Beauty queen seeks asylum, Burmese protest in Japan, CSOs call out EAOs

Beauty queen seeks asylum, Burmese protest in Japan, CSOs call out EAOs

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

Burmese beauty queen Han Lay granted asylum in Canada 

Thaw Nandar Aung (aka Han Lay) was denied entry into Thailand on Sept. 21 after a short vacation in Vietnam. Thai immigration told her that she did not have a valid visa to re-enter the Kingdom after living in Bangkok for nearly two years working for beauty pageant Miss Grand International. The 23-year-old was left in limbo for one week as the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) hurried to find her a third country to resettle to as she refused to return to Vietnam, or her home country of Burma, as she’s wanted by the junta for speaking out against the coup. Han Lay has departed Bangkok for Toronto. She will travel onwards to Prince Edward Island.

Burmese in Japan protested the junta’s invitation to the funeral of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe 

The rally was held in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tokyo on Sept. 26. “The military council’s Tokyo ambassador only represents the terrorist military council. He is not a representative of Burma,” Dr. Khin Zeya Myint told DVB. Junta officials were not invited to Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral in the U.K. on Sept. 19.

Civil society groups call on ethnic armed groups to not recognize the junta’s “peace” talks

Progressive Voice issued an open letter endorsed by a total of 567 Civil Society Organizations urging the leaders of Ethinc Resistance Organizations not to engage with the junta. The letter also stated: “avoid attending sham political and peace dialogues (either publicly or secretly) held by the terrorist military group and join with people who are fighting to totally remove the military from politics.” Out of a total of 567 organizations endorsing the letter, only 281 organizations have been identified for security reasons. 

Burma’s parallel government condemns the massacre of schoolchildren in Sagaing. 

The National Unity Government (NUG) issued a statement on the recent tragedy at Lat Yat Kone village in Sagaing Region. It stated 13 innocent civilians, including seven children, were killed during the Burma Army attack. Another 21 civilians – including school children and teachers – were taken away “as hostages” by troops after the carnage. The NUG reported that the Burma Army carried away the dead bodies of six children and has so far refused to return the remains to the families. The NUG claimed that since the coup, the Burma Army has killed 234 minors, and has illegally detained 363 young people across the country. 

The National League for Democracy will boycott the junta’s upcoming elections.

The National League for Democracy (NLD) urged the international community to take action against the Burma Army for “committing war crimes and genocide.” It made this statement on Sept. 27 – the political party’s 34th anniversary. The NLD declared that it will boycott the junta’s planned upcoming elections. As of May 5, 917 NLD members have been detained, and 18 have been tortured to death during interrogation. Thirty-eight NLD party members have been killed by the Burma Army since the coup.

News by Region

MANDALAY—Over 50 Burma Army troops were reportedly killed from a landmine near Phat Shay village, Thabeikkyin Township on Sept. 26. These claims were made by a local defense force. Bo Linyone stated that three Burma Army columns of around 70 troops entered Thabeikkyin Township on Sept. 25. Phat Shay village residents expressed concern as Burma Army troops entered the village, arrested civilians, and threatened to torch the village. The troops entered a field of landmines planted by the resistance group. According to Bo Linyone, the attack was in retaliation for the Let Yat Kone massacre in Sagaing Region.

YANGONAn Insein Prison court sentenced Htet Htet Khaing (aka Lin Let Kyal Sin) to three years with “hard labor” on Sept. 27, Voice of Myanmar reported. The presenter of the popular Yay Kyi Yar program at BBC Media Action was found guilty of violating Sec. 17/1 of the Unlawful Association Act. A Bahan Township court sentenced Htet Htet Khaing to three years on Sept. 15 for violating Sec. 505(a) and Sec. 17(1). More than 100 media personnel have been arrested since the coup. 

RAKHINE—The Burma Army has filed charges against Taungup dentist, Dr. Kyaw Thura Tun. “The charges are under Sec. 17(1)(2) of the Unlawful Associations Act.” The charge carries a sentence of up to eight years in prison,” a lawyer told DVB. The dentist was arrested at his home on Sept. 6. Dr. Kyaw Thura Tun runs a local dental clinic and is involved in social work in Taungup. The Burma Army has not commented publicly on the detention or the charges filed. It detains locals accused of having connections to the Arakan Army.

Locals were injured by an artillery shell fired by the Burma Army’s 541 Battalion in Minbya Township on Sept. 27.  Four men and a woman were wounded after continuous gunfire and a home was damaged in Khaung Laung Chaung village, according to local sources. Residents of six villages have been displaced from their homes because of the fighting. Markets in Minbya town were closed. The Burma Army carried out reconnaissance missions over Minbya and Kyauktaw Townships by air using helicopters and drones. 

SHAN—There have been reports of People’s Defense Force (PDF) members collecting money from locals in townships on Sept. 23, reported Shan Herald Agency for News (SHAN). In Laihka Township, people impersonating PDF members are said to have asked for donations, claiming that two of its members were sick. “It is impossible that PDFs are in Laihka town. The town is also small,” a local told SHAN. “We have only seen RCSS and SSPP troops in Laihka. I have never seen PDF members,” another claimed. In Mongyai Township, a resident told SHAN that PDF impersonators killed the owner of a petrol station after demanding money to buy weapons on Aug. 29.