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ASEAN convoy attacked in Shan State; Pro-democracy film wins awards

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

Indonesian President Joko Widodo condemns attack on aid convoy.

ASEAN convoy attacked in Shan State 

An Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) convoy delivering humanitarian aid was attacked by an armed group in Taunggyi District, Shan State on May 8. Indonesian President Joko Widodo condemned the attack. “Stop using force. Stop violence because it’s the people who will be victims. This condition will not make anybody win,” he told Reuters. The Secretary of the National Unity Government (NUG) Ministry of Defense Naing Htoo Aung addressed the attack on Public Voice Television (PVTV). “The military council and Pa-O National Organization militias are stationed where the incident occurred. The People’s Defense Force cannot possibly carry out such an attack based on the available geographical information and deployed positions,” he said.

NUG claims 3,948 regime troops killed in 2023

The NUG Ministry of Defence claims an estimated 3,948 Burma Army troops and regime officials have been killed and 1,760 have been wounded so far this year. It has documented 193 drone attacks: 44 of them have been carried out on military outposts. Since forming the PDF, 300 battalions have been set up across Burma.

Two Burmese killed in Thai road accident

Two Burma nationals were killed in a traffic accident in Thailand’s Narathiwat Province on May 5. Thai police stated that a car carrying 13 undocumented Burma nationals overturned after refusing to stop at a police checkpoint. Questions were raised online about the car possibly being hit during a police chase.

Pro-democracy film wins award

A short film about anti-coup activists in Burma called The Way has won the top three awards—Best Musical Film, Best First Time Director (Feature), and Best Song—at the Festigious International Film Competition. Director Lynn Lynn shot the entire film on his smartphone. The Way won three awards at the World Film Carnival Singapore. Lynn Lynn and his wife, artist Chit Thu Wai, have had their home seized by police in Burma.

DVB Weekly Cartoon: Burma returns to the list of pariah nations.

News by Region

MANDALAY—Songwriter Saw Pabalu, his wife and three children, were detained in Meiktila on May 1. “About 10 armed civilians in a civilian car first took him, saying it was for questioning. Then his wife and children were taken,” a source close to the family told DVB. The motive behind the arrests is unknown.

MON—Three PDF members were killed in an airstrike on an outpost in Ye Township on May 7. “Two bombs dropped. One was killed on the spot, and another bled to death. There was one unexploded bomb that remained,” a PDF spokesperson told DVB. “There was no battle in the area, but we can hear the sound of fighter jets. So we are worried,” a local said.

Two police officers were killed in PDF attacks on police stations in Bilin Township on May 6. “PDF forces were not harmed,” a Kyaikto Revolutionary Force (KRF) PDF spokesperson told KIC News.

RAKHINE—A Rohingya delegation that visited Maungdaw to inspect repatriation camps on May 5 stated they would only return to their home communities if their identities and citizenship were recognized. “Myanmar is our birthplace and we are citizens of Myanmar and will only go back with citizenship,” said a Rohingya man. The Burma Bangladesh pilot repatriation project is offering 1,000 refugees National Verification Cards (NVC), which would identify them as foreigners. 

Nearly 200 residents in two villages of Buthidaung Township were evicted by the Burma Army on April 30. Four of its troops allegedly defected. “The soldiers visited and searched for the defectors. They investigated the villagers and were told not to stay in the village for two weeks. Now there are no people in the village,” a man told DVB.

The United League of Arakan (ULA/AA) Arakan Army issued a warning on May 7 regarding a potential cyclonic storm off the coast of Rakhine State. “The latest news about the storm will be released in real time for the public,” the ULA stated. It urged local and international organizations to cooperate to provide humanitarian assistance to people in need.

TANINTHARYI—Properties belonging to local businessman Aung Zaw Ooin in Kama Chaung village of Bokpyin Township were seized on May 5, Thanlwin Times reported. Aung Zaw Ooin was arrested last month and charged under the Counter-Terrorism Act on accusations of funding resistance groups.

Watch our latest report on the renewed calls to release all political prisoners in Myanmar. DVB English is on-demand via Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok & Substack.

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