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A new ‘Silent Strike’ for February 1; Activists in Germany call on EU to assist asylum seekers

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

A new ‘Silent Strike’ for February 1 

Anti-coup and resistance groups have called on the public to participate in a Silent Strike, an annual event where people stay home and refrain from any economic activity from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Feb. 1 – the third anniversary of the 2021 military coup. 

Pro-democracy leader Tayzar San is calling on people to join the White Campaign and wear white clothes or accessories in an effort to raise awareness about the need for an aviation fuel ban against the military by the international community. 

“It is time to show our people’s revolutionary spirit, perseverance, courage and unity. We will not give up. We are not letting those dictators rule us,” he said. White Campaign participants are asked to wear white every Monday, starting on Feb. 1.  

Activists in Germany call on EU to assist asylum seekers 

Nyein Chan May, the co-founder and chair of the activist group German Solidarity with Myanmar Democracy, called on the E.U. to make it easier for Burma nationals to seek asylum in its member states. 

“Myanmar human rights defenders [have] had to flee the country. The European Union has [accepted] the lowest number of human rights defenders from Myanmar officially,” she said.

Nyein Chan May also requested the E.U. to increase its engagement with civil society groups and for it to channel humanitarian assistance through them. Her organization will host a meeting with members of Germany’s parliament on Feb. 2 to increase awareness about the crisis in Burma. 

Independent analyst David Mathieson on Newsroom podcast

DVB Bureau Chief Mon Mon Myat sat down in the Newsroom to discuss the three years of resistance to the 2021 military coup with independent analyst on Burma’s conflict, David Mathieson.

“Min Aung Hlaing and the [military] have put themselves in this situation and I think they’re facing a level of opposition that they haven’t faced in seven decades. I think they’re taking losses on the battlefield that are unsustainable in the long run,” said Mathieson. 

He added that the resistance needs to start discussing what a post-military Burma will look like and to avoid a premature victory narrative. Mathieson praised the resistance for beginning to build a federal democratic union from the bottom up. 

News by Region

Burma Army troops inspect the wreckage of a helicopter in Myawaddy Township on Jan. 29. (Credit: CJ)

KAREN—Saw Neh Da Htoo, a tactical commander of the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) claimed that five Burma Army personnel, including a brigadier general, were killed and one was injured after it and the People’s Defense Force (PDF) shot a down a helicopter in Myawaddy Township on Jan. 29. 

“Their bodies are being transported back to the [KNLA headquarters],” he said. Regime media confirmed the fatalities. Resistance forces in Kachin, Karenni and Karen states claimed to have shot down a total of three helicopters and two fighter jets in recent months.

KARENNI—The Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF) claimed to have seized control of Mawchi in Hpasawng Township after Burma Army troops retreated from the area on Jan. 28. “The Mawchi area is now controlled by Karenni revolutionary groups, ” a KNDF spokesperson told DVB.

Karenni resistance groups also control the towns of Ywathit, Nanmaekhon, and Mese. The Kantarawaddy Times reported that Karenni resistance groups have captured over 20 military camps in Karenni and southern Shan states since it launched an offensive on Nov. 11. 

SHAN—The Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) stated that it will take action against drugs, online scam centers and human trafficking networks in territories under its control on Jan. 29. The announcement comes following its annual meeting at RCSS headquarters in Loi Tai Leng, Mongpan Township, Jan. 26-28. 

The RCSS added that a federal democratic union can only be established through “discussions with relevant organizations.” It called on ASEAN to find a solution to the crisis in Burma. The RCSS signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) in 2015 and has frequently held “peace talks” with Naypyidaw since 2021. 

ARAKAN—The Brotherhood Alliance announced that the Arakan Army (AA) seized the Light Infantry Battalion 380 base in Minbya on Jan. 29. The AA has taken control of several military bases and the towns of Paletwa and Pauktaw since fighting began with the Burma Army on Nov. 13.  

The capture of the base comes after Narinjara News reported that Bangladesh has tightened security along its border. Thirteen artillery shells fired from Arakan reportedly landed in Bangladesh on Jan. 28. 

China’s Ambassador to Bangladesh Yao Wen stated the same day that Beijing wants to broker a ceasefire in Arakan State in order to facilitate the repatriation of Rohingya refugees, the Dhaka-based BSS News reported.

“We wish to have another ceasefire in the Rakhine State so that the mediation process for the repatriation can be started,” said Yao Wen. He emphasized the importance of the ongoing tripartite collaboration between China, Bangladesh, and Myanmar regarding Rohingya repatriation.  

The Rohingya Human Rights Initiative states that at least 20 Rohingya civilians have been killed and 104 have been injured during fighting between the Burma Army and the AA in Buthidaung Township of northern Arakan State since Jan. 25. Read more here.

Read Part 2 of the op-ed: Humanitarian Dialogue – Discreet or Cowboy Diplomacy? DVB English News is on X, Facebook, Instagram, Threads & TikTok. Subscribe to us on YouTube.

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