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Is the regime printing trillions in banknotes?; Real estate agents arrested for selling condos in Thailand

Is the regime printing trillions of kyat in banknotes?

The National Unity Government (NUG) Minister of Planning, Finance, and Investment Tin Tun Naing claimed on Monday that the regime’s Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) has printed nearly 30 trillion kyat in banknotes since the 2021 military coup. 

“The Burmese military has been needing to spend a lot of money for military purposes, so they need to spend more money, but not that much revenue is coming in. What will they do? They will be printing more money. That [has] led to the additional increase in inflation,” said Min Min Thaw, a lecturer at California State University, Sacramento, who specializes in Burma’s economy. 

Tin Tun Naing added that the banknote printing is an eightfold increase from the period under the National League for Democracy (NLD) government and that it underscores the regime’s disastrous financial policies. The exchange rate was 4,300 kyat per $1 USD on Tuesday. It was 1,329 kyat per $1 USD on Jan. 31, 2021 – the day prior to the coup. 

Real estate agents arrested for selling condos in Thailand

The regime announced that it has filed charges against five people in Yangon accused of “illegally” selling condominiums in Bangkok, Thailand. Four of them were arrested and they have been accused of conducting money transfers for the sale of properties in Thailand without the permission of the CBM.

“In my opinion, the military thinks the kyat is decreasing in value because of the baht demand in the Myanmar real estate market since the buyers use baht to baht digital currency for payment transfers,” a real estate agent in Yangon told DVB on the condition of anonymity. 

The regime also claimed that representatives of the Minn Thu Company, a real estate business, held a condominium sales event at a hotel in Yangon without the approval of the CBM and transferred payments to Thailand via informal money transfer networks. Burma nationals are the second largest group of foreigners purchasing condominiums in Thailand after Chinese citizens.

Students attend a school in Latha Township in Yangon in March 2022. (Credit: DVB)

Enrollment in high schools decline ahead of academic year

Enrollment in high schools across Burma has decreased since classes resumed on Monday. Parents of a student in North Okkalapa Township of Yangon said that they are worried about the safety of schools as conflict escalates across the country.

“We need to wait until the end of this month [for more students to enroll],” said an education official working at a high school. The regime’s Education Department announced that 6.39 million students are enrolled in high schools for the 2024-2025 academic year. More than eight million students were enrolled in schools during the previous academic year. 

Some parents are unable to afford to send their children to school due to inflation. “A dozen blank books cost between 14,000-15,000 kyat. It costs 600 kyats for a good B2 pencil each. Four-lined notebooks cost 14,500 kyats per dozen. Some can’t even afford it,” said parents in Nattalin Township of Bago Region.

News by Region

ARAKAN—Thandwe Township residents said that two civilians were injured during fighting between the Arakan Army (AA) and the Burma Army in Gaw village near Ngapali beach on Sunday. “Residents are unable to leave their homes as the military blocked roads near Thandwe airport. They are also conducting airstrikes,” said a Thandwe resident. All flights at Thandwe airport have been temporarily suspended. The majority of hotels and guesthouses in Ngapali Beach have been closed since May due to the fighting. 

SHAN—Hsihseng residents claimed that more than 60 schools in the township are unable to re-open due to ongoing fighting between the Pa-O National Liberation Army (PNLA) and the military. The regime reopened schools in Hsihseng town but the majority of parents are sending their children to schools in Yangon, Mandalay, and Bago regions as well as the Thai-Burma border.  

“Children from five-year-olds in kindergarten to students attending high school classes are sent to school,” said a Hsihseng resident. The Burma Army has carried out artillery shelling of villages in Hsihseng Township on a daily basis, according to residents. More than 60 civilians have been missing since fighting between the military and PNLA began in January. 

Residents from villages in Hsihseng, Taunggyi, Hopong and Pinlong townships stated that the military and its ally, the Pa-O National Army (PNA), has been forcefully recruiting and conscripting local youth since the end of May. “Kyauktalonegyi residents [in Taunggyi] were trained, armed, and sent to the frontline,” said the spokesperson of Pa-O Youth Organization. The military conscription law was activated on Feb. 10 

YANGON—The Yangon Gold Entrepreneurs Association (YGEA) pegged gold prices at 4.8 million kyat per tical. Many gold shops remain closed. Gold prices have soared to record highs of around six million kyat per tical last week but decreased to around 5.2 million kyat after the regime arrested gold shop owners and merchants on Sunday. 

Listen: Miemie Winn Byrd on Myanmar’s resistance to the military. DVB English News is on X, FB, IG, Threads & TikTok. Subscribe on YouTube. Follow us on the YouTube Music (app).

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