Weekly Updates on Current Situation in Myanmar (15 May 2022)
Weekly Updates on Current Situation in Myanmar
Over 15 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 with inhumane and disproportionate actions.
As of 13 May 2022, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), 1,835 people were ruthlessly killed by the military, whereas 13,682 people have been arrested, 10,631people remain in detention, and 1,977 people have been issued with warrants since 1 February 2021, when the military unleashed systematic and targeted attacks and violence against innocent civilians.
The Military arresting civilians
According to the AAPP, military forces detained a civilian named Thin Thin in Pakokku Township in Magway Region during the evening of 8 May 2022, while she was at her home. They reported that she was arrested for allegedly supporting the CRPH, NUG and PDF.
It was also reported that on 9 May 2022, military forces detained two civilians namely Myo Htet Khaing and Hein Htet Kyaw from Myay Ni (North) Village in Pauk Township of Magway Region, while the two were going shopping. They were accused of being PDF members.
On 9 May 2022, military forces raided a passenger vehicle in Hnan Khar Village and Gangaw Town in Gangaw Township of Magway Region, and they arrested a villager named Nandar Hlaing. It was reported that the military detained her after they checked her phone and found political posts on Facebook.
According to Mizzma News, military forces arrested a freelance journalist named Maung Myo at the Thanlwin River Bridge checkpoint in Hpa-an Township of Karen State on 10 May 2022. It was reported that he was arrested while on public transit travelling from Myawaddy Town in Karen State to Mandalay. The AAPP reported that that when the military forces checked his phone and found news shared on Facebook, he was then arrested and charged under Section 52(a) of the Counter-Terrorism Law.
Myanmar Now News reported on 11 May 2022 that recently the military forces arrested the wife and daughter of the Chief Minister of Mandalay, who was detained in Obo Prison in Mandalay and has been hit with several criminal charges. It was reported that his wife Yu Yu May and his daughter Su Wai Pon were taken into custody by the military days after his lawyer Ywet Nu Aung was also arrested.
Myanmar Now News reported on 11 May 2022 that a protest leader named Thura Aung is still being held in the Mandalay Palace interrogation centre since his arrest more than three months ago. According to a member of a local strike committee, he is still alive, but he is suffering from a number of serious injuries, including a knee injury and that he was kicked in the neck. It was said that he has not had any contact with his family since his arrest
The Military conducting arson attacks in the Villages of Magway Region
According to Myanmar Now News, the military forces carried out a series of coordinated arson attacks on the villages of Phyone Phu, Miphayar and Mekone in Yesagyo Township of Magway Region on 10 May 2022. It was reported that a military column consisting of around 100 troops arrived at the Phyone Phu from neighbouring Myaung Township in Sagaing Regionon 9 May 2022.
Having spent one night in Phyone Phu, the column was divided into three groups on the next morning, 10 May 2022. One military group stayed in Phyone Phu Village, while the other two groups went to the nearby villages of Miphayar and Mekone. The residents said that the military troops then set fire to all three villages, which affected around 150-200 households and forced all the residents to flee.
The Military torturing people in Myinmu Township
Myanmar Now News reported that a military column consisting of 50 military troops entered Nyaung Yin Village of Myinmu Township in Sagaing Region on 11 May 2022. A local resident said that the military forces raided the village to search the home of a leader of the People’s Defence Force (PDF). Following the raid, the military forces rounded up about 15 men and took them to the Shwebonthar monastery, and then they tortured the residents. According to a local resident, most of the residents fled to an island located in the Ayeyarwady River, and the military forces fired several shots at them.
The military column, which raided and tortured the villagers in the Village of Nyaung Yin, has also been accused of arson attacks. It was reported that this military column destroyed Kantaw Village on 29 April 2022 and was also responsible for the death of eight local resistance (PDF) fighters. Since the military forces torched the village of Kantaw, they have remained in the area, stationed at the pagoda in Alakapa Village, and have also conducted attacks on Myaung Town in Sagaing Region.
The Military attacking villages in Khin-U Township
Irrawaddy News reported that military forces razed more than 20 houses within Khin-U township in Sagaing Region on 11 May 2022, in which about four houses in Kar Sein Village were torched and in Ma Kyee Oak Village, where 13 houses were burned down and seven houses damaged. It was reported that a 65-years-old civilian was injured by the military’s artillery. According to a resistance fighter, three civilians were arrested and two were tortured on the road, and they are in a critical condition.
The Military torching a village in Ye-U Township
Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) reported that after the military troops brutally torched and destroyed the village of Mone Taing Ping in Ye-U Township of Sagaing Region during the third week of May 2022, the local residents found 31 dead bodies that were already burned. According to the local residents, the military forces attacked with two military columns against the Ye-U Township since the beginning of May, and on 10 May 2022, they raided and attacked the Mone Taing Ping Village.
It was reported that approximately 50 residents were arrested, of which 20 women and children were released, but the approximately 30 civilians were still held. On 12 May 2022, the military forces torched the village and left. After the military forces have left, the local residents found the 31 dead bodies that had been burned. According to a local resident, 29 houses were burned down in the village.
Activities of the National Unity Government
On 9 May 2022, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the National Unity Government (NUG) issued a statement addressing the exclusion of the United Nations Special Envoy of the Secretary-General on Myanmar, Dr. Noeleen Heyzer, from the ASEAN Consultative Meeting on Humanitarian Assistance to Myanmar, which was held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on 6 May 2022. Noting that the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General on Myanmar is a crucial actor, the statement underlined that the cancellation of the Special Envoy in the Consultative Meeting is yet another insult against the United Nations (UN), and the absence of UN action on Myanmar has long been defended with the argument that ASEAN efforts under the Five-Point Consensus are sufficient. The National Unity Government also stated that it stands ready to strengthen its engagement and partnership with ASEAN and its Member States, extending its continuing support to the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General on Myanmar and expressing its deep appreciation for her engagement with the National Unity Government and local Myanmar stakeholders on the provision of ASEAN humanitarian assistance to Myanmar.
On 12 May 2022, H.E. Daw Zin Mar Aung, the Union Minister for the Foreign Affairs of the National Unity Government and the delegation met with Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of State Wendy R. Sherman in Washington. During the meeting, the Union Minister discussed issues, including the activities of the National Unity Government, the sacrifice and dedication of the people for the establishment of Federal Democracy in Myanmar, and the human rights violations committed by the military against the people, and exchanged ideas on humanitarian access to assist all those in need and cooperation with the international community. The Deputy Secretary of State reaffirmed the support of the U.S. for the people of Myanmar in the face of the military’s brutal crackdown and the commitment of the U.S. to continue providing support to all those working peacefully toward the restoration of inclusive democracy in the country. The Deputy Secretary also noted that the U.S. would continue to work closely with ASEAN and other partners in bringing solution to the crisis in Myanmar.
On 12 May 2022, the Union Minister for Human Rights of the National Unity Government H.E. U Aung Myo Min and the representative of the National Unity Government to the Czech Republic U Linn That met with members of varied affairs committees of the parliament of the Czech Republic, including the members of the Czech Foreign Affairs Committee, the deputy chair of the Defence Committee, and representatives of other affairs committees. During the meeting, after the issues on providing support for the restoration of democracy in Myanmar have been discussed, the representatives of the National Unity Government requested to bring the same attention to Myanmar affairs within the Czech political establishment that Ukrainian affairs have recently seen.
On 13 May 2022, Ambassador H.E. Mr. Kyaw Moe Tun, Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar delivered statement at the Virtual Commemoration of the International Day of Vesak, convened and co-hosted by the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka and the Permanent Representative of Thailand.
On 13 May 2022, the Union Minister for the Foreign Affairs of the National Unity Government and delegation met with Rob Berschinski, Special Assistance to the President of the United States and Senior Director for Democracy and Human Rights, and discussed on the violent crimes and human rights abuses committed by the military, as well as the paths forward for peace, democracy and justice in Myanmar.
On 13 May 2022, the Ministry of Human Rights of the National Unity Government issued a statement, welcoming the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council’s convening of the 34th special session on the deteriorating human rights situation in Ukraine stemming from the Russian aggression, and the adoption of its corresponding resolution. The statement underlined that Myanmar joins the collective condemnation of the reported violations and abuses of human rights and serious violations of international humanitarian law in Ukraine, as documented by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The statement communicated that Myanmar continues to stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine.
On 14 May 2022, H.E. Ms. Zin Mar Aung, Union Minister for the Foreign Affairs of the National Unity Government and delegation met with Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah in Washington. The Malaysia Foreign Minister underlined the support of Malaysia and solidarity with the people of Myanmar and said that Malaysia stands ready to work towards restoring peace and democracy in Myanmar. The Union Minister of Foreign Affairs of the NUG shared the challenges faced by the NUG, including on humanitarian assistance for the Myanmar refugees, and both sides exchanged views on the latest developments in Myanmar.
Actions and Remarks by the International Community in response to the Military Coup d’état
On 10 May 2022, Justice for Myanmar called on ASEAN and its partners to immediately exclude the Myanmar military from all meetings and activities, including removing it from the leadership of the defence working group on counter terrorism, and underlined that ASEAN must now recognise and engage with the National Unity Government as the legitimate government of Myanmar. It also called for concrete actions to end the military’s violence against the people of Myanmar, to create an ASEAN sanctions framework, and to encourage ASEAN members to impose an arms embargo and targeted sanction on the military and its business interests. It also asked ASEAN to cooperate with UN member states to impose a global arms embargo on Myanmar and to refer the Myanmar situation to the International Criminal Court through the UN Security Council.
At the U.S. Department of State press briefing on 10 May 2022, Department of State Spokesperson Ned Price said that the U.S. supports the decision of ASEAN to invite non-political representatives from Myanmar to high-level ASEAN events and will follow ASEAN’s precedent for the U.S. – ASEAN Special Summit. He added that in the meantime, the U.S. continue to support the efforts of ASEAN to press the Myanmar military to urgently and fully implement the Five-Point Consensus. He underlined that the U.S. reaffirms the commitment to the people of Myanmar and will continue to promote a just and meaningful resolution to the crisis in the country and to help the country return to the democratic path.
The Office of the Spokesperson of the U.S. Department of State issued a notice that Deputy Secretary Wendy R. Sherman met with the representatives of the National Unity Government headed by H.E. Daw Zin Mar Aung, the Union Minister for the Foreign Affairs, in Washington on 12 May 2022. During the meeting, the Deputy Secretary underscored the robust support of the U.S. for the people of Myanmar in the face of the military’s brutal crackdown and pledged to continue providing support to all those working peacefully toward the restoration of democracy in Myanmar. She also highlighted that the U.S. would continue to work closely with ASEAN and other partners in pressing for a just and peaceful resolution to the crisis in Myanmar, condemning the escalation of violence in the country that has led to a humanitarian crisis and calling for unhindered humanitarian access to assist all those in need in the country.
Date: 15 May 2022
Permanent Mission of Myanmar to the United Nations, New York