Weekly Updates on Current Situation in Myanmar (6 March 2022)
Weekly Updates on Current Situation in Myanmar
It has been more than 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 4 March 2022, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), 1,603 people were ruthlessly killed by the military, whereas 12,534 people have been arrested, 9,507 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 raiding and torching two villages in Magway Region
“Myanmar Now News” reported that during the first week of March 2022, the military forces and members of its Phyu Saw Htee paramilitary group raided the Villages of Lel Yar and Letpan Hla, located 18 miles south of Pauk Township in Magway Region. The military torched more than 200 houses, leading to the displacement of local residents.
Local villagers said the two villages were targeted in the military’s attacks carried out from 2 to 3 March 2022. According to local sources, when Lel Yar Village was ambushed on 2 March, the military forces and the member of the military-allied group torched the houses in the village, destroying 200 out of the 260 households and displacing 1,700 people, including 500 children.
On 3 March 2022, the military troops raided Letpan Hla Village and set fire to at least 30 out of 90 houses in the village. According to a local defense member, as the military forces fired heavy artillery and 60 mm shells when they entered the village, the local defense fighters evacuated the civilians to a hill nearby and let the military troops destroy the village. It is reported that the invading military column consisted of more than 150 troops.
The Military Attacks within Sagaing Region
According to Mandalay Free Press, four military helicopters conducted massive airstrikes against the Villages of Kyauk Pyote, Aung Chan Thar, and Tha Pyay Aye within Yin Mar Pin Township of Sagaing Region on 28 February 2022. The military troops committed the inhumane acts of killing civilians, burning down houses and using villagers as human shields.
According to DVB TV News, the military conducted airstrikes against Wa La Mu Village of Kyunhla Township in Sagaing Region on 1 March 2022. It is also reported that the military’s brutal raid in Chan Thar Village of Ye-U Township in Sagaing Region on 2 March 2022 forcibly displaced more than 3,500 civilians.
“Khit Thit Media” reported that as the military’s four helicopters conducted massive airstrikes against Oe Hop Village in Pale Township of Sagaing Region on 3 March 2022, the local residents were forced to flee in fear. Local residents said that the military’s offensive attacks against the villages have been intensifying, with the airstrikes from the military’s helicopters. It is also said that when the military column raided Lin Pone Village of Kani Township, a villager was shot dead by the military forces.
According to Mandalay Free Press, the military forces in an ambulance forcibly raided a PDF camp near Min Swe Hint Village in Depayin Township of Sagaing Region on 4 March 2022. It is reported that eight PDF members were killed, and three villagers, including two children, were abducted.
Security Force and the members of the Phyu Saw Htee paramilitary group committing Inhumane Crime in Pauk Township
DVB TV News reported that on 5 March 2022, a Deputy Police Chief from Kaine Lel Police Station and the members of the Phyu Saw Htee paramilitary group raped and then killed a woman in Inn Nge Dauk Village in Pauk Township of Magway Region. According to a local resident, the Deputy Police Chief and the leader of the Pyu Saw Htee group raped the woman. After that, the woman and her three-year-old son were shot dead.
The Military abducting Civilians
Local sources reported that the military forces forcibly abducted well-known singer Paing Thet Kyaw in Hlaing Thayar Township in Yangon Region on 2 March 2022, after accusing him of providing support for CDM civil staff in Na Wa Dae Housing. On the same day, in East Dagon Township of Yangon Region, the military forces forcibly abducted an NLD member serving as a Volunteer at an HIV/AIDS Charity Organization founded by well-known NLD member of parliament Daw Phyu Phyu Thin. In North Dagon Township of Yangon Region, the military forces used a military vehicle to crash a civilian car and then forcibly beat and abducted four youths from the car on 3 March 2022.
It is reported that on 2 March 2022, in Amarapura Township of Mandalay Region, the military forces forcibly abducted two members of the Mandalay Education College Students' Union and a CDM teacher in Hman Tan Ward. A civilian, who took picture of the scene, was shot dead. On 4 March 2022, the military forces abducted three youths for hanging anti-dictatorship posters in Pyay Town of Bago Region.
The Military sentencing civilians to Imprisonment
According to AAPP, Htet Aung, vice-chairman of the All Burma Federation of Student Unions (ABFSU) and former chairman of the Pyay University Students’ Union, was sentenced to four-years imprisonment with hard labour under Section 52(d) of the Counter-Terrorism Law on 1 March 2022. It is reported that he is a third-year student majoring in geology at the University of Pyay in Bago Region and was arrested on 6 September 2021 for protesting against the military coup.
It is further reported that a civilian named Aung Min Khaing (a.k.a. Mae Gyi), who is a former chairman of the Basic Education Students’ Union, has been detained since 17 May 2021, and he was sentenced to three-years imprisonment under Section 505(a) of the Penal Code by the special court in Insein Prison.
The Military cutting off Internet Access within Sagaing Region
Credible news reported that the military (which calls itself the State Administration Council – SAC) issued an order to cut off the internet access to nearly all of the Region of Sagaing starting on 3 March 2022. It is reported that the military-controlled Ministry of Transport and Communications ordered all telecoms operators, including MPT, Mytel, Ooredoo and Telenor, to blackout internet service in 23 townships of the Sagaing region, excluding only four cities – Monywa, Sagaing, Kalay and Shwebo.
According to a local source, although the order does not include cutting off wifi services, and the suspension was to block the mobile internet, wifi services are not available in the remote areas. The order has already been applied to at least 18 of the 23 townships in the Region. It is reported that the internet blackout follows an escalation of the military’s raids on villages in Sagaing Region, including the acts of torching houses and killing civilians.
Activities of the National Unity Government
On 25 February 2022, the National Unity Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar issued a Statement on Ukraine, condemning the unprovoked acts of war directed against Ukraine and its people, and stating that these acts are a flagrant violation of the United Nations (UN) Charter and international law. It is mentioned in the statement that Myanmar calls to respect the territorial integrity, independence, and sovereignty of Ukraine, and that Myanmar stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine. The statement underlined that the current situation in Ukraine is a violation of the United Nations Charter and international law, which is not a good example in the 21st century, and it will be a major obstacle to the maintenance of international peace, security, and human development.
The Permanent Representative of Myanmar delivered a statement on 2 March 2022 at the UN General Assembly Emergency Special Session on Ukraine, condemning the invasion of Ukraine and unprovoked attacks against the people of Ukraine, calling to respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine and immediate cessation of hostilities and attack on Ukraine. He further pointed out that Myanmar understands and shares more than others the suffering that the people of Ukraine are encountering; the people of Myanmar are facing similar suffering resulted from the inhumane acts, atrocities, and crimes against humanity committed by the Myanmar military.
Accordingly, Myanmar cosponsored the draft resolution on Aggression against Ukraine and voted in favour when it was considered at the meeting on 2 March 2022.
The Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to the United Nations successfully completed the Chairmanship for the Asia-Pacific Group on 28 February 2022. Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to the United Nations, has successfully served as Chair of the Asia-Pacific Group (APG) for the month of February 2022. During the chairmanship, the Permanent Mission of Myanmar circulated official communications related to the candidatures proposed by the member states of the APG to various bodies in the UN, including the Security Council, Chair and Vice-Chair positions at the General Assembly, Bureaus for various main committees, Special Committees, Advisory Committees, Working Groups, various Commissions, members to the International Court of Justice, members to the ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies, Human Rights bodies, International Law bodies and other specialized agencies. In addition, the Permanent Mission of Myanmar, in its capacity as Chair of the APG for the month of February 2022, communicated with relevant UN secretariats regarding the group’s endorsements on the candidatures.
During his chairmanship, the Permanent Representative of Myanmar successfully convened an Expert-level Meeting of the APG on 24 February 2022 and the Monthly Meeting of the APG on 28 February 2022, respectively.
Actions and Remarks by the International Community in response to the attempted Military Coup d’état
On 28 February 2022, the White House announced that President Joe Biden will host the leaders of ASEAN at a special summit in Washington, D.C on 28 to 29 March 2022, demonstrating the U.S. commitment to ASEAN on the 45th anniversary of U.S. – ASEAN relations. Due to the lack of cooperation from the military on the implementation of ASEAN’s Five-Point Consensus, ASEAN barred the military representative of Myanmar from the last ASEAN summit in October 2021 and the recent ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat, and this policy of ASEAN is expected to remain in place for the upcoming summit to be held in Washington, DC.
In the UN daily press briefing on 3 March 2022, the Spokesman for the Secretary-General Stéphane Dujarric said that the World Food Programme (WFP) is substantially scaling up its assistance with plans to target at least 4 million people across in Myanmar, despite immense challenges in security, humanitarian access, funding and the pandemic. The Spokesman added that one out of four people now currently face food insecurity in the country. He said that the WFP is completing new rounds of food and nutritional assistance, reaching up to 1.7 million vulnerable people in Yangon and Mandalay. He also mentioned that the WFP also delivered life-saving food to 57,000 newly displaced people over the last year in seven states and regions in the country, and this is in addition to the regular food and cash distributions for 360,000 men, women and children in the border areas of Rakhine, Kachin and northern Shan States.
The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar issued through his personal Twitter account a statement that the National Unity Government of Myanmar supports the people of Ukraine, while the military group supports the bombs falling on them. The Special Rapporteur said, “Yet more evidence that the NUG is the genuine representative of the people of Myanmar and why the world should treat them as such.”
Date: 6 March 2022
Permanent Mission of Myanmar to the United Nations, New York