Weekly Updates on Current Situation in Myanmar (20 March 2022)
Weekly Updates on Current Situation in Myanmar
It has been one year and one month 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 18 March 2022, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), 1,687 people were ruthlessly killed by the military, whereas 12,813 people have been arrested, 9,773 people remain in detention, and 1,973 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 burning down villages in Sagaing Region
According to Myanmar Now News, the military group consisting of almost 300 troops has burned down the houses in the villages in Sagaing Region near the border with Chin State. It is reported that on 14 March 2022, the military attacked the villages of Nat Myaung, Nat Chaung, Chaung Gwa and Hakha Lay in the south of Kalay Township. A local resistance fighter said that as the 14 military vehicles equipped with light and heavy weapons, including rocket launcher,s attacked the villages, the resistance fighters have been unable to prevent the troops from burning down homes.
Credible news reported that 72 houses were burned in Nat Myaung Village and others were torched in Nat Chaung Village. A local resident helping the displaced people said that thousands of local residents from the villages of Nat Chaung, Nat Myaung and Chaung Gwa have fled the violence. It is also reported that some villagers fled into the forests and the monastery in Nat Myaung Village, and the majority of those from Nat Chaung fled to the town of Kalay.
The Military using ‘highly destructive’ bomb in Karenni State
Myanmar Now News reported that the military forces dropped an undetonated bomb in Demoso Township of Karenni State (also known as Kayah State). It is reported that the military’s fighter jet dropped and two bombs on a Catholic church in Sawng Dular Village in Demoso Township on 8 March 2022, and one of the bombs failed to explode. On 15 March 2022, this bomb was found partially buried by the Karenni resistance forces. A Karenni resistance member said that the bomb estimated to weigh 250 kg and had sunk 10 feet into the ground, which could only be removed with a bulldozer and a metal chain. It is also added that the majority of bombs used by the military in Karenni State weight 50 to 100 kg.
Continued attacks by the Military in Chin State causing Food Shortages for Villagers
According to Mizzima News, for six weeks the military has been intensifying attacks against the Chinland Defense Force (CDF) and residents in Sammathar Village, San Ein Nu Village, and nearby Villages in regional No (5) within Kanpetlet Township in Chin State, causing severe food shortages for the villagers. It is reported that during the clashes, the military forces fired artillery shells and destroyed nine houses in the old village of Sammathar, forcing the villagers to flee from their homes. Due to the latest clash on 15 March 2022, the villagers from Sammathar Village and surrounding villages had to flee for safety.
A villager said that since it took a long time for the villagers to flee the military, they are currently suffering the shortages of food and medicine. He added that the clashes have been raging since 7 February 2022, and about 900 people, including the elderly, children, sick people and pregnant women have fled into the forests and mountains.
The Military destroying houses in Demoso Township
Khit Thit Media reported that the military troops stationed in Daw Ngan Khar Village in Demoso Township of Karenni State torched and destroyed houses during the third week of March. It is reported that the clashes between the military forces and the Karenni resistance fighters have been escalating since 13 March 2022, and during one week from 13 March 2022 to 20 March 2022, the military forces destroyed about 40 houses in the village and looted private property.
The Military arresting young protesters in Yangon
Credible news reported that the military forces arrested young protesters, including teenage girls, who participated in an anti-coup protest held in Mingalar Taung Nyut Township on 13 March 2022. The anti-coup protest was held to mark the 34th anniversary of the death of Ko Phone Maw and Ko Soe Naing, who were shot dead by the police on the night of 13 March 1988 on the campus of Yangon Technological University.
It is reported that the teenage girls were badly injured after being arrested and beaten by the military and security forces. A witness said that ten men in civilian clothes dragged the three 15-year-old girls by their hair while beating them, and a group of men from private vehicles beat and arrested the demonstrators.
The Military revoking the licences of medical professionals
According to Myanmar Now News, the military officials have revoked the licences of 14 medics in Mandalay on 18 March 2022, and they threatened to shut down private clinics that employ the doctors, who were taking part in the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM). It is reported that the head of the military’s central regional command said in a meeting with the owners of the private hospitals in the city held on 12 March 2022 that the hospitals would have to submit the daily lists of patients to the military.
One of the medics whose licence has been revoked said that the military revoked the licences of 14 CDM medical practitioners, including teaching professors and specialists. It is reported that the military demanded the daily patient lists, and it is assumed to be an attempt to prevent the hospitals from treating the injured People’s Defence Force (PDF) members. According to the medics, the act of submitting the lists of patients would be illegal, as it would violate doctor-patient confidentiality and the right of patients to privacy.
Activities of the National Unity Government
The Ministry of Human Rights of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar submitted the report on serious crimes of international concern committed by the illegal military group to the 49th session of the Human Rights Council. The report contains details of the military atrocities, legal analysis and findings, conclusions and recommendations to the international community, including the Human Rights Council, the UN Security Council, the UN Secretary-General and member states. On 16 March 2022, the Ministry of Human Rights of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar issued the Statement on this Report, calling on the UN Human Rights Council to take urgent and deliberate action to address the escalating atrocities in the country when it meets to discuss the human rights situation on 18 and 21 March 2022.
On 17 March 2022, Ambassador Mr. Kyaw Moe Tun, Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to the United Nations, delivered a statement at the first part of the Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries, stating that although Myanmar was on the right track to qualify for graduation from the list of least developed countries prior to the military coup in February 2021, the illegal military coup halted the civilian government's democratic transition efforts and created turmoil and a heartbreaking situation in Myanmar. The Myanmar Permanent Representative stressed that the people of Myanmar are resolute and persevere to end the military dictatorship and to restore democracy in Myanmar as well as to double efforts for development of our country, appealing to the international community to do more to help Myanmar to end the military dictatorship and restore democracy and make all-round developments in the country.
Actions and Remarks by the International Community in response to the Military Coup d’état
On 15 March 2022, the report, released for the 49th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council, underlined that the military and security forces of Myanmar have shown a flagrant disregard for human life, bombarding populated areas with airstrikes and heavy weapons and deliberately targeting civilians. It is stated that many of the civilians have been shot in the head, burned to death, arbitrarily arrested, tortured or used as human shields. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said, “The international community must take concerted, immediate measures to stem the spiral of violence in Myanmar, where the military has engaged in systematic and widespread human rights violations and abuses – some of which may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity”.
In the report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Thomas H. Andrews submitted to the 49th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council highlighted some of the most serious human rights violations in Myanmar during the period from September 2021 through February 2022, documenting the military’s violent attacks against civilians and arrests and imprisonment of activists, journalists, peaceful protesters and other opponents. The report also described the efforts of the people of Myanmar to oppose the military, and the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar said that the people of Myanmar need a much stronger level of support from the international community.
In the UN daily press briefing on 18 March 2022, the Spokesman for the Secretary-General Stéphane Dujarric said that the civilians in Myanmar continue to suffer due to the worsening humanitarian crisis and continued fighting, particularly in the southeast and northwest in the country. The Spokesman added that across Myanmar, as of 14 March 2022, 889,900 people remain displaced, including 370,000 men, women and children who were already displaced before the military coup. The Spokesman said that while the humanitarian needs are growing the access to people in need remains limited. He explained that the clashes, road blockages and military checkpoints limit the availability of humanitarian access to areas where needs are critical, leading to the rise in the needs of thousands of vulnerable families in displacement sites and camps. The Spokesman said, “We and our partners in Myanmar urge all parties to respect international humanitarian law to protect civilians and to ensure people in need have access to humanitarian aid.”
Date: 20 March 2022
Permanent Mission of Myanmar to the United Nations, New York