Row over shots at plane, UN rep calls for aid, Australia vows Turnell to be freed

Row over shots at plane, UN rep calls for aid, Australia vows Turnell to be freed

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

Karenni armed group denies allegations that it shot at an MNA airplane 

The Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP) issued a statement on Oct. 1 calling the junta’s accusation it shot at a Myanmar National Airlines (MNA) plane landing at Loikaw Airport as “groundless” and a “fabrication to taint the image of KNPP and the Karenni resistance.” It rejects the junta’s claims of its forces using terrorist tactics. On Sept. 30, an MNA plane sustained gunfire and a passenger was injured. The KNPP conducted its own investigation and claimed that the injured passenger was a member of the Burma Army.

Burma’s representative to the UN calls on the international community to aid the people

Burma’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Kyaw Moe Tun, urged the international community not to ignore requests for immediate action to save lives in Burma on Sept. 30. He said people have been facing a lack of fundamental rights and freedoms since the 2021 coup. Over 2,300 people, including 380 children, have been killed while more than 1.3 million have been displaced from their homes – 14 million are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. More than 28,000 homes have been destroyed, and villages have been razed in what may amount to war crimes.

Australia’s Foreign Ministry vows to work to free Sean Turnell

Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong said she would continue to work for the immediate release of Australian economist Sean Turnell, who is jailed in Burma. Turnell’s wife, Ha Vu, demanded he be released and deported to Australia immediately, because of his contributions to Burma’s economic development, and due to the fact that he has already served two-thirds of his three-year sentence already. Turnell was sentenced at a military court in Naypyidaw on Sept. 29.

Military council files charges against journalists.

The junta filed charges against journalist Hmu Yadanar Khat Moh Moh Tun at Thingangyun district court under the Anti-Terror Law. She was arrested while reporting on a protest at Pan Pin Ni Road in Kyimyindaing Township when police drove into protesters, lawyers told Burma Associated Press (BAP) . She is already facing charges under Section 505 (A) of the penal code from last year when arrested alongside a Myanmar Press Photo Agency (MPA) journalist during a December 2021 protest. Both journalists were injured. She is being held at Insein Prison, where the court will hear both cases against her. A total of 65 media personnel were arrested and 29 have been sentenced – two journalists have been killed.

Ousted lawmakers claimed to have raised tens of thousands of dollars for striking workers. 

The Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) – a group of ousted parliamentarians – reported that it was able to raise K150 million ($71,700 USD) to support more than 2,400 striking workers in Burma, known as participants in the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM), in 2022. The CRPH stated it has been providing funds to those “who are really in need” with support from the diaspora and from its Ahlu Shin smartphone application along with the Spring Legends YouTube channel.

News by Region

BAGO—The Karen National Union (KNU) stated on Oct. 2 that two civilians were killed and five were injured during a Burma Army attack. It reported that seven artillery shells exploded in Bokata village, Kyaukkyi Township, on the evening of Sept. 29. The KNU stated that the victims are a 60-year-old man and 56-year-old woman. Due to the attacks, 4,077 people from neighboring villages were forced to flee. Fighting has been ongoing in KNU’s Brigade (3), Kyaukkyi Township since Sept. 29. 

KACHIN—Men claiming to be members of a local People’s Defense Force (PDF) were arrested for robbing a KTV in Seikmu village, Hpakant Township on Sept. 29. “Six robbers were arrested. We will investigate them and take action. We also seized some weapons and ammunition,” a source from the coalition of Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and Kachin Regional Defense Force (KPDF) told DVB.

MAGWAY—A five-year-old boy was killed by a landmine planted in Myaing township on Sept. 30. Locals said the landmine was planted by the Burma Army in Kyauk Kwat village. “In July, the army deployed for four to five days in the village, setting fire over the houses and oil wells. The place now where the landmine explosion took place was the house that they set fire on but the villagers rebuilt and lived there again. The landmine was planted under a Buddha shrine inside the house yard after they torched down the house. The kid was killed now,” a resident told DVB.

MON—Coalition forces including the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) and Kyaikhto Revolutionary Force (KRF) seized a Burma Army outpost in Wingkalaw village of Kyaikhto Township on Oct. 1. Around 15 Burma Army troops were deployed at the Wingkalaw outpost, according to Thahton People’s Defense Force (PDF). On Sept.30, the same coalition forces attacked a military outpost at the Moatpalin junction in Kyaikhto township, killing two troops stationed there.

RAKHINE—An 18-year-old man was killed by a landmine in Mrauk-U on Sept. 29. “He was picking mushrooms on a mountain and stepped on a landmine,” a man who helped the victim said. The Burma Army base is located near the site of the explosion. Landmines are being planted in residential areas and locals are concerned about the rising number of deaths caused by them. Nearly 20 people have been killed and 30 have been injured by landmines in Rakhine State so far this year.

A 14-year-old girl and a 3-year-old boy were injured from Burma Army shelling in Maung Swe village of Mrauk-U on Sept. 29. “There was an explosion near our village. I don’t know if it was a landmine or something else. But later the Burma Army’s Light Infantry Battalion 378 fired artillery, injuring two children and damaging the house. There were no clashes in the area,” a resident told DVB. The two children were unable to reach Mrauk-U Hospital as all roads were closed by the Burma Army. Six civilians have been killed and 23 have been injured due to Burma Army artillery shells landing in Minbya, Kyauktaw and Mrauk-U, according to locals.

The Arakan National Party (ANP) demanded all Burma Army and Arakan Army (AA) troops fighting in Rakhine State to retreat from residential areas on Sept. 29. This announcement was met with silence from both sides. The ANP condemned the killing of civilians and damage caused by the Burma Army artillery shells. It demanded that the delivery of humanitarian aid assistance be allowed to resume in northern Rakhine State.

SHAN—A Burma Army vehicle was attacked in Namhkam, Shan State. Three were killed and one was injured but later died at hospital, according to locals. “The bomb was thrown from a vehicle that was driving on the other lane of the road,” a witness told DVB. Video footage obtained by DVB shows a man missing his leg and the vehicle on fire. “Three captains and one major were in the vehicle to buy goods. The vehicle was driving from the Sakhan Thit military base camp,” he said. The Burma Army conducted an investigation following the blast. Many armed groups are active in the region, so it’s unknown which one carried out the attack.

Nine people in the Karenni resistance were killed and 54 were injured, the Mobye People’s Defense Force (PDF) stated. Six civilians, including three children under the age of 10, have been killed. Thirteen more have been injured. The PDF stated that at least 80 Burma Army troops have been killed. Their weapons and ammunition have been confiscated.

TANINTHARYI—Fifty-seven political prisoners, including 53 men and four women, have been released on Sept. 30. Those freed were arrested in Myeik at a protest in March 2021. All 57 were sentenced to two years in prison. It has been reported that Myeik prison authorities and other inmates extorted money from political prisoners. Two hundred – out of around 500 political prisoners – have been released from Myeik Prison since 2021.

YANGON—A soldier was killed and a civilian was injured during a shooting at Theingyi Market on Sept. 29, according to locals. Unidentified men in a vehicle opened fire at a soldier in Pabedan Township. “We all ran inside a shop once we heard the gunfire. They were targeting a plainclothes soldier, but a pedestrian was also injured,” a resident told DVB. The soldier’s body was sent to a military hospital and the injured civilian was sent to Yangon General Hospital. Police blocked off the area and conducted inspections.