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Burma ranked in top five with highest civilian death toll; National Unity Government announces lotto winners

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

Burma ranked in top five with highest civilian death toll

The monitoring group Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) reported in March that Burma is among the top five countries worldwide with the highest number of civilian casualties due to explosive violence. Thirty-eight attacks occurred in February, which killed 268 civilians, including 38 women and children. 

Ninety-nine percent of these attacks occurred in densely populated areas. Arakan State recorded the highest number of civilian casualties at 117, followed by Sagaing Region with 84. Explosive attacks were also recorded in Karenni, Mon, Shan, and Chin states, as well as Bago Region.

The AOAV documented that there were 4,600 victims of 703 explosive attacks in February worldwide, with civilians comprising 82 percent of the casualties. The other four countries and territories with the highest number of attacks were Gaza, Ukraine, Syria, and Pakistan. 

Human trafficking in Southeast Asia reaches crisis level

Interpol Secretary-General Jurgen Stock said on March 27 that criminal syndicates responsible for human trafficking and cyber scam operations in Southeast Asia have expanded into a global network which generates up to $3 trillion USD, Reuters reported

“What began as a regional crime threat in Southeast Asia has become a global human trafficking crisis, with millions of victims, both in the cyber scam centers and as targets,” added Stock. Cyber scam operations are often staffed by human trafficking victims. 

Cyber scam centers have expanded along Burma’s borders with China, in Shan State, and with Thailand, in Karen State, since the 2021 military coup. One of the stated aims of the Brotherhood Alliance’s Operation 1027 in northern Shan State was to shut down cyber scam centers. 

National Unity Government announces lotto winners

The National Unity Government (NUG) Spring Lottery announced its winners on Sunday with more than 20,000 prizes awarded, including the highest prize of 500 million kyat. Cash prizes worth 200 million, 100 million, 50 million kyat were also awarded. 

The NUG began selling Spring Lottery tickets on Aug. 15, 2021. It claimed that 70 percent of the revenue from ticket sales would be used to support members of the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM), who are striking government workers who refuse to work under the military. 

Remaining funds will be used as cash prizes for the lottery. The military regime in Naypyidaw has threatened to arrest and prosecute anyone that buys or sells tickets for the NUG Spring Lottery. Pro-democracy activists have called for the public to boycott the regime’s own lottery.  

News by Region

Four buildings were destroyed by an airstrike on Kanhtauntkyi, located in Myebon Township, on Sunday. (Credit: CJ)

ARAKAN—Four buildings, including a school, were destroyed by a fire that was caused by an airstrike on Kanhtauntkyi town, Myebon Township, on Sunday. “I feel unsafe living here. It is like we are sitting and waiting for the day we die,” said a Kanhtauntkyi resident. 

Kanhtaungtkyi residents said that there have been three airstrikes in the last month. Many fled from their homes and are in need of food and medicine due to the transportation ban on Arakan imposed by the military. Myebon Township is under the control of the Arakan Army (AA). 

KACHIN—At least five people were killed and three others were injured after an airstrike was carried out on Jangmai village, located in Mansi Township, on Monday. Anonymous sources in Jangmai told DVB that the military mistakenly attacked while the road was blocked. An unnamed resident said that a truck and a home were damaged.  

Families of military personnel that fled from the border town of Loije (Lwegel) have been sheltering in the village. Military personnel, civil servants, and their families escaped from Loije after it was seized by the Kachin Independence Army (KIA). 

SHAN—A bridge connecting to Karenni State, on the Loikaw-Aungban Road, in Pinlaung Township was shelled by the military on Saturday. “They destroyed it as they were afraid the Karenni People’s Defense Force might attack the town,” said a Pinlaung resident. 

The bridge is located near Saungpyaung police station, seized by resistance forces on March 18. More than 20,000 villagers in the township have been displaced from their homes due to airstrikes and artillery.  

YANGON—An administrator was killed and his wife was injured in North Dagon Township on Sunday. “He was gunned down near his home while he was on the way to the administration office. His wife is in critical condition and receiving medical treatment at Mingaladon military hospital,” said a North Dagon resident. The Burma Army inspected the area afterwards.  

(Exchange rate: $1 USD = 3,880 kyat)

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