ASEAN shuns junta and invites “non-political” representative, NUG pressures state workers to join CDM

ASEAN shuns junta and invites “non-political” representative, NUG pressures state workers to join CDM

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

ASEAN shuns junta and invites “non-political” representative

ASEAN’s current chair Cambodia will not invite senior junta officials to an ASEAN Summit next month and will instead invite a “non-political” representative from Burma. The bridge that was built by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen toward the junta at the beginning of the year, as it took over as chair of ASEAN, has been burned by junta chief Min Aung Hlaing as he refuses to abide by ASEAN’s Five-Point Consensus (5PC) and had five democracy activists executed last July, including former National League for Democracy (NLD) members Ko Jimmy and Phyo Zeyar Thaw. Burma civil society organizations (CSOs) demand the junta be ejected from ASEAN – not engaged – as it does not represent the people of Burma.

The National Unity Government pressures state workers to join CDM

The NUG Minister Lwin Ko Latt said that many non-Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) workers have resigned following threats to arrest them if they refused to stop working under the junta. He made the claims at an NUG meeting with its township administration groups, security forces, police and fire departments as well as other local authorities from Magway and Sagaing regions. Lwin Ko Latt said in September that the NUG would issue arrest warrants under the Counter Terrorism Act for local officials that did not resign from their posts. He said that the parallel government also formed People’s Police forces in Kalay, Tamu and Watlet townships in Sagaing Region where clashes are escalating. Moreover, he claimed that judiciaries have been formed and trials have already begun in ten townships to investigate crimes.

The junta tightens its censorship regime

The junta’s Deputy Minister for Information Ye Tint ordered censor approvals before airing movies or series on television networks inside Burma at a meeting of the Film Promotion Division on Sept. 27.  The junta wants its film censorship regime to work overtime to scrutinize all movies and shows before allowing them to be aired on television airwaves or screened in cinemas across the country. The deputy minister’s order is meant to ensure that all visual content does not offend religious values, or violate national security. Burma ranks at the bottom – 176 out of 180 countries – on the 2022 World Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders (RSF). 

News by Region

SHAN—State media claimed that 12 men arrested by the Burma Army at a checkpoint in Kyaukme Township on Oct. 2 were allegedly heading to receive “terrorist explosive trainings.” It was reported that the 12 were on their way to liberated areas under the control of the  Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA). “We do not conduct this sort of training. We did not provide any training to any other group as well,” the TNLA told Shwe Phee Myay News Agency. 

MANDALAY—Six men were killed and their bodies were discovered in Natogyi and Taung Tha, in Myingyan District on Oct. 3. Five bodies were found in Natogyi. “I learned that the victims are two tea shop owners, an oil mill owner in the town, and another two men from Thangu village. It is unknown who killed them,” a local told DVB. Another body was found in Taung Tha. No groups have yet claimed responsibility for the killings. The victims are reportedly members of the National League for Democracy (NLD), according to the Mandalay Free Press.

TANINTHARYI—A 60-year-old man, his wife and son were killed and the bodies were discovered in Pandalell village on Oct. 4, Dawei Watch reported. “It has been a long time since they have stayed in the village,” a resident told the news outlet. Two local defense forces jointly claimed responsibility for the murders, claiming that the three were members of the junta’s Pyu Saw Hti militia and conducted “terrorist activities” in the village. 

RAKHINE—The junta charged six individuals under the Unlawful Association Act. The six include village administrators and district administrators in Kyaukphyu and Buthidaung townships. They are accused of providing support for the Arakan Army (AA). “Four were arrested including a district administrator and were sent to a police station on Monday afternoon. All of them were charged under Sec. 17(1) of the Unlawful Association Act,” a source from Kyaukphyu Myoma police station told DVB. Two village administrators in Buthidaung Township charged under the Unlawful Association Act have been held at the township police station since Sept. 30.

Over 50 children under the age of five at the Wa Taung refugee camp in Kyauktaw Township are in urgent need of assistance, the camp manager told DVB. “Since around Sept. 16, the children have been experiencing symptoms such as coughing and shortness of breath among others,” he added. Local health authorities reported that the displaced people need assistance that cannot be provided because of staff and medical supply shortages. Getting humanitarian access to the camps is difficult due to travel restrictions imposed by the Burma Army. 

Wa Taung refugee camp houses 872 people displaced by the conflict between Burma Army and AA. Camp officials reported that humanitarian organizations have been banned from traveling to the region since January. More than 80,000 people have been unable to return home since fighting began in Rakhine State and neighboring Chin’s Paletwa Township. Nearly 6,000 have been displaced from their homes due to recent clashes between the Burma Army and the AA.

YANGON —One person was injured in an explosion near the 26 ward administration office in Shwe Pyi Thar Township on Oct. 5. “I saw one injured person being carried in an ambulance. I don’t know if the injured is a civilian or from the administration office,” a local told DVB. Police set up checkpoints and increased patrols in the ward following the blast.

 

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