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Dozens killed in junta airstrike on KIO ceremony, Calls for UN and ASEAN to take action against junta

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

Dozens killed in junta airstrike on Kachin Independence Organization ceremony 

The Burma Army launched a surprise airstrike on a ceremony organized by the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) in Hpakant Township, causing at least 50 casualties including officials of the KIO’s armed wing the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and civilian artists. Read more here.

Experts call on UN and ASEAN to take greater action against junta

The Special Advisory Council for Myanmar (SAC-M), a group of former UN experts on Burma, urged the United Nations and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to take urgent action against the junta for “atrocities committed against school children and teachers.” Marzuki Darusman, a member of SAC-M, said that “the junta is escalating its barbaric attacks against children and teachers in a vain attempt to break the morale of the population who steadfastly reject it and for whom education is a pillar of the society they are sacrificing so much to create.” The group condemned the recent beheading of a school teacher by junta forces in Magway. “Beheading someone and putting the body on display for the public to see is a clearly defined act of terror,” Chris Sidoti, another member of SAC-M, stated. 

ASEAN members to meet to discuss Burma this week

Southeast Asian foreign ministers are poised to hold a special meeting in Indonesia on Oct. 27 to discuss Burma’s political crisis, according to Reuters. The talks will be held at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretariat in Jakarta and will discuss the implementation of the Five-Point Consensus that Burma’s junta agreed to in 2021. Cambodian diplomat Chum Sounry claimed that recommendations of how to move Burma’s peace process forward would be discussed. ASEAN has been criticized for its inability to reign in the junta as it continues to commit mass atrocities against civilian populations resisting military rule. 

Burmese kyat strengthens but remains volatile

The U.S dollar exchange rate has dropped to around K3,000. As of Oct. 21, the exchange rate was stable at around K2,900 per $1 USD, but the exchange rate fluctuated heavily after the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATK) announcement that Burma would be blacklisted. “It is said that the exchange rate was K5,000 to 6,000 per $1 USD on social media today. [But] it was actually around K3,200 per $1 USD,” a local said. The price of palm oil, which is imported from abroad, has decreased about 20 percent in recent weeks.

Another shell fired from Burma lands in Bangladesh

Another shell fired from Burma landed in Bangladesh territory on Oct. 22, according to the New Age, a Bangladesh media outlet. Local authorities evacuated 30 families living near the Burma border. A local said that the Arakan Army (AA), which is currently fighting the Burma Army in Rakhine State, took over posts near the Bangladesh border. Last month, a Rohingya teen was killed when a Burma Army shell landed in Bangladesh. Several others were injured. Bangladesh has repeatedly summoned Burma’s ambassador to protest the incursions. 

News by Region

KARENNI—A refugee was killed and two others, including a child, were injured attempting to flee the Burma Army shelling of Loikaw Township on Oct. 23. “A [man] was killed. His wife and son were injured,” a local who assisted them told DVB.

SAGAING—A 12-year-old girl was killed and another person was injured in Katha Township by Burma Army shells fired from a vessel in the Ayeyarwady River on Oct. 23. “It is said that the [Burma] Army fired indiscriminately. She was killed just after her family came out of a bomb shelter,” a local told DVB.

TANINTHARYI—A school principal, her husband, and two others were killed in Yebyu Township’s Kya Khata Pin Inn village on Oct. 22. Another villager was wounded and is in critical condition at a local hospital. “It happened at night. Villagers found out about it in the morning,” a local said.

YANGON—Two people were injured in an explosion in Shwepyitha Township on Oct. 24. The Salvation Revolters, a local resistance group, claimed responsibility for the attack. It stated the two injured were alleged military informants that they had warned to stop. There have been 18 people killed and 36 injured by explosions and gunfire in Yangon this month.

DVB PICKS—Australian journalist, Matt Davis, talks to Insight Myanmar Podcast about the making of his most recent documentary “On the Frontline of Myanmar’s Forgotten Civil War” which aired in August on ABC Foreign Correspondent. DVB Picks recommends the best on Burma in English every week. Stay tuned!

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