Daily Briefing: Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Daily Briefing: Wednesday, September 21, 2022

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

Regime declares its intention to implement Russian payment system in Burma. Junta spokesperson Zaw Min Tun claimed on Tuesday that the regime is holding discussions with Russia regarding the use of Mir payment cards in Burma, Reuters reports. The implementation of a Mirs payment system in Burma would allow direct exchanges between the Burmese kyat and Russian ruble. The regime’s adoption of the payment system was discussed during Min Aung Hlaing’s recent visit to Russia. The move would likely be an effort by the regime to decrease its dependency on the US dollar in the face of economic mismanagement and sanctions. Despite Russia’s desire to expand Mir payment systems in “friendly countries,” the cards are only accepted in a limited number of countries including Cuba, South Korea, Vietnam, and Turkey. Ties between Russia and the military council have grown increasingly warm since last year’s military coup as Russia and the junta have grown increasingly isolated internationally.

Aung San Suu Kyi pleads not guilty to corruption charges. Burma’s deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi has pleaded not guilty to her remaining corruption cases in a court hearing in Naypyidaw on Tuesday, according to a source close to the court. The trial regarding the corruption cases – related to taking alleged bribes from a construction magnate and improper purchase of a helicopter – continued at the special court in Naypyidaw Prison on Sep. 20. She is said to be in good health, according to the source. She has been convicted of 11 charges and sentenced to 20 years in prison, while another eight charges are still pending.

The Arakan Army claims discussions with allied armed groups were fruitful. The Arakan Army (AA) said that a meeting with seven allied EAOs led by the United Wa State Army (UWSA) yielded “good results,” Development Media Group reported. The AA’s Deputy Commander-in-Chief, Nyo Twan Awng made the remarks at an online press conference on Monday. Nyo Twan Awng added that members of the Federal Political Negotiation and Consultative Committee (FPNCC) had not met in a while. The FPNCC consists of seven members – the UWSA, National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA), Shan State Progressive Party (SSPP), Kachin Independence Army (KIA), Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) and the AA – and met at Panghsang, headquarters of the UWSA on Sept. 16. Detailed information about the discussions have not yet been disclosed.

News by Region

RAKHINE—The AA’s spokesperson Khine Thu Kha said at a press conference on Sep. 19 that the AA had a military advantage over the Burma Army in recent fighting. Intense clashes between the AA and Burma Army have been increasingly occurring in the country’s western state. On Sept. 19, the AA captured two motor boats carrying Burma Army personnel and weapons in Maungdaw, according to locals. “There were only four soldiers on each motorboat and were fully loaded with weapons. They [Burma Army] were using civilian boats. They were replenishing their weapons using waterways,” a resident told DVB. The Arakan People’s Authority, the name of the AA’s parallel administrative and judicial apparatus, has warned locals to dig bomb shelters in some villages as more intense fighting is expected.

SHAN—Kyaukme Township boys are fleeing forced recruitment by the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), The Shan Herald Agency for News reported. Residents told SHAN that a 14-year-old student was detained by TNLA troops near Kyaukme town. “The TLNA arrested him saying he was on its recruitment list,” a Kyaukme resident said. The boy’s parents have requested the TNLA to release him. “I can’t comment on the details yet. Further investigation is needed,” a TNLA official told SHAN.