Weekly Updates on Current Situation in Myanmar (8 June 2021)
Deaths and Arbitrary Arrests
As of 8 June 2021, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), a total of 5,858 people have been arrested whereas 4,704 people are still under detention, 1,936 people have been issued with warrants and 857 people ruthlessly murdered by the military since 1 February 2021 when the military unleashed systematic and targeted attacks and violence against innocent civilians.
Already more than 120 days have passed since the coup; the military terrorist group has not stopped its inhumane acts and arbitrary arrests against the unarmed civilians until today.
Military’s Unstoppable Brutal Actions
Arbitrary Arrests: On 2 June 2021, a 62-year-old mother and wife of a man whom the junta was searching for were arrested when the junta forces did not find him at home.
On 2 June 2021, in Myitkyina, Kachin State, Mr. Thet Tun Oo, a lawyer who is taking pro-bono case for people was arrested for staging anti-dictatorship protests.
On 3 June 2021, a man was shot to death when he did not stop his motorcycle for inspection by junta troops in Monywa, Sagaing Region.
On 4 June 2021, Mr. Thaw Zin who is LGBT was shot and killed. Junta troops hit him with three bullets in arm and rib when he and his two friends were on the way home riding a motorcycle.
On 4 June 2021, in Monywa in Sagaing Region, Mr. Khant Zin Ko, who is a member of Monywa University Student Union, was arrested when the junta forces did not find his father at home.
On 8 June 2021, Mr. Marn Zar Myay Mon, a protest leader of Chaung-U Township in Sagaing Region was shot and arrested by the military forces. He was issued with warrant under Penal Code Section 505(a) before the arrest.
On 8 June 2021, in Hlaing township in Yangon, when the junta forces cracked down a protest, about 4 youths including 2 males and 2 females were arrested. According to a protester involved in a rally, plains-clothed wearing police turned up into the rally and arrested the youths.
Clashes between Villagers and Military Forces: On 5 June 2021, in Kyonpyaw Township in Ayeyarwady region, it is reportedly clashes between villagers and military forces after a villager named Mr. Kyay was taken into custody on early morning. The junta accused Mr. Kyay, who sells bananas to Yangon, of transporting weapons. Shootout between two sides lasted for about an hour and three civilians were shot dead including a 19-year-old youth. According to the information received, the military took control of Hlay Swel village and villagers from eight neighbouring villages fled their homes.
Violent Crackdowns in Moebyel in Shan State: According to the information received from the local residents, the military used heavy forces, set fire the houses and buildings, broke into houses and took the properties since four days ago.
Deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in Kayah State: In the early days of May, some young generations residing in Phekhone, Moebyel, Demoso, and Seebu townships have been resisting against the military’s repression with homemade guns. Since then, the military have been operating systematic and targeted attacks on the entire ‘Kayan’ people including civilians who are not directly taking part in the hostilities.
Now, around 1 million of ‘Kayan’ are displaced directed towards Seebuu Township, due to the heavy artillery and Airstrikes of the military. The estimated Kayan population is about 2 millions. Therefore, about 85% of the ‘Kayan’ people would become displaced persons and nowhere to hide since the geographical position of these regions are not interconnected with international borders, and if the military continues their strikes in Seebuu township.
Targeting the members of NLD party
The junta has more targeted to arrest the members of the National League Democracy (NLD) party. On 4 June 2021, Mr. Khin Maung Shwe, NLD Chairman of Shwebo Township, who was arrested and charged under Section 505(a) of the Penal Code was sentenced to three years imprisonment.
On 5 June 2021, Mr. Kyaw Ohn, NLD Chairman of Man Ywet Village of Mogaung Township of Kachin State, was arrested at his home by the junta forces who were wearing plainclothes.
Moreover, on 6 June 2021, in Taungyi Township, Mr. Tin Myint, Taunggyi Township, Executive Committee Member of NLD was beaten and arrested at his home by junta forces.
On 7 June 2021, Dr. Aung Moe Nyo, former Magway Region Chief Minister, was sentenced to two years imprisonment under 505(b) of the Penal Code and a new charge on natural disaster management law was opened.
Issuing Warrants for the Members of Trade Unions
At the end of May 2021, under the Myanmar Penal Code 124 (A), the junta issued warrants for 28 members of the Central Committee of the Confederation of Trade Unions Myanmar (CTUM). The passports of all members were also declared null and void at the same time.
Anti-Coup Resistance Movements
Despite tight security and violent actions against the civilians by the junta, anti-coup resistance movements are still gaining momentum across the country.
On 8 June 2021, members of the Mandalay Society of Engineers which is one of the most consistent groups protesting the dictatorship, organized a motorcycle rally. On the same day, members of student union from townships in Mandalay marched to call for democracy and boycotted the military’s slave education system.
In addition to rallying every day across Dawei, on 8 June 2021, young people handed out anti-junta leaflets in markets.
Policy Position on the Rohingya in Rakhine State
The National Unity Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar issued the policy position on the Rohingya in Rakhine State on 3 June 2021. The salient points in the statement are as follow:
- The National Unity Government will consider the opinions and views of the entire people of Myanmar including those in Rakhine State, in drafting a new Constitution that can resolve problems caused by the 2008 Constitution.
- The process of repealing, amending and promulgating laws, including the 1982 Citizenship Law, by the new Constitution when the drafting is completed will be beneficial in resolving the conflict in Rakhine State.
- The new Citizenship Act must base the citizenship on birth in Myanmar or birth anywhere as a child of Myanmar citizens.
- The National Unity Government further commits to abolishing the process of issuing National Verification Cards, a process that the military has used against the Rohingyas and other ethnic groups coercively and with human rights violation.
- The Rohingyas are entitled to citizenship by laws that will accord with fundamental human rights norms and democratic federal principles.
Announcement on Counter terrorism and designation of terrorist organizations
On 7 June 2021, the National Unity Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar issued the announcement on counter terrorism and designation of terrorist organizations. In the statement, the National Unity Government (NUG) designated the Tatmadaw and its affiliated organizations as terrorist organizations under Section 3 of Myanmar’s Counter-Terrorism Law.
The National Unity Government (NUG) also highlighted the following acts of terrorism that the Tatmadaw and affiliated organization have perpetrated towards innocent civilians to create public fear and to control the region:
- Killings of more than 800 civilians using lethal weapons
- Arbitrary detentions of more than 5,000 people, many of whom have been tortured and sexually abused
- Decimation of the economy with the near collapse of the banking system and the threatening of people’s savings and property
- Disregard for a food security crisis, with the number affected set to increase from 1 to over 3 million people in the coming months
- Abandonment of Myanmar’s COVID CERP program along with an overall collapse of the healthcare system
- Massive money laundering operations
International Pressure on the Illegitimate Military Group
On 3 June 2021, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) issued the statement regarding the visit of ICRC President Peter Maurer to Myanmar to meet with the Chief of military group, who staged the coup and seized the power in Myanmar since 1 February 2021. In the statement, it is expressed that during the meeting, ICRC president emphasized that people in Myanmar are in need of urgent assistance and protection in the current situation. He also stressed the importance for the ICRC to resume its purely humanitarian visits and activities in places of detention in Myanmar which are essential to secure humane treatment and conditions of detention for all detainees and to restore communication between detainees and their families.
Entering to the fifth month of crippling unrest and chaos following the military coup in Myanmar, there are reports that ASEAN envoys arrived in Myanmar on 3 June 2021 to meet with Myanmar military leader. On the same day, ASEAN Secretary-General and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs of Brunei, who is ASEAN Chair for 2021 arrived in Myanmar.
During the visit to Jakarta, European Union Foreign Affairs Chief, Mr. Josep Borrell said on 3 June 2021 that the EU is planning a new round of sanctions on the ruling generals of Myanmar and their economic interests and these third row of sanctions on Myanmar will be approved in the coming days. He also told the journalists that the leadership to find a political solution for the situation of Myanmar belongs to ASEAN.
On 7 June 2021, envoys from ASEAN called on Myanmar’s military group to release all political prisoners and urged to implement the ASEAN’s five-point-consensus to end the turmoil in the country following the coup.
On 7 June 2021, the U.S welcomed the commitment to address discrimination and human rights abuses against Rohingya in the statement of NUG. Secretary of State of the US said the NUG’s pledge to address discrimination and human rights abuses against Rohingya is an important signal to all those working for an inclusive, democratic future.
The United Nations in Myanmar issued the statement on 8 June 2021, expressing the concern about the rapidly deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in Kayah State and other areas in southeastern Myanmar. The statement highlighted the recent violence by the Myanmar security forces against civilians in Kayah states, which resulted in massive internal displacement of an estimated 100,000 people including men, women and children, and incidents of seeking safely by those in host communities and neighbouring Shan State. It also reiterated its earlier calls for all parties to urgently take the necessary measures to protect the civilians and protected objects including medical units and personnel.
On 8 June 2021, Mr Tom Andrews, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar also called for immediate action to avoid a massive loss of live in Kayah State. He urged all the regional actors, INGOs and civil society organizations to do all that can avoid a catastrophic loss of life, and the neighbouring countries to support the cross-border displacement of Myanmar. He also called international community to cut off the resources access which the junta needs to continue the brutal attacks on the people of Myanmar.
Date: 8 June 2021
Permanent Mission of Myanmar, New York