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Flower Strike planned for June 19 on Aung San Suu Kyi’s birthday; India resumes deportation of refugees

Flower Strike planned for June 19 on Aung San Suu Kyi’s birthday

Pro-democracy groups inside Burma are calling for another Flower Strike on June 19, which is the 79th birthday of jailed State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, who was detained on Feb. 1, 2021 during the military coup. She is now serving a 27-year prison sentence.

“[This] June 19, let’s honor all political prisoners and everyone who has participated in this revolution by celebrating the Flower Strike nationwide,” said Tay Zar San, a former librarian and pro-democracy leader from Mandalay. 

Those participating in the Flower Strike are asked to place flowers, including red roses, at pagodas. Organizers request participants share photos of themselves with flowers on social media. Over the last three years, people inside Burma and abroad have participated in the Flower Strike on June 19 to raise awareness about Aung San Suu Kyi.

At least 46 ‘massacres’ this year, says researchers

Independent research group Nyan Lynn Thit Analytica has documented 369 civilians killed in at least 46 massacres – instances with at least five civilians killed – by the military from January to April. They were killed by military offensives, airstrikes and artillery shelling. 

Overall, it documented 2,490 civilians killed in at least 260 massacres nationwide from February 2021 to April 2024 with nearly half of all massacres occurring in the Sagaing Region. 

The National League for Democracy (NLD) party Central Working Committee documented that a total of 1,681 civilians have been killed in 115 massacres nationwide from February 2021 to June 7, 2024. It called on the U.N. Security Council to hold the military accountable for its atrocities. 

India resumes deportation of refugees 

Thirty-eight Burma nationals – out of a total 5,457 meant to be deported – who had sought asylum in India’s Manipur State since 2021 were repatriated on June 12. Manipur State Chief Minister N Biren Singh said in May that 15 refugees died of natural causes and 359 volunteered to return to Burma.

“They have been handed over safely to Myanmar authorities by the immigration officers,” said N Biren Singh, who shared images of them being deported on his social media account. 

Manipur State has collected biometric data from 5,173 Burma nationals, according to the Indian government. Chief Minister Singh has accused Burma nationals of inciting violence between ethnic Meitei and minority Kuki communities in Manipur State since May 2023.

News by Region

Thai authorities seized boxes containing 1,062 mobile phones in Mae Sot on Thursday that were allegedly being delivered to cyber scam operations in Myawaddy, Karen State (Credit: DVB)

AYEYARWADY—Seven men in Mawlamyinegyun Township were arrested for having Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) on their mobile phones on Thursday. Their families were asked to pay the police to have them released. “The regime soldiers have been manning checkpoints to search people’s phones for VPNs,” said a Mawlamyinegyun resident.

Residents in Mandalay reported that 10 checkpoints were set up across the city to check phones for VPNs on June 12. “A man in front of me was asked to pay 200,000 kyat [to police] because he had VPN software on his phone,” said one resident. Netizens reported that Naypyidaw began to restrict VPNs on May 30.

CHINLAND—The Arakan Army (AA) has denied accusations from the Chinland Council, the legislature formed by various Chin resistance groups, that the AA is forcefully recruiting residents of Paletwa Township, which was seized by the AA in January. 

“According to our policy, no one is recruited against their will,” said Khaing Thukha, the AA spokesperson. He added that the AA is handling racial and religious issues with the “utmost care.” The Chinland Council claimed that the AA is “violating basic human rights” by ignoring “the harmony among ethnic groups.”

MON—The Political Prisoners Network Myanmar (PPNM) stated that over 100 prisoners were transferred from Kyaikmaraw Prison. Most of them are political prisoners sentenced for participating in anti-coup protests. 

“We are currently investigating the exact locations they were sent to,” said Thaik Tun Oo, the group’s spokesperson.” Two political prisoners have died due to delayed medical treatment at Kyaikmaraw Prison. In February, political prisoners there conducted a hunger strike.

NAYPYIDAW—The regime Ministry of Labour announced on June 7 that men aged 23 to 32 who enrolled in government vocational courses to help them find work abroad are barred from leaving the country. Previously men in this age bracket were allowed to work outside the country with the necessary travel documents. 

“People are still leaving but we don’t know when we will be checked [by immigration] at the airport and stopped from leaving,” said a man with plans to travel to Singapore. The regime announced June 6 that citizens with a designated Job Passport (PJ) can’t change to Visit Passport (PV) to travel. It began restricting 23 to 32-year-olds from leaving the country in May to stop them from fleeing military conscription.

Watch: Lose and Hope: A film about the resistance in Karenni State. DVB English News is on X, FB, IG, Threads & TikTok. Subscribe on YouTube. Follow us on YouTube Music (app).

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