Weekly Updates on Current Situation in Myanmar
It has been over 18 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 14 August 2022, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), 2,189 people were ruthlessly killed by the military, 15,097 people have been arrested and a total of 12,000 people remain in detention, whereas a total of 125 people have been sentenced to death, including 83 post-coup death row prisoners and 121 in absentia, all since 1 February 2021, when the military unleashed systematic and targeted attacks and violence against innocent civilians.
Commemoration of the 88 uprising
The 34th anniversary of Myanmar’s 8.8.88 uprising was commemorated by millions of people across the country on 8.8.2022, as well as Myanmar diaspora around the globe and demanded to end the military rule. Even amid the tight security and the military regime deployed troops across Yangon, activists paid tribute to the pro-democracy movement. The most significant event went viral online on that day when a group of four youth walked down the main areas of Yangon by holding black umbrellas written the number eight on them.
Inhuman actions committed by the Military
Killing people including under-aged children
It is reported that on 8 August 2022 around 7 PM, Mr. Linn Linn Naing was shot dead by the military forces that stationed at No.8 High School’s yard in San Myot Ward, Kale Township, Sagaing Region. The victim was on his way to his relative’s house by motorbike.
Mr. Sai Eaik Phwe from Tine Lone Village, Muse Township, Shan State was reportedly shot by the military forces while he was leaving his home by motorbike on 9 August 2022 at night. Despite he was transported to the hospital, he passed away and his family did not receive his body.
Mr. Ye Win Naing was tortured to death by the military forces on 12 August 2022. He was reportedly arrested when the military forces raided and set fire to Shar Say Chat Village of Pauk Township in Magway Region. His injuries showed his head was severely beaten, his fingers were broken and eyes were damaged.
On August 14, the junta forces raided and burnt Haing Hmarl Village, Tedim Township, Chin State. They reportedly set 8 houses on fire. They captured two siblings, 17-year-old Lal Nun Puii and 15-year-old Lal Ruat Mawia from one of the households. The siblings were later shot dead somewhere between Haing Hmarl and Ri Kaw Darl. Their bodies were discovered on August 16.
Military’s airstrike on the clinic killing a patient
On 9 August 2022, it is reported that the military forces carried out airstrikes on a clinic in Loikaw Township of Kayah State. A 60-year-old man who was receiving treatment at the clinic was killed due to the attack. According to a local resident, the military dropped many bombs on that day and the fighter jets flew over the area three times.
Attacks in Depayin Township
During the weekend of 6 and 7 of August 2022, the military troops reportedly airlifted into Depayin Township, burnt the houses and took dozens of people hostage. They set fire to Kaing Kan Village in Depayin Township. The locals told Myanmar Now News that two army helicopters shot at Kaing Kan on 4 August 2022, and dropped soldiers in the areas between Kaing Kan and neighbouring In Pin Ya Din. They set fire to some houses and they reportedly burnt other areas before departure. Around 300 houses were destroyed, four bodies were found in a burnt house and two were found dead in a sewer canal. It is reported that the military shot a 60-year-old man from, Shaw Phyu village, and his two sons were taken as hostages. The military reportedly took more than 35 people as hostages from Shaw Phyu In Pin Ya Din and Nagabo during their raids. It is reported that the hostages were used as human shields when the military forces raided the villages.
Civilians killed in Myinmu Township
The Myanmar Now News reported that the military killed eight civilians during a raid on Letpan Kyin in Sagaing Region’s Myinmu Township during the first week of August 2022. It is also said that both air and ground attacks were carried out and 10 resistance fighters were also killed During the attacks, the military captured more than 100 civilians including 60 children who were learning at the school which was arranged by the National Unity Government, and released them on the following day.
Arson Attacks in Magway Region
According to the local news, the military troops burnt around 20 houses in Sar Kyin village in Pakokku Township in Magway Region on 8 August 2022. At least 30 soldiers arrived at the village in the morning on that day first and 70 soldiers joined in three vehicles later. They then began torching houses, and they left 24 hours later. The villagers were forced to flee to the nearest forest not to be arrested. The Myanmar Now News reported that the military torched six villages along the Yaw Stream, namely Shar Du, De Pyar, Myint Phyar, Taung Palu, Hseng Phyu, and East Kan Phyu since April 2022. More than 400 residences were reportedly destroyed due to the attacks.
Since the military coup that happened in February 2021, nearly 19,000 homes have been reportedly burned down by the military across the country.
Activities of the National Unity Government
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the National Unity Government released a statement on the outcome of the 55the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on 9 August 2022. It stressed that while welcoming on the discussion on Myanmar at the meeting and addressing the issue of Myanmar in its joint Communiqué, the NUG is deeply disappointed at the Foreign Ministers’ decision to delay concrete action on Myanmar until ASEAN convenes for its annual Summit in November. It stated that that decision offers the junta an atrocity window, during which it will continue to escalate its war crimes, crimes against humanity, and acts of terror. It reiterates the Joint Communiqué released by the ASEAN by highlighting its commitment to peace and stability in the region. The statement mentioned that it demands direct action against Min Aung Hlaing and the illegal military junta which is a clear threat to peace and security. It called on that the NUG must be included in the ASEAN Summit as the legitimate representative of the Myanmar People, and to help solve the multiple junta-induced crises wrecking havoc on the region. It also claims that ASEAN must listen to Myanmar’s Ethnic Resistance Organizations, and to the voices of the Myanmar people at the same time. It also stated that the NUG will meet with Special Envoy Sokhom at the earliest opportunity.
The National Unity Government released a statement on the joint letter addressing the United Nations Transforming Education Summit in New York issued by 12 organizations on 11 August 2022. It states that the NUG was extremely disappointed at a joint letter that discussed the upcoming United Nations Transforming Education Summit in New York, which was addressed to Min Aung Hlaing, and was copied to other junta members including Wunna Maung Lwin. It condemned that the joint letter is supremely insulting to the Myanmar people and damaging to the reputations of the 12 co-signatories. It also mentioned that the NUG acknowledges the subsequent public apology issued by Human Rights Watch. In addition, it highlights that the NUG and its ethnic partner organizations are providing Myanmar’s children and youth with access to education. The NUG also calls upon UNESCO to accredit the Myanmar representatives presented by the NUG at the UN Transforming Education Summit in September.
Actions and Remarks by the International Community in response to the Military Coup d’état
The United Nations released a press statement dated 9 August 2022 concerning the Myanmar Mechanism Annual report. It stresses thatCrimes against humanity continue to be systematically committed in Myanmar, with ongoing conflicts severely impacting women and children, according to the evidence gathered to date by the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar (Mechanism) and outlined in its Annual Report. It also stated that the Mechanism has collected more than three million information items from almost 200 sources since starting operations three years ago, including interviewed statements, documentation, videos, photographs, geospatial imagery, and social media material. The UN highlighted that the available information indicates that sexual and gender-based crimes, including rape and other forms of sexual violence, and crimes against children have been perpetrated by members of the security forces and armed groups. According to the Report, children in Myanmar have been tortured, conscripted, and arbitrarily detained, including as proxies for their parents. It quotes “Crimes against women and children are amongst the gravest international crimes, but they are also historically underreported and under-investigated,” said Nicholas Koumjian, Head of the Mechanism. According to the Report, it mentioned that “there are ample indications that since the military takeover in February 2021, crimes have been committed in Myanmar on a scale and in a manner that constitutes a widespread and systematic attack against a civilian population” and the nature of potential criminality is also expanding. This includes the execution of four individuals by Myanmar’s military on 25 July 2022, which was carried out after the Report was prepared.
According to Reuters dated 10 August 2022, Foreign Minister of Malaysia Saifuddin said during his visit to Thailand, it was of the utmost importance that ASEAN members morally support Myanmar's people and engage with all relevant groups. He told reporters "Now it is one-sided, we are only engaging the junta". Foreign Minister Saifuddin said that ASEAN foreign ministers discussed last week the possibility of seeking support from third-party states to help with the ASEAN-led peace process, which is the only diplomatic process in play. "Some of us brought it to the table that if ASEAN cannot do it alone then we will probably have to engage some of our ASEAN dialogue partners," he said, without naming any countries.
On 8 August 2022, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for Campaigns Ming Yu Hah said “ASEAN must prove it is not a toothless body but acts decisively to hold the Myanmar military to account for its atrocious human rights violations. The military has decades of blood on its hands and will continue to trample on the lives and rights of millions of people in Myanmar if it is not made to face the consequences of its crimes, in the face of the continuing atrocities – including executions following unfair trials, extrajudicial killings and torture committed by the Myanmar military – ASEAN must swiftly adopt a more robust course of action so that military leaders end the escalating violent repression they have unleashed since the February 2021 coup.” He highlighted that for ASEAN to retain its credibility, it must change its approach to help end the country-wide bloodshed in Myanmar. ASEAN, collectively as a bloc and as individual member states, must also push for justice and accountability in Myanmar. Amnesty International urged ASEAN to demand immediate action from the Myanmar military, including the release of all those who are arbitrarily detained. ASEAN must also address other urgent needs, including committing to the non-refoulement of refugees or anybody else fleeing violence in Myanmar, facilitating desperately needed humanitarian assistance, and adding its voice to calls for a global arms embargo.
Date: 14 August 2022
Permanent Mission of Myanmar to the United Nations, New York