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Jailed anti-coup protest leader given another 20 years; Military kills 30 in raid against People’s Defense Force

Jailed anti-coup protest leader given another 20 years

Wai Moe Naing was handed an additional 20-year prison sentence on charges of murder in the Monywa Prison court on May 10. He was convicted of treason following his arrest in 2021 and is serving a 52-year prison sentence.

“[He] was accused of murder and given a 20-year prison term in connection with the deaths of two policemen in an industrial area,” said Thant Shin, the Monywa People’s Strike Steering Committee spokesperson.

Wai Moe Naing was sentenced under Section 302 of the Penal Code for murder, Section 364 for luring a person with the intent to kill, and Section 505(a) for defamation. In 2022, he was sentenced for violating the Natural Disaster Management law, armed robbery and incitement. 

Military kills 30 in raid against People’s Defense Force

Over 30 civilians were killed and at least two were arrested in Lethtoketaw village of Myinmu Township, Sagaing Region, during a raid carried out by the military against the People’s Defense Force (PDF) on Saturday. More than 16 homes were destroyed after the raid in an arson attack.  

“We have recovered 30 [dead] bodies at three different places. Sixteen civilians were injured from the gunfire and one of them died while receiving treatment,” said a Myinmu Township PDF spokesperson. 

Lethtoketaw village has 700 homes and is located at the junction of Myaung-Mandalay and Monywa-Mandalay roads. More than 500 homes were destroyed in Lethtoketaw by an arson attack carried out by the military on May 6, 2023. 

Helsinki terminates all cooperation with Naypyidaw

Finland’s government announced that it is cutting all development cooperation funding to Myanmar, Afghanistan, Kenya, and Mozambique. Helsinki added that it does not cooperate with Naypyidaw and that reductions will be made in multilateral cooperation, humanitarian assistance and development policy loans and investments.

“One of the country programmes to be terminated is that of Myanmar and, accordingly, the country-based funding will be gradually reduced while respecting the existing agreements,” stated Finland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Project support to Finnish non-governmental organizations (NGOs), which may also be applied for activities in Myanmar, would remain. Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo said that his government’s funding for development policy loans and investments will be reduced by a total of 1,030 million Euros.

News by Region

Kyon Aik bridge in Bilin Township was destroyed by an explosion on Saturday. (Credit: CJ)

MON—Kyon Aik bridge in Shwe Yaung Pya village of Bilin Township, which connects Bilin to Thaton Township, was destroyed by an explosion on Saturday. “We heard small and big weapons fired near the bridge after a loud explosion. The gunfire continued for a couple of hours,” said a Shwe Yaung Pya resident. The bridge was reconstructed after another explosion there on June 29, 2023. 

The Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) claimed it detonated the bridge last year in order to cut off military reinforcements. “The bridge is important for the Yangon-Myawaddy border trade route. There is no other way to commute vehicles and we have to wait until it’s fixed,” said a cargo truck driver. No group has claimed responsibility for the explosion. 

KARENNI—The Interim Executive Council (IEC) announced on May 9 that five Loikaw University officials, who were sentenced to prison in March, have been released. The IEC charged the five education officials, including the rector and deputy rector, with allegations of cooperating with the regime. They were sentenced to two years in prison and fined 900,000 kyat ($429 USD) each.

“These five individuals did not violate any rules. Moreover, some of them are suffering from serious health issues due to their age,” said Khu Plu Reh, the IEC general secretary. In November, Karenni resistance groups seized control of Loikaw University.

NAYPYIDAW—Ten Burma Army troops, including officials, were killed and eight were injured, in an attack on an Air Force base in Lewe Township of Naypyidaw on Friday. “One jet fighter sustained a broken wing, while another suffered damage to its tail,” a spokesperson for a group calling itself the Brave Warriors for Myanmar told DVB. 

Regime media has not reported on the attack. “The operation required more than a month of preparation. Raining during the preparation phase posed significant challenges,” said a spokesperson for a group calling itself the Mountain Knights Civilian Defense Force.

YANGON—Nine Chinese nationals and 38 Burma nationals were arrested in a raid on PAL hotel in Mayangon Township on Friday. All 47 are detained at Bayintnaung police station. “The hotel operated a casino. There was a dispute between a police official and a military official before the raid,” said an anonymous source from the regime administration. Seventeen vehicles and 30 million kyat ($14,275 USD) were seized, according to the regime.

Watch this: The power of prayer for displaced residents of Karenni State. DVB English News is on X, FB, IG, Threads & TikTok. Subscribe on YouTube. Follow us on YouTube Music.

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