Weekly Updates on Current Situation in Myanmar (3 October 2021)
Weekly Information Updates on Current Situation in Myanmar
After more than 230 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 and acute humanitarian situation caused by the military coup.
As of 2 October 2021, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), a total of 1154 people were ruthlessly killed by the military, whereas 8,709 people have been arrested, 7,045 people have still been detained, and 1,989 people have been issued with warrants since 1 February 2021 when the military unleashed systematic and targeted attacks and violence against innocent civilians.
Nevertheless, demonstrations against the military, anti-coup movements, and pro-democracy activities are still actively and coordinately continued.
The dramatic increase in the exchange rate, the value of gold, and fuel prices
With the military coup has entered its eighth month in Myanmar, the country faces a sharp increase in the exchange rate, the value of gold, and fuel prices. On 28 September 2021, it was reported that the US dollar exchange rate sharply increased from 2,500 kyats to 2,700 kyats per dollar, while Myanmar’s currency declined. This is a high record compared to the exchange rate before the coup, which is between 1,300 kyats to 1,400 kyats per dollar. People are concerned with fears of worsening social and economic instability in the country.
Likewise, the price of gold reached more than 2.25 million kyats per tical, in which the value of gold before the coup was 1.32 million kyats per tical. On 30 September 2021, fuel prices in the country have more than doubled following the coup and reach to highest record in the international market in 2021. The price soared to over 1,500 kyats from around 700 kyats, which was the rate before the coup. Many people can no longer afford basic necessities goods because of hyper inflation and price gauging by fuel companies.
Violations and Attacks by the military
On 25 September 2021, the security forces of the military junta reportedly raided an apartment at Myaynigone Township, Yangon, around 1 am, and arrested four persons, including one CDM doctor and one CDM nurse, who have actively participated in the protests against the military since the coup on February. According to the video footage leaked by Khit Thit Media, the security forces shot them on the street, tortured those who survived and then shooting until death. Following the leak, it was reported that SAC forces were looking for the location where the video was recorded.
On 25 September 2021, three civilians were arrested and shot dead by the soldiers in Kanpetlet Township in Chin State. They were Mr.Lein Hone, aged 60 years old, Mr. Lein Aung, aged 30 years old, and Mr. Kwan Ouan, aged 30 years old. They were shot dead on their return to their villages after providing food and supplies to IDP camps. Those soldiers were reportedly stationed at New Kanpetlet Airport.
Mr.Ye Naing Oo from Khaw Zar Town of Ye Township in Mon State was shot dead by the soldiers on 28 September 2021 at 7 pm, at Chaung Taung Bridge Gate in Ye Town. Mr. Ye Naing Oo was suffered from mental health illness and was murdered after he left his home alone that morning. The body of Ye Naing Oo was not returned to his family.
On 28 September 2021, a 30-year-old, Mr. Myint Kyaw Moe, a local People’s Defence Force leader in Sagaing Region, was reportedly killed after around 200 military troops and plainclothes personnel arrived at the neighboring villages of Monywa and Kyaymon. According to the resident who told to Myanmar Now News, Mr. Myint Kyaw Moe was shot in the head and got crushed by the military’s FAW vehicle. During the raid, soldiers ransacked homes and burned down a house in Kyaymon village where Mr. Myint Kyaw Moe was believed to have been staying.
The military forces arrested five local staff from Southeast Asia – Oil and Gas Pipeline Company located in Kyaukse Tawma village, Mandalay Division on 29 September 2021 and 30 September 2021. Among them, one was arrested in the office during office hours, three arrested at nighttime from the quarters, and one in Kyaukse the next day. During the night arrest, when the company's security guards refused to open the gate, the military forces threatened to arrest everyone if they continued to refuse. The military accused them of contacting the Kyuaukse People’s Defense Force, and their whereabout was still unknown to their families.
The military groups raided and shot inside PyinHtaung Village of Khin Oo Township on 1 October 2021. When the villagers tried to run from the shooting, the military forces shot them, and the four villagers, including a five-year-old child, were shot to death. Although one person was seriously injured, the villagers treated her seriously as they feared the military group might arrest her. The military took all the food and drinks from shops and restaurants inside the village while destroying some houses. After the shooting, the military group took 50 villagers as hostages when leaving the village to make the rest of the villagers unable to resist them. Later, those hostages were released.
On 1 October 2021, Mr.Yan Paing, a People’s Defence Force (PDF) of Nay Pyi Taw, reportedly died from severe injuries from consistent torture while being treated at the 1000 beds Hospital in Nay Pyi Taw. He was arrested at home in Pyinmana. It is reported that he was deafened in one ear, the bones of his hands and legs were broken, and he had injuries all over his body.
On 2 October 2021, in Yay Township of Mon State, the military forces arrested former-NLD parliamentarian U Myo Win's mother, wife, and daughter. Although the wife was released later, the 90-years old mother and daughter are still detained as hostages while the military took one automobile and two motorbikes from his house. According to the local people, the military forces regularly search the house to capture U Myo Win. Since they couldn’t arrest him until now, they are taking his family members as hostages. He and his son have been hiding since the military arbitrarily arrested people protesting in Yay Township.
After the conflict between the military forces and Karenni National Defense Force (KNDF) in Demoso Township from 24 to 26 September, the military forces have retreated from the area, burning many houses and leaving behind many landmines. On 28 September 2021, one of the three IDPs from Thesule village went back to their homes to get rations stepped on the landmine, and was critically injured. Similarly, on 29 September 2021, three men from Konethar village came back to their homes to get rations stepped on the landmine, where one lost his life, and two were seriously injured. A member of KNDF who went through the demining process in Nanmalkhone town of the Demoso Township lost his life due to the landmine set by the military force. According to the reports, although the KNDF has been doing the demining process in those areas, being lack of advanced materials and tools and the landmines were buried around the household areas, it has been challenging to clear the area from landmines completely.
On 2 October 2021, during the nighttime, the military forces invaded the houses of the NLD party chair from Yoegyi village and Khin Tan village and the NLD Party Division member. When the military forces destroyed the keys and invaded the house, the people had already escaped. However, they destroyed everything inside the homes, including the television, refrigerator, dressing table, and cabinets, and took the motorbikes.
On 3 October 2021, Mr.Aung Phyo, Mr.Aung Myint Soe, and Mr.Sein Po from Shweku Talsu village of Khin-u Township in Sagaing Region were shot dead in the head after the security forces forced them to lie on their stomachs in a stress position. It is reported that they ran into the soldiers while returning home to feed the cows. The locals from nearby villages, including Shweku Talsu village, fled from their homes, as the military troops have been stationed at the Pyin Htaung village since the morning of 3 October 2021.
Humanitarian Situation in Myanmar
According to the humanitarian snapshot issued by the UNHCR on 17 September 2021, more than 206,600 people have been internally displaced due to clashes and insecurity since 1 February in Chin, Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, and Mon states, and in the Tanintharyi region. There were also reports of population movement in Magway and Sagaing regions, believed to be in thousands due to armed clashes and insecurity in recent months. The details of this displacement could not be verified at the time of reporting due to access challenges.
Displacement in Kayah, Shan, Mon, Tanintharyi, Chin, and Sagaing: UNHCR estimated that as of 13 September, 149,000 people remained internally displaced across the southeast since 1 February; this includes 79,200 in Kayah, 18,500 in southern Shan, 49,300 in Kayin, and 1,100 in Mon states with a further 900 people in Tanintharyi Region. About 15,250 people remain displaced in 5 townships in Chin State since May and Saw Township in Magway and Kale Township in the Sagaing regions since June.
According to public sources, around 1,000 people from Chin State have reportedly crossed the border into neighboring Mizoram State in northeastern India since 10 September.
Activities of the National Unity Government
On 29 September 2021, H.E. Daw Zin Mar Aung, Union Minister for Foreign Affairs of the National Unity Government, met with H.E. Ann Linde, Foreign Minister of Sweden, and discussed the current political affairs of Myanmar, the atrocities caused by the terrorist Military’s attempted coup and the democratic movements of the people in Myanmar. U Lin Thant, the Myanmar representative to the Czech Republic, also attended the meeting.
Actions and Remarks by the International Community in response to the Military Coup d’état
In response to the internet blackout in Myanmar, the embassy of the United Kingdom issued on 28 September 2021 that the continued internet shutdowns and restrictions on media freedom in Myanmar endanger the vulnerable communities, impacting businesses and livelihoods across the county. It is affirmed that “the UK will continue to support actors facilitating flows of independent and verified information.”
At the United Nations daily press briefing on 27 September 2021, the spokesman of the Secretary-General Stéphane Dujarric said that Myanmar is facing a humanitarian crisis, with the events following the military coup on 1st February and worsening consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, in which more than 3 million people need humanitarian assistance, those living in urban areas, mainly in Yangon and Mandalay, are the most vulnerable families. Those in the south-eastern and western parts of Myanmar are affected by conflict. He added that “more than 220,000 people have been internally displaced due to armed clashes since 1 February”. He explained that $ 276.5 million are required for the Humanitarian Response Plan for 2021, yet only 47 percent is funded.
On 30 September 2021, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned, “An urgent international response is needed to prevent the crisis in Myanmar from becoming a “catastrophe” in the heart of Southeast Asia and beyond.” He added that a unified international and regional response is urgently needed to put Myanmar back on the path to democratic reform, calling again for the immediate release of President and State Counsellor in Myanmar.
United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Myanmar Andrew Kirkwood stated at the virtual UN press briefing on 30 September 2021 that the people in Myanmar are facing a severe crisis, and the number of people who need humanitarian assistance has reached three million. He explained the funding shortage that a total of $ 385 million had been requested to get those three million people this year, but about a fourth of that amount has been received.
Date: 3 October 2021
Permanent Mission of Myanmar to the United Nations, New York