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Chinese Special Envoy meets with regime in Naypyidaw; World Refugee Day for the Rohingya in Arakan State

Chinese Special Envoy meets with regime in Naypyidaw

Than Swe, the regime’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, held a meeting with Deng Xijun, China’s Special Envoy for Asian Affairs, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Naypyidaw on Tuesday. 

Regime media reported that the meeting focused on “maintaining peace and stability along the Myanmar-China border” and accelerating bilateral relations and managing the regime’s relationship with the U.N. and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

An agreement was signed between the regime and Chinese ambassador Chen Hai on June 14 for the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) Special Fund 2024. This LMC agreement includes funding for 12 projects that are worth $3.6 million USD.

World Refugee Day for the Rohingya in Arakan State

Tens of thousands of Rohingya have reportedly fled Maungdaw Township in northern Arakan State as fighting between the Arakan Army (AA) and the military continued on World Refugee Day. The AA ordered Maungdaw residents to evacuate on Sunday ahead of a planned attack. An estimated 80 percent of Maungdaw’s residents are Rohingya.

“We are hearing stories of horrific war tactics, such as beheadings. Midnight drone attacks. The burning of homes as people sleep. People being shot at as they flee for their lives,” said Volker Türk, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights. “But [the] Rohingya have no options. There is nowhere to flee.” 

An estimated 45,000 Rohingya fled attacks and arson as the AA seized control of Buthidaung Township on May 18. The U.N. states that 630,000 Rohingya live in Arakan, where they lack access to basic human rights, including citizenship and freedom of movement. 

Employment agencies threatened with closure

The regime issued a directive on June 14 for overseas employment agencies to provide proof that 25 percent of migrant workers’ salaries are being transferred to their families via official banks. Agencies must submit evidence of this to the Ministry of Labour.

“A migrant worker [from Burma] who goes to work in another country will use his money however he likes. It is not easy to force them to send [remittances],” a source from an employment agency told DVB on the condition of anonymity.

Regime data states that last year 282 employment agencies sent at least 50 workers abroad. Due to a demand for foreign currency, the regime has been pressuring migrant workers to transfer 25 percent of their salaries via regime banks. It has also imposed a two percent tax on their salaries. 

News by Region

A lone demonstrator holds the word “Suu” to raise awareness about the detention of 79-year-old State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi on her birthday June 19. (Credit: Octopus)

YANGON—The anti-coup protest group Octopus staged a one-person Flower Strike in Yangon to commemorate the 79th birthday of jailed State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi on Wednesday. Photos were shared on social media showing a female member holding a piece of red fabric with the name Suu on it.

“Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the steel rose turns 79 this year and we held a protest to call on the public to join this Flower Strike by holding her name,” the Octopus group shared on its social media account. It called for the immediate release of all political prisoners in Burma. 

ARAKAN—Three civilians were killed and at least five were injured in an airstrike on Kanseik village of Taungup Township on Tuesday. “There were no clashes in the village but two jet fighters dropped bombs. Two girls and an elder were killed,” said a Taungup resident. Fighting began June 15 when the AA launched an attack on military battalions in Taungup. 

CHINLAND—Fighting between two factions of the Chin resistance, the Chin National Front (CNF) and the Chin Brotherhood, occurred in Matupi Township on Tuesday. A spokesperson from the Chinland Defense Force Matupi (CDF Matupi) said that the CNF attacked the Chin Brotherhood while attempting to seize the military’s Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 140.

“Two members of the Chin Brotherhood and its allies were killed and some others were injured,” said Salai Yaw Man, a spokesperson for the People’s Administration of Mindat Township. Salai Htet Ni, the CNF spokesperson, told DVB that the AA and the Chin Brotherhood arrested one of its members who was working to evacuate Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). 

Both Chin factions claimed that they will continue the fight against the military in Matupi despite the lack of progress on negotiations to unite their efforts. The Chin Brotherhood seized LIB 304 on Monday. Chin resistance forces now have nine towns under their control across Chinland. 

MON—Nine civilians, including two women, have been arrested in Kyaikto and Bilin townships last week and Monday. They were accused of having a connection to the People’s Defense Force (PDF). “They had participated in the anti-coup protests in 2021, but had done nothing after that,” said a Bilin resident. The nine civilians are being held at Kyaikto and Bilin police stations. Their families haven’t received any information since their arrest. Many others have been arrested in these townships in recent months. 

Read: From Temporary Shelters to Permanent Solutions by Leon de Riedmatten. DVB English News is on X, Facebook, Instagram, Threads & TikTok. Subscribe to us on YouTube.

Residents of Kani Township in Sagaing Region spell out “DASSK 79” with candles to commemorate Aung San Suu Kyi’s 79th birthday on June 19. DVB English News is on X, Facebook, Instagram, Threads & TikTok. Subscribe to us on YouTube.

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