Weekly Updates on Current Situation in Myanmar
After 220 days have passed since the coup, the Myanmar military group is still ignoring the will of the people, putting the country into turmoil with disproportionate actions when the people are facing the nationwide health crisis under the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nevertheless, demonstrations against the military, anti-coup movements, and pro-democracy activities are still actively and coordinately continued across the country and worldwide.
Global Credentials Challenge Protests: As the 76th General Assembly of the United Nations will commence on 14 September 2021 at which the Credential Committee, which is fully responsible for considering and deciding the recognition of the representative of Myanmar, will be formed, people of Myanmar all over the world organized and participated the global credentials challenge protests on 11 and 12 September 2021.
During the protests, the people of Myanmar have expressed their desires for the United Nations to accept and recognize the National Unity Government and reject the Military Council. In doing so, they also have requested the UN to recognize the credentials of Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun as the representative of the NUG.
For those around the world who cannot participate in those global actions in person, GMSR and Australia Myanmar Youth Alliance (AMYA) jointed organized the online virtual protest on 12 September 2021. It was significantly participated by youths and many Myanmar people around the world.
Deaths and Arbitrary Arrests
As of 11 September 2021, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), a total of people 8,048 have been arrested, 6,398 people have still been detained, whereas 1,984 people have been issued with warrants,and 1,080 people were ruthlessly murdered by the military since 1 February 2021 when the military unleashed systematic and targeted attacks and violence against innocent civilians.
Military’s UnstoppableRaids and Arrests
According to credible reports, environmental and democracy activist Mr. Kyaw MinnHtut, who had openly challenged the military and reported on illegal environmental activities, was arrested by the military forces on 6 September 2021. It is also reported that his wife and their 2-year-old son had been arrested, and on the following day, his brother and his uncles were arrested in the Sagaing Region.
On 9 September, Mr. Aung Myo Thu, Assistant Township Education Officer of Kawa Township in Bago Region, was reportedly arrested by the military troops at home. He was involved in the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM).
On 10 September 2021 in Hlegu Township in Yangon Region, around 50 soldiers and under-cover personnel reportedly raided the office of LuNge Metta charity organization by claiming they found 12 bullets and accusing of having links to the People’s Defence Force. They arrested five people in the office, and the other two were then arrested at their homes. On 11 September 2021, the soldiers tried to arrest another charity worker named Mr. Aye Min Aung at his home. However, they detained the father and brother of Mr. Aye Min Aung when they did not find him.
One protestor died, and two were arrested, as the military troops cracked down a boycott on 11 September in Chan Aye Tharzan Township in Mandalay Region.
On 12 September 2021, it was reported that the military troops raided HteiHlaw Village in Gantgaw Township of Magway Region and set fire to the houses. They also shot a local villager named Ba Win dead.
In addition, on 12 September 2021, the military troops reportedly raided TaungHlyaung Village in Taungdwingyi Township in Magway Region. According to the residents, they shot two brothers named Mr. Myat Soe and Mr. Pyi Gyi while the villagers were running away in fear.
Military’s Brutal Killings with Consistent Tortures
Mr.Naing Myo from Lone Taw Village in Sagaing Region’s Shwebo Township was reportedly arrested by the military troops on September 3,2021,for alleged association with the PDF. According to the report, he died a few hours after his arrest due to injuries from beatings. There were wounds on his thighs, hip, and back of his body.
On 5 September 2021, it was reported that in raiding 55 Mile Village in Sagaing Region, Mr. Khin Zaw, a local villager, was shot dead since he did not stop his motorbike for the military forces.
Similarly, according to the credible report, on 6 September 2021, Mr. Zaw Linn Htet and his younger cousin Mr.YanPaingPhyo,a.k.a Ah Nge, living in Pyay Township in Bago Region, were arrested and then beaten by the terrorist junta forces in the afternoon (around 3:30 pm) after they were accused of alleged association with the Basic Education Students Union. It was found out that Mr. Zaw Linn Htet died a few hours after detention at the military hospital in Pyay due to excessive bleeding from injuries under torture.
On 8 September 2021, Mr. Thet Ko Ko Aung, a 19-year-old,was reportedly arrested in Thanlyin Township of Yangon Region. He was then killed from torture during detention on the morning of 9 September 2021. According to the source, he was detained at a ward administration office and beaten the whole night.
Mr. Moe, an NLD party supporter from Phayarhla Village in Taungthar Township of Mandalay Region, was shot dead in the head and chest by the military, which his dead body was brought back to the Phayarhal Village on the night of 8 September. It is reported that the military arrested him on August 30.
On 9 September, in Thamanthar Village in Wetlet Township of Sagaing Region, Mr.Yin Moe Lwin,a.k.a Ba Din, a 25-year-old, and ThetPaing Soe, a 17-year-old, two brothers living, were shot dead after being detained and tortured by the military troops.
On 10 September in Tamu Township in Sagaing Region, Mr. Rar Jar was reportedly arrested when he ran into the soldiers patrolling the streets. On the following day, local residents found his body, and they witnessed gunshot wounds and injuries on his body due to consistent torture.
Moreover, the military reportedly arrested a cycle mechanic named Mr. Tun Myint Naing on 11 September 2021in Kan Thit Village in Khin-u Township of the Sagaing Region. He was shot dead in his head and back on the roadside after being questioned and tortured. Mr.TunMyint Naing was at his workshop when he was arrested and taken out of the workshop.
On 11 September 2021, in North Dagon Township in Yangon Region, Mr. Aung Ko Lwin reportedly died, and a woman got injured in her leg and stomach when the military troops followed them in a military vehicle. The military shot the car driver, Mr. Aung Ko Lwin, as he did not stop the car when they told him to. It is reported that the woman is in serious condition.
Forcing to act as Guides and then killing the Civilians
On 7 September 2021, in Ashae See village of Kalay Township in Sagaing Region, Mr. Win Aung and Mr. Shine Wunna Aung were reportedly killed by the military forces after they were arrested and forced to act as guides. On September 8, their bodies were found at Doe Nwel Village by residents. According to a local villager, there were injuries on their bodies consistent with torture.
According to the report from AAPP, Mr.Nyo Than, Mr. Soe Naing Win, and Mr.Min Min from Dein Kwin Village of Pauk Township in Magway Region were killed when they were forced to step on an explosive mine by the military troops. The incident had happened after they were arrested and forced to act as guides by the troops on August 27.
Deadliest Clashes in Gangaw Township
It is reported that there was a fight between the military forces and a local resistance group on 9 September 2021 in Myin Thar Village in Gangaw Township of Magway Region. According to the locals, at least 18 people, including unarmed civilians, were killed; thirteen members of the resistance group and five villagers. Four people in their fifties and an 80-year-old man were among them. According to the locals, the oldest victim was shot in the back of the head with his hands tied behind his back.
The clash reportedly started when the military troops arrivedin Myin Thar village from the nearby village Thar Lin where they had set fire to a house earlier that day. After 45 minutes of the clash, another 30 soldiers arrived and began using heavy artillery against the resistance group. According to a local resident, the military troops fired four, five rounds of heavy weapons.
According to the credible report, after the raid in Myin Thar village, about 60 soldiers marched to Hnan Khar village in Gangaw Township on 10 September 2021. They then set fire to the houses in the village, at least 36 houses were destroyed. It was reportedly the third time that The military troops had raided Hnan Khar village.
On 10 September 2021, the military mentioned in a news report that about 50 terrorists had attacked soldiers near Myin Thar and the military troops had to fire back.
Cancellation of First Court Hearing by the State Counsellor
According to the credible report, the detained State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi had to cancel her first court hearing due to motion sickness and dizziness. She does not have any major health problems, and she had been in good health during the months in accordance with her lawyer. The hearings were postponed in July amid surging Covid-19 cases. The lawyers even do not know where the State Counsellor is being detained.
Announcement of the NUG on People’s Defensive Revolution
The National Unity Government (NUG) announced the “People’s Defensive Revolution” against the military junta on 7 September 2021. It issued an order declaring a state of emergency, wherein the announcement was met with overwhelming support from the people. The salient points mentioned in the Press Release are as follows:
With the illegal and failed coup entered its eighth month, it is clear that the military is not interested in a peaceful political settlement but will continue to use violence in an attempt to gain power.
The NUG, as the legitimate government of Myanmar, has the solemn responsibility to protect the interests and security of the people and bring stability back to the country.
The People’s Defense Forces will play a major role in reforming Myanmar’s security sector in the future and ensuring the establishment of a Federal Army and the Federal Democratic Union under civilian rule.
The NUG appreciates and recognizes various international efforts in supporting Myanmar and will continue its efforts to engage the international community and respect international laws.
The situations in the country during the last seven months have clearly shown that national solidarity and collective action will be the most effective way to end the coup, chaos, and instability caused by the military.
As the escalation of violence from the military is inevitable, the people across Myanmar have already formed defence groups and initiated defensive activities.
The People’s Defense Forces (PDF) have joined hands with the Ethnic Armed Organizations (EAOs) to develop more coordinated defense plans.
The NUG calls for the unity of all the people of Myanmar to uproot the military oppressors – the perpetrators of violence against the people, and further calls on the international community to recognize the NUG as the legitimate government of the people.
ASEAN’s Actions to resolve the Crisis in Myanmar
In ways of resolving the crisis in Myanmar, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has been tasked Erywan Yusof, Second Foreign Minister of Brunei, as ASEAN Special Envoy to Myanmar, to carry out for ending violence in the country and opening dialogue since 4 August 2021.Nevertheless, no date has been finalized for the visit of Special Envoy to Myanmar. It is reported that the Special Envoy is still negotiating with the military for his visit and has requested the military to seek access to State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
The Envoy added that "this is not a political ceasefire. this is a ceasefire to ensure safety, (and) security of the humanitarian workers in their effort to distribute aid safely”.
According to the news published on 7 September by the local news agency – The Irrawaddy, the military group has denied that it has accepted the call for a four-month ceasefire proposed by the ASEAN Special Envoy to Myanmar. The Military Spokesperson said that the military-appointed Foreign Minister did not say that Myanmar has agreed to the call of ASEAN’s special envoy for a ceasefire.
International Responses to the launching of “People’s defensive war” by the National Unity Government (NUG)
In response to the launching of a “People’s defensive war” by the National Unity Government (NUG) on 7 September 2021, Countries,including Southeast Asian and Western countries, have urged all sides in Myanmar to cease violence and allow humanitarian aid.
During the more than 200-days-turmoil in the country, the long-suffering people are facing more and more suffering under the military dictatorship. The military has shown no signs of ending violence and killings, in which the international community, including the western and European countries, could only announce sanctions and issue statements of condemnations to press the military. The ASEAN has been leading efforts for a diplomatic solution to resolve the crisis in Myanmar. Yet, the ASEAN special envoy to Myanmar is still negotiating with the military to visit the country to initiate the process for resolving the crisis.
For launching “People’s defensive war” by the people’s government in Myanmar,Britain's Ambassador to Myanmar Pete Vowles said in a post on social media that "we strongly condemn the junta's coup and brutalityand urge all sides to engage in dialogue.
In addition, a U.S. State Department spokesperson said that he noted the declaration of a "people’s defensive war" but called for peace to allow in humanitarian aid. He also said, "The United States does not condone violence as a solution to the current crisis and calls on all sides to remain peaceful.”
Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman, TeukuFaizasyah, urged all parties in Myanmar to “refrain from open conflict” and said that ASEAN was finalising preparations to distribute humanitarian assistance. He also added that “This assistance cannot be distributed if there is no sound and the security situation on the ground.”
China's state-run Global Times newspaper, published on 7 September 2021, expressed the message that if the U.S and other western countries militarily support anti-junta forces, including the “People’s Defensive Force,” it may trigger a real “civil war.” It is also underlined that China opposes any policy of the U.S and western countries, which would further worsen the situation in Myanmar.
Date: 12 September 2021
Permanent Mission of Myanmar to the United Nations, New York