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Military conscription may hurt economy; Migrant workers from Burma abandoned in Thailand

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

Military conscription may hurt economy

The development economist Jared Bissinger told DVB that the military regime’s activation of its conscription law will further weaken Burma’s already faltering economy. He said that taxes and the country’s workforce will shrink as many seek to flee abroad to avoid military service. 

“The military depends heavily on the economy for its revenue, whether that’s through taxation, whether that’s through natural resources, whether that’s through even checkpoints. If there’s fewer people traveling, there’s going to be less money coming in through checkpoints. There’s going to be fewer taxes paid,” said Bissinger. 

The regime’s undermining of the economy will present a long term challenge for the military, added Bissinger. The conscription law was activated on Feb. 10. It requires men aged 18 to 35 and women aged 18 to 27 to serve in the military. Some eligible men selected for conscription have reported to basic training this week. 

Migrant workers from Burma abandoned in Thailand

Worker Assistance Group for Myanmar (WAG) stated that nearly 60 migrant workers from Burma who came to Thailand through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) are stranded in Chanthaburi Province after being fired by their factory manager. 

Mondaing, a spokesperson for WAG, told DVB that workers requested his assistance on Monday. “They have been in Thailand for a month but still do not have regular jobs. They were transferred to another factory and had problems with the owner. So, the owner [fired them],” said Mondaing.

Nearly 2.3 million migrants from Burma work legally in Thailand, according to EconThai. This number excludes illegal workers, which if counted would make it four million, according to EconThai Vice-Chair Tanit Sorat.  

National Unity Government lauds Kachin Independence Army

The National Unity Government (NUG) Acting President Duwa Lashi La stated that he’s encouraged by the NUG cooperation with the Kachin Independence Army (KIA/KIO) during a meeting on Tuesday. He welcomed the partnership between ethnic resistance organizations, like the KIA, and other resistance forces, like the People’s Defense Force (PDF).

“The Spring Revolution reached its peak because of the results of various revolutions that took place in the past. Therefore, I vow to bring the best revolutionary results to the people by taking advantage of the right time and opportunity. The revolutionary results which can be expected in 2025 need to be properly built starting now,” said Duwa Lashi La.

News by Region

A building caught fire during attacks by the military in Dhammasa village of Kyaikmaraw Township. (Credit: CJ)

MON—Two civilians, including a child, were killed  by artillery fired from warships on the Gyaing river into Dhammasa village of Kyaikmaraw Township on March 31. “There are no people living in the village except for some villagers who stayed to guard their homes,” said a rescue worker. 

The military has conducted airstrikes and artillery attacks on the village since March 27, killing at least four civilians and destroying half of the village. Aid groups said more than 6,000 residents have fled their homes and are now displaced. 

ARAKAN—Six civilians were injured after an artillery shell landed and detonated near a market in Maw Htoke Gyi village of Pauktaw Township on Tuesday. The shell was fired by Burma Army troops based in the state capital, Sittwe. 

“Six people nearby were injured. One of them was hit in his head and is in critical condition,” said a Pauktaw resident. The injured are receiving medical treatment at nearby clinics. Many residents of Maw Htoke Gyi have fled their homes as unexploded ordnance was discovered in the village. 

Three civilians were killed and three others injured in an airstrike on Kanhtauntkyi village of Myebon Township on Tuesday. At least four airstrikes have been carried out since March 24. “Two fighter jets dropped bombs in the evening. Some homes were also destroyed in the fire. It is obvious that they are attacking civilians,” said a Kanhtaungkyi resident. Thirty-three civilians were killed and nearly 80 have been injured by airstrikes in Arakan State since March. 

KARENNI—The Burma Army formed a militia and provided training to its members at the State Health Department in Loikaw on Monday. An anonymous source close to the militia told DVB that the inauguration was attended by the regime’s Chief Minister Tun Naing Oo and other commanders from the Loikaw Regional Operations Command. Members of the militia were reportedly paid a total of six million kyat and were provided with food. 

NAYPYIDAW—The regime’s Monitoring and Steering Committee on Gold and Currency Market announced on Tuesday that it took action against seven gold shops in Yangon and Mandalay for violating its rules and not having business licenses. 

It forced the businesses to temporarily shut down. The committee is under the authority of the Central Bank of Myanmar and has inspected gold shops in cities across the country. Gold prices in Burma have hit record highs with up to 4.4 million kyat per tical. The committee also claimed that it will take action against anyone that sells gold at prices not set by them. 

KACHIN—Residents of Kyauksakhan (Hkwam Bum) and Udang Bum villages in Momauk Township reported that the KIA has successfully seized control of two military bases near the town on Tuesday. There were an unknown number of casualties reportedly injured by the Burma Army’s retaliatory artillery fire. The KIA has seized control of 12 military bases  along the Momauk-Loije (Lwegel) road since it launched its offensive on March 7. 

Read our latest op-ed: Arakan Army displays racism towards the Rohingya. DVB English News is on X, FB, IG, Threads & TikTok. Subscribe to us on YouTube. Follow us on Spotify.

(Exchange rate: $1 USD = 3,860 kyat)

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