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Brotherhood Alliance and military meet for third round of talks; Laos appoints ASEAN special envoy

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

Brotherhood Alliance and military meet for third round of talks 

The third round of China-brokered talks between the military and the Brotherhood Alliance ends today. They took place in Kunming, China from Jan. 7-9, CNI Burmese reported

Two previous rounds of talks took place Dec. 11 and from Dec. 22-24 but no agreement to end fighting in northern Shan State has been achieved. A delegation led by Deng Xijun, Special Envoy for Asian Affairs, was in Naypyidaw last week to meet with Min Aung Hlaing. 

An unnamed politician said that the news that a high profile Chinese delegation was in Naypyidaw last week bodes well for a ceasefire. The Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) took control of Laukkai, the capital of the Kokang Self-Administered Zone, on Jan. 4. 

Laos appoints ASEAN special envoy

The Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs appointed Alounkeo Kittikhoun as the next Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Special Envoy to Burma on Jan. 1, Thai PBS reported

Kittikhoun assumed his duties as Laos took over as ASEAN chair from Indonesia. He previously served as an official in the Lao Prime Minister’s Office and as envoy to the U.N. 

Laos will outline its agenda as ASEAN chair in Luang Prabang on Jan. 28-29. Indonesia, the previous chair, and Malaysia, the future chair, have formed a Troika with Laos to deal with the political crisis in Burma. The ASEAN Five Point Consensus has failed to stop violence in Burma.

Economic activity 10 percent lower than in 2019

The World Bank report Myanmar Economic Monitor stated in December that the country’s economy remains around 10 percent lower than it was in 2019. This makes Burma the only economy in East Asia that has not returned to pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels of economic activity. 

“It is quite remarkable. Here we are three years after the coup, and the economy is still smaller than it was in 2019. So in great contrast to every other country in Southeast Asia and certainly every country within ASEAN, Myanmar’s economy is the only one not to recover the losses from COVID,” said Sean Turnell, the former economic policy advisor to the National League for Democracy (NLD) government.

The report went on to state that Myanmar’s economy is projected to grow by one percent over the year. Since Oct. 27, fighting has spread nationwide with over 2.6 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). This has caused trade and logistics disruptions, kyat volatility, and high inflation. 

Lalduhoma met with Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Jan. 4. (Credit: Prime Minister of India’s Office)

New Delhi to assist Mizoram on IDPs and refugees 

Chief Minister of Mizoram State Lalduhoma said that his government will continue to provide aid to IDPs from Manipur and refugees from Burma, the Hindustan Times reported. Lalduhoma met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Jan. 4. 

“Even though [India’s government] can’t accord refugee status to the Burma nationals, it is ready to collaborate with us in providing relief to them,” he said. Over 40,000 refugees from Burma have arrived in Mizoram and over 6,000 in Manipur since the 2021 military coup. 

India’s Home Minister Amit Shah said that New Delhi will not deport refugees until the situation in Burma improves. Lalduhoma told Shah that he is against a plan to build a fence along the India-Burma border. 

News by Region

ARAKAN—Three civilians were injured by artillery and airstrikes carried out on Mrauk-U Township Jan. 7. “One from Purein and two from Chaung Thit village were seriously wounded and are receiving medical treatment,” said a Purein resident. 

At least eight bombs landed in villages around Mrauk-U Township. Nineteen residents have been killed and 38 others have been injured since Dec. 24. MPT is the only telecommunications network still available in Mrauk-U, residents told DVB. 

MANDALAY—The administration in Pyin Oo Lwin asked residents not to go near the creek of Gelaung on Jan. 6. “The creek is located west of the Defense Services Technological Academy. The wards [residential areas] are also close to military properties but the creek divides them,” said a Pyin Oo Lwin resident. 

Resistance forces seized a military outpost in Thanbo village, Nawnghkio Township, in northern Shan State on Jan. 3. Thanbo is situated 15 miles (24 km) from Pyin Oo Lwin. 

MON—Local data analyst groups stated that last year 226 houses were sealed off for allegedly being connected to the People’s Defense Force (PDF). Around 50 homes belonged to National League for Democracy (NLD) party members and political activists.   

“They accused civilians of providing aid to PDFs and then both arrested them and seized their properties,” said an analyst group. Many of the owners of the homes were charged with either treason, sedition or under the Counter-Terrorism or Unlawful Associations Acts. 

Read our latest op-ed: Writers suffer from having no civil liberties in Myanmar. DVB English News is on X, FB, IG, Threads & TikTok. Subscribe to us on YouTube.

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