FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM
Regime unveils new fighter jets from Russia
New fighter jets from Russia were unveiled at the 75th anniversary of the Burma Air Force, held in Meiktila on Dec. 15. Min Aung Hlaing boasted how the new aircraft would improve his forces’ strength. “By utilizing the capabilities of the new aircraft, the Burma Air Force will be able to carry out strategic and anti-submarine warfare as well as use its full power to conduct missions by air, land, sea and underwater,” Min Aung Hlaing said. Russia and China are among the few countries to openly engage with the junta.
Explosion on Yangon ferry injures at least 13 passengers
At least 13 passengers were injured in an explosion on a ferry boat carrying passengers from Yangon to Dala on Dec. 18. “The explosion occurred on the ferry boat No. 2 Cherry. There are many wounded and they were taken to Yangon hospital in ambulances,” a Dala resident told DVB. The ferry to Dala departs from Pansodan Jetty in Yangon. The explosion occurred at 7 p.m. on its return journey. No group has claimed responsibility.
NUG praises the passage of the NDAA
The National Unity Government (NUG) Acting President Duwa Lashi La praised the U.S. Congress for passing the newly-amended Burma Act contained within the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act. “The Burma Act will provide much needed hope and support to the struggling people of our country. We also thank the Burmese diaspora and people of good conscience across the U.S. who worked tirelessly in support of this achievement,” Duwa Lashi La tweeted.
International experts call for regime abuses to be investigated
The Special Advisory Council for Myanmar (SAC-M) calls for an immediate International Criminal Court (ICC) investigation into the atrocity crimes committed by Min Aung Hlaing and the Burma Army. The group of international experts on Burma founded SAC-M following the 2021 coup.
News by Region
BAGO—A man was killed during interrogation in Zigon town. Two men and a woman were arrested on Dec. 14. One of the men was killed on Dec. 17. “His face was swollen. I think he was beaten until hurt his lungs. No one could take a picture of him. Only three family members were allowed to come and see him,” a friend of the victim said.
MANDALAY—The former vice-chair of the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM), Bo Bo Nge, was sentenced to 20 years in prison, reported BBC Burmese. He was arrested in February 2021 and charged with violating the Anti-Corruption Law. He is being held at Obo prison.
MON—A local PDF known as Ye Bilu claimed to have fired at least five rounds of 40 mm artillery, and M79 grenades, at an artillery base in Ye township on Dec. 16. “Nobody around that artillery base went outside during the attack. As the base is located beside Ye-Dawei highway Road, some travelers stayed off the road for many hours,” a local said. Ye Bilu stated that it has eliminated more than two dozen soldiers. Security was tightened in the area as the artillery base is attacked frequently by local resistance forces.
RAKHINE—A concert celebrating the 48th Rakhine State Day was held in Sittwe on Dec. 14 and 15. “It was a big concert. There has not been a show like this in Rakhine before,” an attendee said. Rakhine State Day celebrations were not held in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thousands of people took part in this Rakhine State Day celebration.
Ann Township residents report that they lack access to a medical doctor at the local hospital. “We haven’t had a doctor for more than one month. Common and minor diseases can be treated by an assistant doctor at the hospital. But now the villagers have to rent a car and go to Ann town if they are in grave medical condition,” a resident told DVB.
Twenty Rathedaung Township administrators resigned on Dec. 16. “No one guarantees our safety. Villagers do not accept the military appointed administrators as well, so we decided to resign,” a village administrator said. Around 80 village administrators in Ponnagyun Township resigned on Nov. 16.
SAGAING —Two children have been killed by an explosive remnant of war (ERW) in Yinmabin village on Dec. 16. “A five-year-old child and another seven-month old child were killed,” a local defense team told DVB. Last August, an airstrike killed 19 civilians.
YANGON—Around 100 houses and shops in Htauk Kyant North ward in Mingaladon Township have received eviction notices ordering them to relocate by Dec. 21. “People have been living there for many years and some houses are built on a firm foundation. It is messing with well-off residents,” a local said. The houses in the area are worth K10 to 30 million ($4,770 to 14,312 USD). The military council has ordered the demolition of over 10,000 homes in Mingaladon Township.
A man was killed in 10/North ward of Thaketa township on Dec. 16. Two men opened fire at a vehicle on Ayeyar Wun Road. “There were children and a wife in the vehicle but they only shot at the driver. The driver was killed at that place,” a Kwema housing resident said. Since Dec. 1, 14 people have been injured in attacks in Yangon.
Three soldiers were injured in an attack on the Air Force Headquarters in Mingaladon Township on Dec. 16. “There was some damage inside the building and soldiers were injured,” a resident told DVB. A local resistance group claimed responsibility for the attack.
TANINTHARYI—Three political prisoners were sentenced an additional seven years in prison under the Explosives Act by the Dawei District Court on Dec. 16. The Dawei Political Prisoner Network states that it is unsure of which sections of the act the three are charged under. Ko Myat Kyaw Thu is now sentenced to 36 years, Ko Min Set Hmuu to 35 years, and Ko Aung Aung to 19 years. The three were previously sentenced under the Counter-Terrorism Law.