Daily Briefing: Thursday, September 1, 2022

Daily Briefing: Thursday, September 1, 2022

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

Inflation skyrockets in Burma. Domestic gold prices have reached another record high of over K 3.5 million per tical (16.3293 g) as of Aug. 31, a day after the price was K3.1 million per tical. The gold price was over K2.9 million per tical as of Aug. 27. Myo Myint, the head of the Yangon Region Gold Entrepreneurs Association, recently told local media outlets that local gold prices were ordered to be calculated based on the pegged exchange rate set by the junta’s Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) to stabilize prices, but it was unsuccessful. Black market prices were then used instead to calculate gold prices. Following the military coup, the Burmese kyat has constantly depreciated, leading to the price of basic commodities to skyrocket. As of Aug. 31, the exchange rate of USD has mushroomed to over K4,000 per US$1, while the CBM’s pegged exchange rate is K2,100 per US$1.

News by Region

BAGO —Two locals were killed and three others – including two children – were injured by heavy shells in two villages of Shwegyin Township, in KNU Brigade 3 territory, on Aug. 30. The victims were a 60-year-old man and a woman in her 50s, and two children were wounded. Fighting between the KNLA and the military has been occurring since Aug. 30 and the military is said to have been heavily shelling the area. Locals said that two houses were also damaged after the shells landed in the villages, forcing locals to flee.

RAKHINE —A man was seriously injured by a landmine in Maungdaw Township on Aug. 29. The victim, 29-year-old Sein Kyet, from Maungdaw Tarim village, activated a landmine on the way from cutting bamboo wood. The explosion occurred more than 2 miles away from the village, where the Burma Army and AA had fought in previous years. The victim is said to be a health worker from an INGO. Recently, a woman was killed in a similar incident while she was searching for her missing husband in the area where fighting occurred. In Rakhine State, seven locals died and 22 others were injured due to unexploded ordnances this year so far, according to local civil society organizations. 

RAKHINE —Heavy fighting between the AA and military continued in northern Maungdaw on the Burma-Bangladesh border and elsewhere in Rakhine, forcing more than 500 residents to flee. During the battle on Wednesday morning, the Burma Army conducted airstrikes with two fighter jets, locals said. “The fighting is quite intense. AA attacked the strategic hill with a large force,” a witness told DVB.  Starting on Aug. 26, at around 3.00 p.m., the AA launched an offensive against the Burma Army’s positions on a strategic hill in Khamaungsate. Although there are reports that about 40 Burma Army troops and at least eight AA troops were killed in the fierce battles, DVB has been unable to confirm these numbers. The Burma Army is reported to have carried out a series of airstrikes from Aug. 27 to 31. Fighting also reportedly took place on the Buthidaung-Rathedaung road on Aug. 30, killing four more junta troops, according to a source close to the AA.  

TANINTHARYI —A 60-year-old woman was shot dead by unidentified armed men at her home in Mudu village, Yebyu township on Aug. 29, Dawei Watch reported. The motive behind the killing is currently unknown. In Yebyu Township, four locals have been killed by unidentified groups for unknown reasons from Aug. 25 to 31. Recently, Launglon People’s Defense Force (LPDF) and another resistance group made a joint announcement claiming to have carried out a shooting against an  alleged military informant in the township’s Rahlaing village. In the announcement, the resistance groups also apologized to the family of another alleged military informant – who was shot dead during an attack. In southern Burma, the pro-military militia Sonye (Kite Force) is also active in the area and has committed attacks against opponents of the military.

YANGON —A car carrying a Hlegu Township judge, a deputy township law clerk, and another individual was attacked at noon on Aug. 30, leaving the law clerk and a man gravely injured. The court officials were attacked on the way leaving a makeshift court inside Insein Prison. “They [the unidentified gunmen] followed the car and fired four or five shots, breaking the glass and hitting a law clerk in the neck and hand. A young man from another passing car was also injured during the attack,” a judge close to those who were attacked told DVB. The two law clerks are said to be in critical condition. No group has yet claimed responsibility. Urban guerrillas recently attacked the notorious Insein Prison with explosives, but there were no serious casualties from the incident.

YANGON —A group of administrators conducting a patrol with the military in Dala Township were attacked, leaving one killed and three others injured. They were shot by three unidentified gunmen at a tea shop after conducting a patrol in Tamatakanchay ward of the township on Aug. 30. “Administration officials were shot. I am not sure whether they were 100-household administrators or 10-household administrators,” a local told DVB. On the night of Aug.14, a group of alleged military informants were shot by unidentified gunmen at Hein Ko tea shop in the township’s Kamakasik ward, injuring three.