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Memorial held in Thailand for activists killed in Bago Region; ISP Myanmar documents regime ‘instability’

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

Memorial held in Thailand for activists killed in Bago Region

A memorial service for pro-democracy activist Noble Aye and People’s Defense Force (PDF) member Aung Ko Hein was conducted at a Buddhist monastery in Mae Sot, Thailand on Feb. 26. The two were killed on Feb. 8 in Waw Township, Bago Region. They had been arrested together at a military checkpoint on Jan. 29.

“This event was held to honor the memory of all those who have bravely fought in the revolution, including my sister, who were mercilessly killed by the military regime. We aim to ensure that their voices and sacrifices are not forgotten,” said Htet Myat, Noble Aye’s brother. 

Donations were made during the event. Noble Aye’s fight for democracy in Burma began during student protests in 1996 against a previous military regime. She was also involved in the 2007 Saffron Revolution and the 2021 anti-coup protests, which have become known as the Spring Revolution.  

ISP Myanmar documents regime ‘instability’ 

The Institute for Strategy and Policy (ISP Myanmar) states that 152 senior regime officials have resigned or have been appointed to new positions in cabinet reshuffles since the 2021 military coup. Only eight of the 33 ministers appointed by the regime in 2021 remain in their original posts.

It added that the level of turnover indicates “instability” within the regime, surpassing changes that occurred during the previous National League for Democracy (NLD) and Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) administrations.

The Ministry of the Union Government Office faced eight personnel changes under the regime. The Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Hotels and Travel, Ministry of Labor, Union Civil Service Organization, and the Anti-Corruption Commission also underwent significant restructuring, according to ISP Myanmar.

Thai diplomat calls for India’s assistance on Burma

On a visit to New Delhi on Monday, Thailand’s Vice Foreign Minister Sihasak Phuangketkeow said that his country and other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) should work with India to help solve Burma’s crisis, the Hindustan Times reported

“In the end, all of us have to pitch in to help Myanmar return to the path of peace and democracy. We would like to work with India, in partnership, on the question of Myanmar,” added Sihasak Phuangketkeow.

The Thai diplomat criticized the ASEAN principle of non-interference, saying that the policy should not be used as a “blank cheque to do whatever you want against your people.” Both India and Thailand border Burma and have seen an influx of refugees since the 2021 coup. 

News by Region

Free Burma Rangers director David Eubank in Karenni State on Feb. 22 (Credit: DVB)

KARENNI—The Free Burma Rangers (FBR) visited a village last Thursday in Demoso Township where four children were killed and nine were injured in an airstrike on Feb. 5. A school teacher told DVB that FBR provided medical treatment to the injured and entertainment for the local children.

“We’ve seen firsthand the destruction. The very first thing people need is security. Stop the jets from bombing us. Stop the artillery from shelling us. Stop the army from shooting us,” said David Eubank, the FBR director.

Eubank told DVB that FBR has been providing humanitarian assistance to Karenni Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) for 25 years. It has made six visits to the state since the 2021 coup to assist more than 350,000 IDPs.

KACHIN—Hpakant residents claimed that the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and the PDF seized control of the No. 119 Light Infantry Battalion base and a police station Feb. 26-27. 

“The army fired heavy weapons. The locals have already fled,” a Hpakant resident told DVB. Another Burma Army base was seized by the KIA and PDF in the township on Feb. 20. The police station was reportedly burned down. 

KAREN—The Karen National Union (KNU) claimed on Feb. 27 that it has taken control of sections of the Asian Highway from the Burma Army and plans to set up an administration in Kawkareik Township. 

The KNU added that control over the highway is “crucial” for its administration in Kawkareik. The National Unity Government (NUG) Southern Military Region stated that the KNU controls up to 60 percent of Kawkareik town.  

SAGAING—The Political Prisoners Network of Myanmar (PPNM) stated  that around 200 political prisoners, including 20 children, held at No. 1 Monywa Police Station are experiencing “human rights violations.” 

PPNM claimed that they have been held “illegally” for a year without trial and that about 150 are facing charges for criminal offenses. It added that they are being deprived of basic human rights, including the right to life and protection from torture, and are living in “a state of constant fear.”

Watch our interview: Igor Blazevic on Myanmar’s Spring Revolution. DVB English News is on X, Facebook, Instagram, Threads & TikTok. Subscribe on YouTube. Follow our Podcast.

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