Daily Briefing: Thursday, September 15, 2022

Daily Briefing: Thursday, September 15, 2022

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

Burma, Russia and Belarus are not invited to attend Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral on Sept. 19, Reuters reported

Myanmar Rice Federation claims Burma has exported hundreds of thousands of tons of rice this fiscal year. Burma exported more than 880,000 tons of rice in the first quarter of the 2022-2023 fiscal year, according to the Myanmar Rice Federation. This generated Burma more than $300 million USD in revenue. China, Belgium, and the Philippines were reportedly the top three buyers. An average of 200,000 to 250,000 tons are exported annually to countries in the region, as well as in Europe and Africa. 

Due to the coup and economic hardship, thousands of Burmese nationals have traveled to Thailand in search of work.

Undocumented Burmese nationals arrested in Thailand near the border. Fifty-nine Burmese nationals were arrested by Thai security forces for illegally entering Kanchanaburi Province, Thailand, according to a local news outlet. Thai authorities conducted inspections along the border due to a tip about illegal entries in the region on Sep. 13. They arrested 42 men and 17 women along with five smugglers. It is reported to cost between 15,000 to 30,000 THB to enter Thailand illegally and be transported to Samut Sakhon or Bangkok. The 59 were taken to a police station where they will be prosecuted under the immigration law. 

News by Region

KAREN—The Karen National Union (KNU) claimed that over 37,000 people have been displaced from their homes in Karen State. It reports to have lost 137 members and engaged in 6,356 battles from January 2021 to August 2022, according to a press release on Facebook. The KNU estimated that 5,125 Burma Army and Border Guard Force troops have been killed in battles. Junta shells and airstrikes have killed 131 civilians and injured 294. Another 412 have been arrested, interrogated and subjected to forced labour by junta forces. 

SAGAING—Ten people were killed in fighting near Zeegone and Inpintha villages of Kawlin Township on Sept. 12, according to local news outlets. At least eight resistance fighters and two civilians, including a member of the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM), died during a Burma Army attack. The two civilians were reported to be from Zeegon village. It is said that internet services and phone lines were cut in the area prior to the fighting. 

MAGWAY—Pakokku Prison officials were arrested after five political prisoners escaped. “Two of them are trained PDF members, and the other three are political activists who are rebelling against the junta… It seems around 100 prison officials have been arrested,” a local activist told DVB. It is said that the five broke out of the prison by climbing over the walls using cloth and blankets. One of the escapees was serving a three-year sentence, and the other four were facing charges under the Counter-Terrorism Act. 

RAKHINE—Locals in Maungdaw Township expressed worries over the Burma Army’s presence in the township since Sept. 14. “Two military vessels fully loaded with soldiers docked at Kanyi Chaung Industrial Zone this morning. There were around 600 soldiers on board. Merchants, boats and workers inside the zone were forced to leave later,” a local told DVB. In addition to the deployments at Kanyi Chaung, two military cargo ships also transported soldiers, weapons, and food to Taung Pyo in Maungdaw. “Due to the heavy Burma Army presence in Maungdaw, locals are concerned about clashes breaking out. There will be more displaced people. Roads are blocked and food and fuel shortages are occurring and I think something will happen,” a military analyst said. The Burma Navy has also increased its activity in the region. 

YANGON—An unidentified gunman killed an owner of an auto body repair shop in Mingalar Taung Nyunt Township on Sept. 13. “Only the owner was shot. Other workers were present when the incident happened. He is close to the police but I am not sure if he is an informant,” a resident told DVB. The owner is in critical condition, according to a source. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. There were a total of 15 reported explosions and shootings in Yangon from September 1 to 14, killing four. 

Around 20 people were arrested at Pan Pin Gyi Road, in Kyimyindaing Township on Sept. 13. They were rallying in support of Kyaw Moe Tun, Burma’s Ambassador to the UN, when security forces arrived. “They were arrested before they started the protest and they [soldiers] opened fire,” a Kyimyindaing resident said. Members of Octopus Youth Organization, Basic Education Students Association, Myanmar Labor Alliance, Burma Youth Network, Pyin Nyar Nan Daw Private School Students Union were among those arrested, a student told DVB. Fifteen were arrested and 12 were injured last December after security forces drove a vehicle into a crowd of protesters on Pan Pin Gyi Road. 

DVB has launched DVB Reads, which highlights books about Burma. It includes writers, poets, translators, and bookworms, on why you should read a particular book or story. It’s a recommended reading list from DVB English. Listen on-demand, on-the-go!

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