Weekly Updates on Current Situation in Myanmar (27 November 2022)
Weekly Updates on Current Situation in Myanmar
Nearly one year and ten months ago on 1st 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 25 November 2022, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), the military ruthlessly killed 2,538 people, arrested 16,432 people, and 12,973 people remain in detention, whereas 128 people have been sentenced to death, including 86 post-coup death row prisoners and 42 in absentia since 1 February 2021, when the military unleashed systematic and targeted attacks and violence against innocent civilians. Four democracy activists who were given to death sentence were executed by the military junta in July 2022. At least 786 houses and buildings have been sealed off by the military between February 2021 and October 2022.
Serious crimes committed by the Military
Killing Innocent Civilians
The AAPP reported that a military column raided and set fire to Paung Lel Kone Village in Khin-U Township of Sagaing Region on 18 and 19 November 2022, killing two local villagers. It was reported that one of those killed is an 85-year-old blind woman named Chit Su, who died due to the fire. Another man is San Win, who was struck by an artillery shell while he was trying to flee from the village.
In the morning of 21 November 2022, the military forces fired heavy weaponry in Taung Ka Lay Village in Kyaikmaraw Township of Mon State, killing three civilians. It was reported that the military used aircraft to attack the village. One of the civilians killed was a male traveller hit by heavy weaponry. The two others killed were local residents—a 15-year-old girl and a 40-year-old man with poor mental health—both killed by the airstrike. In addition, it was said that ten people were injured, five severely.
From a military base in Kale Township of Sagaing Region, the military forces fired heavy weapons indiscriminately at Sal Gyi Village on 21 November 2022, killing a local villager named Pi Run Neih Kim.
Conducting Airstrikes in Mohnyin Township
According to the news, the military carried out two airstrikes on the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) Brigade 8 headquarters in Mohnyin Township of Kachin State, on 21 November 2022, and it bombed twice near a brigade training ground on 22 November 2022.
On 21 November 2022, the military forces dropped four bombs weighing 500 pounds on the ethnic Kachin Village of Darwel, and one of the bombs did not explode. This attack injured two people. The townships of Banmauk and Katha located on the border of Kachin State and Sagaing Region were also bombed, with Pamone Village in western Banmauk bombed and a religious building there burned down.
Attacking Yaw Region of Magway
News reported that a military column consisting of 80 forces from the Gangaw-based Infantry Battalion (IB-50) raided and attacked the Yaw Region of Magway on 22 November 2022, resulting in the death of three civilians and one resistance fighter.
According to the news source, the Yaw Defence Force said that the local resistance fighter named Aung Naing was killed while he was helping the residents of Zar Haw flee. In addition, one resistance fighter was shot in his left arm and injured, and another fighter was missing.
The military forces shot at the local villagers along the road to the communities of Zar Haw and Oak Hla, and this attack reportedly trapped the villagers inside Zar Haw.
Attacking and brutally killing the civilians in Kan Tharyar Village of Khin-U Township
According to the news, a military column consisting of 70 troops raided and attacked the Kan Tharyar Village in Khin-U Township of Sagaing Region on 23 November 2022, killing a fifth-grade student and beheading a 25-year-old civilian.
The local sources said that when the military forces fired, the local residents were hiding in the forest, and a student named Ye Min Naung got scared and attempted to run away. Then, he was shot dead near a farm in the village.
Another victim named Htun Htun Win (25-years-old) was arrested and killed by the military troops while he was scouting the area that was attacked by the military. It was reported that he was monitoring the movements of the military forces at the time he was being arrested, and then he was shot in the chest and beheaded. The villagers remarked that the act of beheading by the military is a clear message to the civilians who support the anti-military resistance movement.
Military Offensive Entering to the Lelthit Village of Taninthayi Reigon
News reported that a military column with 100 troops consisting of military forces and members of the paramilitary group “Pyu Saw Htee” entered to the village of Lelthit Village of Tanintharyi Region on 23 November 2022.
Due to this military offensive in the village, the local residents are fleeing. According to a local villager, the residents from almost 400 houses are currently displacing and hiding in the nearby villages.
Torching the homes in Mone Hla Village in Khin-U Township
It was reported that on 24 November 2022 the military forces attacked and torched the homes within Mone Hla Village in Khin-U Township of Sagaing Region, which is the home village of the head of the Myanmar Roman Catholic Church – Cardinal Charles Maung Bo. The military’s attack killed three people, including a 50-year-old woman, a seven-year-old boy and a resistance fighter.
According to a villager, the military forces burned down the houses located in the section of the village where Christians live, including a building where the refugees were sheltering, and the local residents have fled the raid.
According to the AAPP, a CDM primary school teacher named Honey Su Kyi Zaw from Tamu Township of Sagaing Region was sentenced to 10 years in prison under Counter-Terrorism Law 50(j) on 21 November 2022, after being accused of financially supporting CDM teachers. It was reported that she was accused of participating in the CDM and also of being a member of the National League for Democracy (NLD) political party. She was arrested on 23 November 2021 in Tamu Town.
News reported that on 22 November 2022, a court in Pathein Prision in Pathein Township of Irrawaddy Region sentenced 11 civilians to imprisonment, including the members of Parliament U Than Htut from Pathein and U Thein Tun and U Aung Aung Oo from Tharpaung Town, Poet Lu Phan Khar, and other political activists. They were sentenced to 20 years in prison each.
A civilian named Aye Thiri (a.k.a. Phue Phue) in Hkamti Township of Sagaing Region was sentenced to 10 years in prison under Counter-terrorism Law 50(j) on 22 November 2022, after being accused of providing 5,000 kyats (2.30 USD) to the People’s Defence Forces. It was reported that she was arrested in Hkamti Township on 21 February 2022, and has been detained for over nine months. She is not in good health and suffered unconsciousness while being detained.
News reported on 25 November 2022 that the military sentenced four individuals to at least 95 years in prison in the recent months, accusing them of involvement in the armed resistance movement. Of those sentenced, a member from the National League for Democracy (NLD) named U Win Myint Hlaing (52) was included, and he previously represented Taungdwingyi Township of Magway Region. The three other individuals are reportedly members of local resistance forces in Wundwin Township of Mandalay Region, namely Aung Khant Oo (29), Kyaw Thet (30), and Hnin Maung (36). It was reported that all were convicted of several counts of violating the Counterterrorism Law, and were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 95 to 225 years, the longest sentences delivered by the military following the coup.
Arresting and Sentencing Media Professionals
News reported that the military arrested two media professionals, namely Win Oo, editor of New History for People, and Zaw Min Oo, editor of Tell Forthrightly, during the third week of November 2022, after they attended a news conference of the Information Ministry under the control of the military in Nay Pyi Taw. It was reported that they are the first journalists from media sympathetic to the military to be arrested, and no official report was not announced about their arrests. The source said that Win Oo was arrested for referring to the Myanmar State Counsellor as Mother Suu four times and for calling for the release the journalists.
On 22 November 2022, it was reported that a court in Insein Prison sentenced a freelance reporter named Thu Zar to two years in prison with hard labor. She was arrested on 1 September 2021, and has been charged under Section 505(A) of the Penal Code.
According to the AAPP, a special court in Insein Prison sentenced the journalist named Si Thu Aung Myint to two years in prison with hard labor under the charge of Penal Code Section 505(A) on 24 November 2022. It was reported that the journalist has already been sentenced to three years imprisonment with hard labor on 7 October, and he was arrested on 15 August 2021.
Activities of the National Unity Government
On 21 November 2022, the Acting President of the National Unity Government (NUG) of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar delivered a letter to the President of the Republic of Indonesia, conveying the sincere congratulations to Indonesia on its upcoming Chairmanship of ASEAN in 2023. The letter stated that the National Unity Government applauds Indonesia’s support for the people of Myanmar and their democratic will and aspirations, and wholeheartedly agrees that the violence and atrocities in Myanmar must end immediately, that humanitarian assistance must be urgently provided to all persons in need and that justice must be delivered. The letter underlined that the illegal military junta has plunged Myanmar into deepening political, humanitarian, human rights, economic and security crises that are now bleeding across the borders, and these catastrophes are compounded by the military’s refusal to comply with ASEAN requests and its categorical rejection of the ASEAN Leaders’ Review and Decision on the Implementation of the Five-Point-Consensus agreed at the recent ASEAN summits.
In addition, through this letter, the NUG reaffirmed its readiness to partner with Indonesia, ASEAN and the incoming Special Envoy of the ASEAN Chair to craft solutions and implement time-bound actions to end these crises. It was added that this aligns with the commitment of the NUG to shaping a new Myanmar that reflects the will of the people and that upholds democratic values, the rule of law, peace and security, and the rights, freedoms and equality of all.
During the official visit of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar Thomas Andrews to the Republic of Korea (ROK) in order to discuss on the issue of Myanmar, the representative of NUG to the Republic of Korea (ROK) received the Special Rapporteur on 21 November 2022 for discussions. This was followed by the Special Rapporteur’s meeting with the Myanmar community in ROK.
On 22 November 2022, the Representative Office in Norway issued a press release on the organization of a meeting between the representatives of the NUG, CRPH, NUCC, and the members of Parliament from political parties in Norway. From the side of Norway, the members of Parliament from the Liberal Party, Green Party and Socialist Left Party, the representatives from other parties, and other advisers participated at the meeting. The meeting discussed the issues, including the positions for federal democracy, the current and upcoming activities, the opinions of federal political parties on the illegal election of the military, the human right violations committed by the military, and the situations and sufferings of women, girls and children. In addition, the cases relating to ICC and ICJ, the credibility of the NUG, the international cooperation and challenges of the NUG, the relations with neighbouring countries and the opinions of the NUG on the ASEAN Five-point-Consensus, as well as the advice of the government of Norway were also exchanged in the meeting.
The representatives from political parties in Norway said that the military coup which destroyed the democracy in the country and the military’s atrocities have insulted both the people of Myanmar and the people of the world who respect peace, justice and freedom, and the world should not neglect the issue of Myanmar. It was also said that they will support Myanmar, until the military dictatorship fails and the federal democracy is installed in the country, and another meeting will be held in February 2023.
Actions and Remarks by the International Community in response to the Military Coup d’état
At the United Nations daily press briefing on 21 November 2022, the Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General Farhan Haq reiterated the remark of Noeleen Heyzer, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Myanmar, on 19 November 2022. Being encouraged by the announcement of the mass release of detainees in Myanmar, Noeleen Heyzer reiterated the call of the Secretary-General for the immediate release of all of those who continue to be arbitrarily detained, including the President and State Counsellor of Myanmar, as well as reinforced her call for the release of all children and political prisoners who are being detained in prisons or other facilities in Myanmar.
On 21 November 2022, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar Thomas Andrews urged the Republic of Korea (ROK) to take even stronger action to help reverse the failure of the international community to address the crisis in Myanmar, at the end of his official visit to the Republic of Korea. the Special Rapporteur urged the government of the ROK to build on the positive steps, including publicly denouncing the coup, imposing an arms embargo, and issuing a moratorium on forced returns of Myanmar nationals back to Myanmar.
In his first interview with The Australian newspaper on 21 November 2022, the Australian economist and adviser to the Myanmar State Counsellor Sean Turnell, who was recently released, said that Australia should sanction the military of Myanmar and the regime’s bankers. According to the news, Sean Turnell described 650 days of his imprisonment following his arrest on 6 February 2021. It was reported that he was first locked within the Insein Prison, where he was locked in a 6m by 2.5m (20 foot by 8 foot) cell with no toilet, and then he was sent to a detention centre in Nay Pyi Taw. According to the source, he was sentenced to three years in prison for violating the official secrets and immigration law in September this year. He said that the dreams of the people of Myanmar have been completely shattered, and he supported the sanctions against regime officials and Myanmar bankers.
According to the news on 22 November 2022, the Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd plans to withdraw from Myanmar by early 2023. According to the statement issued by the Bank, it had been facing increasing operational complexity in Myanmar over the past several months following the military coup in the country. The Managing Director of the Group added that the decision follows careful consideration of the local operating conditions.
Date: 27 November 2022
Permanent Mission of Myanmar to the United Nations, New York