Daily Briefing: Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Daily Briefing: Wednesday, September 7, 2022

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

Parallel government calls on the Fed to allow it to use Burma’s frozen assets. The National Unity Government has urged the US Federal Reserve to let it access $1 billion USD in Burma’s currency reserves. Tin Tun Naing, the NUG Minister of Planning, Finance and Investment, told Bloomberg news that it only needs to use the money virtually. Burma’s assets were frozen by the US after the 2021 military coup. The minister said the funds will be used digitally to establish a new Central Bank. He added that Burma’s foreign currency reserves in Singapore, Thailand and Japan amount to billions of USD.

The UN Special Envoy has vowed that she will not return to Burma until she is allowed to meet with Aung San Suu Kyi.

The UN Special Envoy will re-visit Burma if meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi is guaranteed. Noeleen Heyzer, the U.N. Special Envoy for Burma, vowed that she will only visit Burma again if she is allowed to meet with ousted State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi. She made the remarks at a seminar at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore on Sept. 5. Heyzer mentioned there was “no clear path” to solve Burma’s crisis. She made her first visit to Naypyidaw in August to meet junta leader Min Aung Hlaing. 

Dozens of Rohingya rescued offshore in southern Thailand. Fifty-one Rohingya were rescued in Thailand’s southern Satun province. Ten Rohingya were rescued when their overloaded and damaged boat was spotted adrift, Thailand’s The Nation reported. Forty-one other Rohingya were found on an island off the coast of Thung Wa District, according to Thai immigration officials. An investigation into the arrival of the 51 Rohingya from Rakhine State is underway. All are currently in detention. It is unknown whether they were trafficked to Thailand or were enroute to Malaysia. 

News by Region

MAGWAY—A Burma Army checkpoint located south of the Ayeyarwady Bridge in Pakokku Township was attacked by a local defense force. The resistance group is said to have killed one Burma Army personnel and confiscated two rifles in the attack. Ko Yan Naung, a member of Pakukku Urban Guerrilla Unit-2, told DVB that the group had to flee following a firefight with junta troops. He said the group abandoned two motorcycles and a pistol worth K4.5 million. 

SHAN—Political activist Aung Zaw Oo died in detention at Taunglaylone Prison, located in Taunggyi, Shan State. He was arrested in July 2021 and sentenced to seven years under the Counter-Terrorism Law. According to colleagues, Aung Zaw Oo was in critical condition after two of his ribs were broken during interrogation. The Shan activist rose to prominence  after being arrested in Burma’s historic 2007 Saffron Revolution – the previous uprising against the military. 

SAGAING —One woman was killed and two others were seriously injured when Burma Army shells hit Butalin Township’s Maung Htaung village on Sept. 5. “Ma Thien, who was around 50 years old, died on the spot. The remaining two were hospitalized. Of those two, I heard that the leg of the younger one will have to be amputated,” a resident of Moung Hang village told DVB. In addition, Aung Kyaw, an ousted MP of Butalin Township, said that about 20 houses in the village were torched by the Burma Army. “It is possible that [the Burma Army] knows that it is the village of a regional MP. My house was burned first and then my mother-in-law’s house was burned. Now, around 20 houses in the village have burned down.” Aung Kyaw added that he lost farm equipment, furniture and grain in the attack. His family is currently in hiding. 

YANGON —Two IED attacks occurred near a ward administration office and petrol station in South Okkalapa Township on Sept. 5, injuring two locals. According to residents, two residents who were wounded in the blast were from the township, but DVB has been unable to independently verify. On Sept. 5, three other IED attacks took place in Shwe Pyi Thar and Hlaing Townships. Last month, 23 people were killed and 21 others were injured in shootings and IED attacks in Yangon.