11:00 AM, 16 February 2021 News Briefing

  • The Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry-UMFCCI  expressed  on Feb 15 an announcement of its opposition to the Cyber Security Bill proposed by the military. The announcement said  that it objected to the plan to be enacted earlier due to “the bill could affect the development of the local digital economy and can hinder innovation, and there may be challenges in attracting foreign investment”. There have been legal amendments meanwhile under the military state council.
  • The military reported on Feb 15 on force crackdown and detating of anti-coup protesters in Mandalay and Naypyidaw yesterday. In the report, the military  said “despite Article 144 of Criminal Procedure has been imposed with the prohibition of any gatherings, there are being carried out  to cause unrest, such as rioting, shouting slogans, inciting protests and causing disturbances and that disturbances can deteriorate the State peace and stability, and  they reacted committing violent acts such as using catapults and throwing bricks to police”. 
  • In Mandalay, police and troops fired rubber bullets into the people who were protesting peacefully to crack down the demonstration near Myanmar Economic Bank (Mandalay Branch 1) on the evening of Feb 15, some were injured and many protesters were arrested during the crackdown, a witness told DVB.
  • After a first meeting on feb 5,  UN Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener, spoke with Vice-Chairman of the  military administrative state council, Deputy Commander-in-Chief, U Soe Win, yesterday (Feb 15) for the second time and discussed the administration’s plans and information. “Ms Schraner Burgener has reinforced that the right of peaceful assembly must fully be respected and that demonstrators are not subjected to reprisals,” U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq said. According to a Reuters report it is assumed to be “a rare channel of communication”  between Myanmar military and the outside world.
  • Mandalay region Agriculture, Livestock, and Irrigation Minister Dr.Soe Than was taken away by a group of people since Feb 1 at 4 am, his family who have been currently under house arrest told DVB that they are worried as he could not be reached so far. 
  • According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners- AAPP’s statistics update on February 15, a total of 426 people have been arrested and detained in relation to the military-coup since February 1 and  among them, a total of 391 are still under detention.
  • As of 8 PM, 15 Feb, a total of 887 samples were tested and found more 36 new cases and 1 death. MoHS has reported 141,637 of total confirmed cases including 130,465  discharged, and 3,190 deaths.
  • In Thailand, the online registration period for migrants workers has been extended to Feb 13 and out of 654,864 registered migrant workers from Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos, a total of 384,077 Myanmar migrant workers have registered.
  • On Feb 15, the US Embassy in Myanmar issued the voluntary departure of non-emergency US government employees and their family members in Myanmar and reminded all US citizens of the heightened potential for violence, continued telecommunications restrictions, and limited flights out of Myanmar. But the embassy would remain open.
  • There are more than 109 million Covid-19 cases with more than 81.4 million recovered and 2.4 million deaths, and 21 countries have reported millions of Covid-19 cases worldwide, the United States has the highest number of Covid-19 cases with more than 28 million and more than 490,000 deaths, India ranks second with nearly 11 million cases and more than 150,000 deaths, Brazil is the third with more than 9.8 million and more than 230,000 deaths, according to Worldometers.