FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM
Matriculation exams under regime education department begins
Matriculation exams have begun on March 8 amidst tight security across Burma. The Examinations Department announced that 180,000 students from across the country had registered to take the exam. Before 2021, the number of students taking matriculation exams increased by about 50,000 per year, but it fell by a third since the military coup. The Burma Army has set up barriers in front of schools in Yangon, according to residents. The National Unity Government (NUG) has declared that matriculation examinations taken under the regime are “illegal and unrecognized.”
NUG claims regime has killed 483 women since the coup
At least 483 women have been killed since the military coup in Burma, the NUG claimed in an address marking International Women’s Day on March 8. The NUG’s Ministry of Women, Youth and Children’s Affairs and the National Unity Consultative Council’s Coordinating Committee (NUCC) stated that the regime has detained 3,125 women and has sentenced 15 to life in prison. Eleven have been given the death sentence. At least 122 women have been sexually assaulted by the Burma Army, the NUG added.
US Embassy honors prominent women from Burma
The US Embassy in Burma honored 11 women, including detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi, Dr. Cyntha Maung (founder of the Mae Tao Clinic), celebrated author Ma Thida (Sanchaung), NUG Foreign Affairs Minister Zin Mar Aung, and other prominent women and human rights activists to mark International Women’s Day on March 8. “We honor all the women and girls who have long advocated for equality, human rights, and democracy in Burma.” the US embassy shared in a video on its Facebook page.
News by Region
MAGWAY—A rally to mark International Women’s Day was held in Pakokku Township. It was led by the Pakokku People’s Revolution Committee (PPRC). “We held a protest for women’s rights that are a part of the federal democratic human rights. That is what we want,” the PPRC told DVB. Men joined women from Pakukku, and the local People’s Defense Force (PDF) provided security, as they marched. They held womens’ sarong as flags and a banner that read: “Embrace Equity.”
Local resistance groups claimed to have conducted an attack in a village occupied by militias backed by the Burma Army in Myaing township on March 7. A drone dropped explosives on the residences of the militia leader and other members, a spokesperson told DVB.
MON—Two children were killed and another two were wounded in Kyonmain village of Thaton Township on March 8, Thaton PDF told DVB. The 7-year-old girl and 13-year-old boy died instantly by an artillery shell fired by the Burma Army, according to a PDF spokesperson.
KACHIN—Hkalam Samson’s court hearing was held inside Myitkyina Prison on March 7. “During this trial, he was examined regarding charges under Article 17(1) and Section 505(a),” said Samson’s lawyer. The Kachin leader is being prosecuted under the Unlawful Association Act for visiting Laiza, where the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) headquarters is based, in January 2022. He is also charged under Burma’s Penal Code for incitement for a speech that allegedly “defamed the state.” Samson is also facing a charge under the Counter-Terrorism Act for meeting with NUG officials. His next court hearing is scheduled for March 14.
Eight Hpakant residents were arrested by the Burma Army on March 7, according to locals. The motive behind the arrests is unknown. Fighting between the Burma Army and coalition forces led by the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) has occurred recently in the township.
KARENNI—The lack of clean drinking water in internally displaced peoples’ (IDP) camps is leading to diarrhea, skin irritation, and other diseases, according to locals. “There are not enough hospitals and clinics. They are not getting enough nutrients so they have no immunity, and they get sick often,” an IDP camp leader told DVB.
RAKHINE—The Burma Army tactical operation commander of Buthidaung Township requested 80 ward and village administrators not support the Arakan Army (AA). “We are stuck between both sides,” said a local administrator. The commander told them to take action against those who sold residential and agricultural lands belonging to the Rohingya, referencing the land and villages razed in the Burma Army 2017 “security clearance” operations. Local administrators are unable to choose between the regime and the AA administrations.
The Rebel Riot’s punk rock music video: “Women At The Front!” was released on March 8 to coincide with International Women’s Day 2023. It uses DVB news footage of women leading the revolution against the military coup.