Daily Briefing: Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Daily Briefing: Tuesday, September 6, 2022

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

Ooredoo takes further steps to sell its Burma division. Ooredoo is poised to sell off its branch in Burma to the Singapore-based The One Matrix Ventures (TOMV), according to Reuters. Ooredoo was the sole remaining majority foreign owned telecoms operator in Burma after Telenor’s departure from the country last March. TOMV is said to be involved in technology and telecommunications sectors. Ooredoo has reportedly informed the junta-controlled Posts and Telecommunications Department of its intention to sell its division. The sale would then be subject to regulatory approval. Reuter’s sources claim that TOMV is seeking out domestic partners in order to gain regulatory approval. Burma’s telecoms industry has been under intense pressure since the coup as regime authorities have sought to use the internet and mobile services as a means to monitor its opponents and crush dissent.

Bangladesh officials summon junta’s ambassador to Bangladesh. Bangladesh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the Burmese junta’s ambassador to Bangladesh on Sept. 5, regarding reports that Burma Army shells have fallen into Bangladesh territory, Bangladesh-based news outlet The News Age reported. This is the second time the regime envoy has been summoned following fierce clashes along the Burma-Bangladesh border. Junta forces have conducted air raids against the Arakan Army (AA) during intense fighting in Rakhine State near the Bangladesh border. Similarly, a Burmese fighter jet entered Thai airspace during clashes in Kayin State earlier this year.

EU high ranking diplomat condemns further prison sentences of ousted NLD leaders. Josep Borrell, a high-ranking EU diplomat, has stated the EU’s “condemnation” of an additional three-year prison sentence against ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The official said the sentences were “unjustified” and that the “EU calls on the regime to release her [the ousted leader] and all political prisoners.” Aung San Suu Kyi was recently convicted of an electoral fraud charge and sentenced to three more years in prison with hard labor, bringing her total prison sentence to 20 years.

News by Region

KAREN—Seventy soldiers including high-ranking officers from the Burma Army have defected, to date, to the KNU’s Brigade 5, Mutraw District in 2022. Colonel Saw Kler Doh, spokesperson for the KNU’s Brigade 5, told DVB that the KNU “had warmly welcomed” the defectors. An acting battalion commander, four captains, one platoon commander, four sergeants, eight deputy sergeants, and 52 privates are reported to have defected and joined the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) this year. The NUG, some EAOs and other anti-regime resistance groups, have invited Burma Army soldiers to defect. Those who defect with weapons have been offered cash rewards.

RAKHINE—Singer-turned-celebrity Kyaw Zan Wai, along with his wife, were abducted by junta troops in Rakhine State’s Mrauk-U town on Sept. 4. The reasons behind the arrest are still unknown, but the incident came after the singer released a song titled “Exodus.” The Rakhine language song addresses the current political situation in Rakhine State and has gone viral on social media. Mrauk-U residents said that the Burma Army started firing at around 1.00 p.m. on Sept. 3, causing concern among locals that its ancient sites may be damaged in the attacks. “There are no weapons in the town. The soldiers are purposefully threatening people. They are destroying our ancient heritage. The shootings conducted inside the town are very inhuman acts,” a local expressed. The junta sent reinforcements to the town on Sept. 4 and all markets, schools, roads and waterways remain closed.

YANGON—A crime reporter’s home was robbed by unidentified armed men in Hlegu Township on Sep. 4. “He [the crime reporter] was an informant. The incident took place when his wife and children were at home. I heard that gold and jewelry worth about K30 million were stolen,” a local told DVB. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack and there was no initial report of casualties. “I did not hear gunshots, so I was unaware about the robbery…,” a resident close to the local administration said. Some political activists and CDM workers in the township have been recently detained based on intel shared by military informants.