Junta leader attends Chinese New Year festivities; The NUG unveils 'Spring Valour Condominium Apartments'

Junta leader attends Chinese New Year festivities; The NUG unveils 'Spring Valour Condominium Apartments'

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM


DVB’s Weekly Cartoon: Burma’s coup leader Min Aung Hlaing and Thailand’s army chief Chalermpol Srisawat met in Ngapali near Thandwe town on Jan. 19.

The NUG “sells” apartments to raise funds

The sale of condominiums to be built on military-owned land, located on Kaba Aye Pagoda Road, is a part of the End of Dictatorship project. The National Unity Government (NUG) made the pledge on Jan. 21 to raise funds for the revolution with the sale of Spring Valour Condominium Apartments. “Successive dictators who seized power act the country as their property and took the best spots in Yangon. Not only that, they also spent the people’s money and built castle-like mansions and tried to spend their families’ life there. The 2021 Spring Revolution is an end to those dictatorships,” The NUG states the condominium apartments will contain 100 one-bedroom units, 240 two-bedroom units, 360 three-bedroom units and 70 studio apartments. Details on how to purchase through local and international representatives will be announced by the NUG.

Dozens of ARSA members arrested by Bangladesh security forces

Around 40 members of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) were arrested by Bangladesh’s anti-terrorism unit, the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) on Jan. 18, according to witnesses. Members of ARSA were found taking shelter in a makeshift camp located in “Zero Line” – a buffer zone on the Burma-Bangladesh border. Over 500 Rohingya refugees fled into Burma as their homes were burned down during fighting between ARSA and the Rohingya Solidarity Organization (RSO) on Jan. 19. “Three members of the RSO were killed during the fighting and around 40 members were arrested. Burma’s authorities sent back the refugees who fled to the Burma side,” said a man who lives in Zero Line, on the condition of anonymity. “They cast us out to Bangladesh. But we fled from the Burma side and they could have accepted us,” another man said. Fighting between the ARSA and RSO broke out on Jan. 18 along the Burma-Bangladesh border, killing at least one and injuring two. The Burma Army’s genocidal campaign against the Rohingya in northern Rakhine State in 2017 forced more than 700,000 into Bangladesh. Some refused to cross the border and remained in the Zero Line.

Junta leader attends Chinese new year celebration with Chinese ambassador

Min Aung Hlaing and the Chinese ambassador to Burma attended a ceremony to mark the Chinese new year in Yangon’s Thuwunna Stadium on Jan. 21, regime media reported. During the event, the junta leader thanked China “for recognizing Myanmar as a dialogue partner in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.” Min Aung Hlaing added that China is “an important neighbor as well as a partner country in strategic cooperation.” The National Unity Government sent greetings to China’s Foreign Minister Qin Gang on Jan. 22. It welcomed “China’s support for the return of power to the people.” The NUG added that the peoples’ revolution will not harm “the long-term stable development of the regional countries, including the interests of the People’s Republic of China.” 

News by Region

KACHIN—Villagers in Mansi and Momauk townships held a demonstration on Jan. 16 demanding Chinese-owned businesses not be allowed to conduct mining in the area. Rare earth mining has occurred in Lwegel, Momauk and Mansi townships since 2010. The soil and water in these townships have been poisoned, according to locals. 

KARENNI—Coalition forces led by Karenni National Defense Force (KNDF) seized a Burma Army outpost on the Mae Salong mountain near Bhulekhe Township on Jan. 20. During the seizure, five military personnel were killed and weapons were seized.

MANDALAY—Residents of Mogoke Township have fled to safety since the Burma Army began its offensive in the area on Jan. 20. “Heavy artillery were shot. And the military also bombed from the air,” said a People’s Defense Force (PDF) spokesperson. No casualties have been reported.

RAKHINE—The Mrauk-U Township Court charged three locals – already charged for incitement – under the Unlawful Associations Act. “A military captain who had filed the previous lawsuit filed the additional charges but the court has not yet had a hearing,” a wife of one of the men charged told DVB. Their trial is scheduled to begin on Jan. 24.

TANINTHARYI—Locals were upset to learn that they were not allowed to celebrate Chinese New Year on Jan. 21. Myeik is home to many Chinese residents. “[Regime forces] said they can’t provide security and evicted the vendors. The city’s authorities also threatened the vendors,” said a resident of Myeik.

YANGON—A local resistance group claims one of its members was killed at a restaurant in South Okkalapa Township on Jan. 21. The group warned others from going to the restaurant. The next day it was closed and the junta imposed tight security in the area, according to locals.

Around 700 prisoners at Insein Prison, including three political prisoners, were transferred to Thayet Prison. Families of the prisoners learned about the transfer on Jan. 14 as they were attempting to visit their loved ones at Insein Prison, according to an announcement made by the resistance group that the three political prisoners belong to.

The Burma Army’s Battalion 532 in Hlaing Thar Yar Township came under attack on Jan.19. “I heard three loud explosions,” a local said. The exact number of casualties are unknown. Regime forces blocked roads and inspected vehicles.

A retired member of the junta’s Ministry of Defense was shot at a market in North Dagon Township on Jan. 20. “It was a single shot to his head but I don’t know if he died. Soldiers later arrived and took him to the hospital in an ambulance,” a local said. Regime forces blocked roads and inspected vehicles.