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At least 20 arrested for participating in Flower Strike; Woman allegedly killed by husband in Thailand

At least 20 arrested for participating in Flower Strike

People in Ayeyarwady, Yangon, Mandalay, Sagaing and Bago regions, as well as Kachin State, participated in the nationwide Flower Strike called by pro-democracy groups in Burma to commemorate Aung San Suu Kyi’s 79th birthday on June 19. 

In Mandalay, at least 20 people were arrested. In Sagaing Region, four people were arrested. In Ayeyarwady Region another four were arrested. “The military has called for the arrest of flower sellers and buyers, as well as those who posted photos with flowers on social media,” a Mandalay resident told DVB. 

The embassies of several countries in Burma released statements condemning the ongoing detention of Aung San Suu Kyi. “[We] continue to call for her and all those arbitrarily detained to be released. The charges against her are clearly politically motivated,” stated the British embassy. Norway, Denmark, Finland and the E.U. shared photos of roses on their social media accounts.

Woman allegedly killed by husband in Thailand

Burma national Htet Htet Zaw was allegedly killed by her husband in Mae Sot, according to women’s rights groups from Burma working in Thailand. Htet Htet Zaw died in April from a brain hemorrhage. Her husband was detained in Karen State by the Karen National Union (KNU).

“The first step is to properly bury the body and uncover the truth. The defendant has been located, and once he is handed over to Thai authorities, we can proceed,” said Htake Htar, a journalist investigating the case.

“We are attempting to contact the family to bury her, although there are security risks involved. We are relieved that the accused is held by the [KNU]. But since this occurred on Thai soil, we urge for the suspect’s swift transfer to [Thai police custody],” said Thinzar Shunlei Yi, a member of the women’s rights campaign called Sisters 2 Sisters.

Bangladesh police arrest 32 Rohingya refugees

Thirty-two Rohingya refugees were detained and interrogated by police in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh for attending a training seminar hosted by the Asia-Pacific Network of Refugees (APNOR) without permission from the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner (RRRC) on May 17, Bangladesh media reported.

“They were, first of all, taken from this training center to the police station, and they were kept there for quite some hours. Their phones were confiscated, 32 phones were confiscated, passwords were removed, and two laptops were confiscated,” said Shafiur Rahman, a journalist and filmmaker covering the plight of the Rohingya in Bangladesh.

Rahman added that many of those arrested were shown his picture by police to intimidate him and deter his critical coverage of the treatment of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. The 2024 World Press Freedom Index ranks Bangladesh near the bottom, among countries with the least amount of media freedom, at 165 out of 180.

News by Region

The body of one of Burma’s highest-ranking monks and a member of the State Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee (MaHaNa) was returned to his monastery in Bago Region on Thursday for a funeral ceremony. (Credit: CJ)

MANDALAY—An abbot of a monastery in Bago Region was killed, and another monk was injured, when troops opened fire on a vehicle they were traveling in at a checkpoint in Ngazun Township on Wednesday. “He traveled from Yangon to Mandalay to attend a meeting. His driver didn’t stop [when ordered by the troops], so they opened fire on the vehicle,” said the monk who was injured. 

Regime media reported that the vehicle was attacked by the People’s Defense Force (PDF). But a source from the Office of the Department of Religious Affairs in Mandalay told DVB that “security forces” were responsible. 

ARAKAN—Two civilians, including a child, were killed and at least five were injured in an airstrike carried out on Doakchaung village of Myebon Township on Wednesday. “A jet fighter fired two rounds of shots into the village. There were no clashes in the village,” said a Myebon resident. 

KACHIN—Approximately 50 people were buried in a landslide at two rare earth mining sites near Panwa town, located in Chipwi District on the China-Burma border, at midnight on June 19. “People were sleeping when the landslide happened. They were all buried by the earth. Today, the bodies are being recovered,” a Panwa resident told DVB. 

MON—A Mon Peace Defense Force (MPDF) office and two homes were destroyed in an apparent military drone attack on Kawpanaw village of Kyaikmaraw Township on Wednesday. “Three drones dropped bombs in the village and destroyed buildings. No one was injured,” said a Kyaikmaraw resident. Residents of villages in Mon and neighboring Karen state said that the military has been conducting drone attacks since it launched a counteroffensive against resistance forces in April. 

SHAN—Two members of the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) were killed and four others were injured in a drone attack on a TNLA outpost in Nawnghkio town on Tuesday. The Burma Army troops deployed in the town fired artillery shells at the outpost. “They used drones to scout [our location] first and then attacked,” said a TNLA spokesperson. 

Listen: The Weekly Briefing is available every Friday, Listen to DVB English News on Spotify, YouTube Music, Audible, Apple, Amazon Music or wherever you get your podcasts.

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