lay Win, a leader of Pyu Saw Htee in Tamu Town.
It is found that the bodies of the two Indian citizens were cremated in Tamu on the day of the incident without being returned to their families, by the administrative bodies under the military.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the National Unity Government (NUG) of Myanmar issued a statement on 8 July 2022.
Activities of the National Unity Government
On 8 July 2022, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the National Unity Government (NUG) of Myanmar issued a statement on the visit of the ASEAN Special Envoy to Myanmar. The statement underlined that the Special Envoy was again handed empty assurances despite his earnest efforts and with five months now left on his term. It is stated that the initiatives of the Special Envoy were rebuffed, after he has publicly called on the military to release Sean Turnell and to drop its plans to execute political prisoners. It is further added that although he has repeatedly requested to meet with Myanmar State Counsellor, he was forced to watch the military transfer the State Counsellor to solitary confinement in prison immediately before his visit. The statement mentioned that ASEAN has a dedicated partner in the National Unity Government, the legitimate representative of the people of Myanmar, and the NUG remains committed to working with ASEAN Members inside Myanmar and through ASEAN forums to solve the multiple junta-induced crises wreaking havoc on the region.
On 8 July 2022, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the National Unity Government (NUG) of Myanmar issued a statement on the killing of two Indian citizens in Tamu Town, which the two citizens were brutally shot dead by members of Pyu Saw Htee, a pillor of the terrorist Military Council on 5 July 2022 and their bodies were cremated in Tamu on the same day without being returned to their families. The statement underlined that the members of the military Council including Phy Saw Htee and the police force under the military have carried out arbitrary arrests and inhumane acts of torture and killing towards the civilians across the country and the NUG has strong records of such cases. It is stated that this case is clearly one of the many issues, highlighting that Myanmar issue is not just an internal affair, and threatening the security and peace of the countries in the region, including the neighbouring countries and the security of the entire human race. Extending the deepest condolences to the bereaved families of the two Indian citizens, the statement mentioned that the NUG is ready to cooperate with relevant authorities to bring justice for them.
On 8 July 2022, the Ministry of Human Rights of the National Unity Government (NUG) of Myanmar issued a statement, welcoming the adoption by consensus of the resolution on the Situation of human rights of Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Myanmar at the 50th session of the UN Human Right Council and extending the appreciation to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for its leadership on the text. It is stated that Myanmar supports the resolution’s strong condemnation of the gross human rights violations and abuses perpetrated by the security and armed forces of Myanmar against Rohingya Muslims and other minorities, and its recognition of the impact of the military’s escalating acts of violence and forced displacement on civilians, including ethnic minorities. The statement strongly welcomes the resolution’s call for all those responsible for violations and abuses of international law to be held to account, while recalling the authorities of the UN Security Council to refer the situation in Myanmar to the International Criminal Court (ICC). The statement underlines that Myanmar will also partner with ethnic and organizations, affected communities and their representatives, neighbouring states and UN entities to create conditions conducive for the voluntary return in safety and dignity of Rohingya and all other Myanmar communities driven from their homes and villages by multiple waves of violence. Through this statement, Myanmar also restates its commitment to constructive engagement with the Human Rights Council and its mechanisms and with UN Member States.
Actions and Remarks by the International Community in response to the Military Coup d’état
On 4 July 2022, during his first visit to Myanmar since the military coup in the country, the Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi called the military leaders of Myanmar to talk to their opponents amid concerns over escalating violence and deteriorating human rights in the country. He also said that China encourage all parties in Myanmar to engage in political dialogue within the constitutional and legal framework and to restart the democratic transformation process.
On 6 July 2022, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Thomas H. Andrews, mentioned on his twitter that he will tell ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights that the world is failing the people of Myanmar who do not need more words of "concern", but strong, coordinated action.
On 7 July 2022, the U.S embassy in Myanmar mentioned in its Facebook platform that the people of Myanmar have long strived for freedom, democracy, and peace, and the U.S. honors all those who died on 7 July 1962 and the thousands who have been killed defending democracy since the February 2021 military coup. It is stated that everyone in Myanmar deserves access to education and the right to exercise their human rights and fundamental freedoms.
On 8 July 2022, the UN Human Right Council concluded its 50th regular session, and the resolutions adopted by the Council included the one on the Situation of human rights of Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Myanmar, which has been adopted by consensus. The resolution strongly condemned the gross human rights violations and abuses perpetrated by the security and armed forces of Myanmar against Rohingya Muslims and other minorities, and recognized the impact of the military’s escalating acts of violence and forced displacement on civilians, including ethnic minorities. The resolution called for all those responsible for violations and abuses of international law to be held to account.
On 10 July 2022 at a Bangkok News Conference, the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned the repression exacted by Myanmar’s military, and urged China and the Southeast Asian nations to pressure the military of Myanmar to restore democracy and adhere to a peace as agreed last year. He also mentioned that despite the ASEAN Five-point Consensus developed since last year, no positive movement has been implemented. He mentioned that in April of last year, the ASEAN’s nine other countries and Myanmar’s military signed an agreement for Five-point Consensus, including for immediate cessation of violence and continued talks among all parties. He urged the ASEAN countries to hold the military accountable for that and to demand the cessation of violence and release of all political prisoners.
Date: 10 July 2022
Permanent Mission of Myanmar to the United Nations, New York