FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM
Lao Special Envoy discusses Five-Point Consensus with regime
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Special Envoy, Alounkeo Kittikhoun, discussed the Five-Point Consensus with Min Aung Hlaing and other officials in Naypyidaw on Jan. 10, regime media reported.
Kittikhoun also met with the leaders of seven Ethnic Armed Organizations, signatories to the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA), which have engaged with the regime in “peace talks” since the 2021 military coup.
Kittikhon was appointed Special Envoy by Laos as it assumed the ASEAN Chair on Jan. 1. Min Aung Hlaing agreed to the Five-Point Consensus in April 2021, which calls for the immediate cessation of violence and dialogue between all stakeholders, but has escalated violence nationwide.
Third round of China-brokered talks fail
The Brotherhood Alliance and the military failed to come to an agreement during the third round of China-brokered talks that were held in Kunming, China on Jan. 7-9, the Shan Herald for Agency News (SHAN) reported.
The Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) rejected the regime’s offer to be allowed to administer the Kokang Self-Administered Zone in northern Shan State with assistance from Naypyidaw. Two previous rounds of talks took place on Dec. 11 and Dec. 22-24.
“The military offered the Kokang Special zone one but in return it asked the MNDAA to surrender and rule it under the military’s command,” said an unnamed source from the military. Residents in northern Shan fear that fighting will soon reach Lashio and Mandalay Region.
Filmmaker sentenced to life imprisonment
A North Okkalapa Township military court sentenced documentary filmmaker Shin Daewe to life imprisonment for violating the Counter-Terrorism Act on Jan. 11. She was arrested at Aung Mingalar Highway Bus Station in Yangon on Oct. 15, 2023.
“She is kind and always provides for the community. She was doing her work. I feel sad for her being sentenced for charges under the Counter-Terrorism Act even though she is not a terrorist,” said one of her family members.
She worked as a video journalist at DVB from 2005-2010. Shin Daewe is known for her work documenting the 2007 Saffron Revolution and has won local and international awards for her documentaries.
News by Region
KAREN—The Karen National Union (KNU) Chairperson Padoh Saw Kwe Htoo Win urged the Karen people to resist that which could “destroy their lives, development and existence” in a letter he presented during the 763th Karen New Year celebration on Jan. 11.
His letter stated that the purpose of the KNU is to establish self-determination for the Karen and to build a federal democratic union based on equality. The regime hosted its own Karen New Year celebration in Hpa-an.
YANGON—Pinlon private hospital in North Dagon Township will be shut down in February and March. “The hospital has been told to shut down for two months. I do not know the details but the re-opening date will be announced,” said an unnamed employee.
Nine private hospitals in Mandalay have been forced to shut down after the military revoked its licenses for allegedly violating the Law Relating to Private Health Care Services by hiring healthcare personnel who had participated in the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM).
Hundreds of people including monks held a demonstration in Yangon against the MNDAA on Jan. 10 after a video circulating on social media shows an alleged MNDAA soldier damaging a pagoda with a hammer.
Regime spokesperson Zaw Min Tun claimed the video “mocks and insults Buddhists” and “it is taking advantage of the disunity among Buddhists and Burmese people.”
The MNDAA apologized and claimed the act was a result of the poor discipline of one of its soldiers rather than official policy and vowed to punish the culprit on Jan. 9. The MNDAA stated that it respects all faiths and does not have a policy to destroy religious structures.
SHAN—The Brotherhood Alliance handed over the towns of Hopang and Panlong to the United State Army (UWSA) on Jan. 10. “Those two towns are actually inside Wa Self-Administered zone but the Burma Army ruled there,” said a Hopang resident.
Hopang and Panlong were seized by the Brotherhood Alliance on Jan. 5. The handover ceremony was held in Hopang, the capital of the Wa Self-Administered Division according to the military’s 2008 constitution. The UWSA maintains close ties with the alliance.
Local media in Laukkai reported that repeated airstrikes have been carried out since the MNDAA transferred 2,389 surrendered Burma Army personnel to the Northeastern Military Command Headquarters in Lashio on Jan. 5.
An airstrike on Tonchain ward on Tuesday destroyed buildings but no casualties were reported. The Brotherhood Alliance declared that the Kokang Self-Administered Zone was completely under its control.
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