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Junta lays charges against BBC and Irrawaddy; issues a warning to the Arakan National Party

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

Junta lays charges against BBC and the Irrawaddy

The junta announced, via its media on Oct. 14, that it will charge the BBC and the Irrawaddy Burmese language news services under the Telecommunications and News Media laws. The reason stated is that both professional media outlets failed to publish the junta’s statements blaming the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) Brigade 1, the National Unity Government (NUG), Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) and the People’s Defense Forces (PDF) for a shootout that killed three and injured 13 at Kyaiktiyo mountain gate, near Golden Rock Pagoda, in Kyaikhto township, Mon State on Oct.12. CCTV video footage obtained shows a female visitor killed. The Karen National Union (KNU) issued a statement blaming the Burma Army for the violence and deaths. Buddhist monks held a rally in Mandalay condemning the KNU, KNLA, NUG, PDF and CRPH for killing civilians near the sacred Buddhist site. After banning independent media outlets in Burma last year, the junta has forced those remaining inside the country to follow its diktat or face shut downs, arrests, and persecution. 

Junta issues a warning to the Arakan National Party

The Union Election Commission (UEC) gave a stern warning to the Arakan National Party (ANP) on Oct. 12 following a statement it made against the war in Rakhine State. “The UEC said they found out that we failed to follow the some sections under the Political Parties Registration Law. We explained to the UEC that we believe we have rights to speak out about the suffering of the people in Rakhine state due to the [resumption] of the fighting,” said ANP chairperson Tha Tun Hla. Following last year’s coup, ANP vice-chair Aye Nu Sein, and Zaw Aye Maung, an ANP central committee member, were given posts in the junta.

Commemoration for the anniversary of the NCA held

The Peace Process Steering Team (PPST) announced that it had attended a ceremony commemorating the 7th Anniversary of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA). Some ethnic armed organizations attended the event in Naypyidaw. The PPST stated that it believes the NCA could ease Burma’s current political crisis and deliver the “peace desired by the people.”

Mon party calls for the junta to meet with Suu Kyi

The New Mon State Party (NMSP) recommended the junta meet with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the National League for Democracy (NLD), and ethnic political parties, along with ethnic armed organizations (EAO) in order “to achieve peace as soon as possible.” The NMSP is the political wing of the Mon National Liberation Army (MNLA). It made an agreement to continue to meet with the junta.

News by Region

AYEYARWADDY—Coup leader Min Aung Hlaing arrived in Pathein on Oct. 16 to visit a newly-opened garment factory.

BAGO—A Kyaukkyi People’s Defense Forces (PDF) camp was attacked by the military council in Kyaukkyi Township on Oct. 15. Two PDF members were arrested. Three guns and ammunition were taken.

KACHIN—Over 500 people living in Shweku Township have been displaced by fighting, according to locals. The Burma Army conducted an offensive at Nat Lin, Naung Lat Kyi and Win Wa villages, located west of Shweku. “They raided the villages for the past three days. The displaced people are now sheltering at the monasteries in Shweku and Moe Kint,” a displaced resident told DVB. Over 300 people are sheltering at the monastery in Moe Kint village and another 200 are sheltering at the Shweku monastery. On Oct. 11, clashes broke out between the Burma Army and a coalition force of Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and local People’s Defense Forces (PDF) near Naung Lat Kyi village.

KAREN—Three bombs were detonated near the Thai-Burma Friendship Bridge in Myawaddy on Oct. 15. According to local news, at least four homes, three cars, and two motorbikes were damaged. Nobody was injured, according to reports. An explosion occurred near the bridge last April, damaging nearby buildings and vehicles.

MANDALAY—Aung Myay Tharsan court handed out an additional three years prison sentence to teacher Thet Su Hlaing for violating Section 505 (A) of the Penal Code. She is a member of the Basic Education General Strike Committee (BEGSC). BEGSC stated that her parents were not notified when the court made the ruling against their daughter. Thet Su Hlaing was arrested in Mandalay last year together with two other teachers. Naing Thiha Kyaw, one of those arrested alongside her, received a total ten year prison sentence. Yan Paing Soe, a member of Mandalay University Students Union was sentenced to three years.

SAGAING—The NUG’s interim board for heritage administration announced 30 sites and buildings in Sagaing Region to be protected on Oct. 13. The NUG banned all resistance activities at these 30 heritage sites. 

RAKHINE—The Burma Army seized boats in the Kaladan River on Oct. 13 and 14, according to Ponnagyun Township residents. The boats were seized near Khamaung Taw village. “I think they did it on purpose to cut off our daily goods and food and this is a war crime,” a resident told DVB. On Oct. 12, the Burma Army captured nine passenger boats under Min Chaung bridge near Ponnagyun and Sittwe townships.

State and private banks are transporting money by Burma Army helicopters due to its blockade of roads and waterways in Buthidaung and Maungdaw towns, according to the banks. “In 2021, there were only a few cases of transporting money by air, but we are now carrying money with helicopters monthly. The money is transported to the banks from the Burma Army’s 5th Border Guard Division after carrying it with helicopters from Sittwe State Bank,” a bank clerk at Myanma Economic Bank in Maungdaw told DVB. When clashes between the Arakan Army and the Burma Army escalated in Buthidaung Township in 2021, money from Maungdaw district was transported by helicopter for three months. Due to the Burma Army’s closure of the Maungdaw-Angumaw-Sittwe and Buthidaung-Rathedaung-Sittwe roads, the money for banks in Maungdaw are transported by helicopter to Sittwe twice a month.  

YANGON—A bomb went off near the clock tower on Dala-Twante Road in Dala Township on Oct. 14. “I found two women injured and soldiers were there. I’m not sure who else was injured,” a local told DVB. Security forces set up roadblocks following the blast. So far this month, three people have been killed and 15 have been injured by bombings and shootings in Yangon.

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