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Military welcomes new conscripts to training camps; US official meets with resistance groups

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

Military welcomes new conscripts to training camps

Eligible military conscripts arrived at training facilities in Naypyidaw, Yangon and Magway regions, on March 29. An anonymous source with ties to the military told DVB that a welcoming event was organized for those attending the training. 

“It’s difficult to say exactly how many there were [but] among them there were those who joined voluntarily and others who were coerced into service by the army,” said the source. 

The event was attended by members of the military-proxy Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) as well as local administrators. The military conscription law was activated on Feb. 10. Five thousand men aged 18 to 35 and women aged 18 to 27 are expected to be conscripted into the military each month. 

Many still hope to evade military conscription

A political activist in Yangon named “Robert,” who is eligible for conscription, spoke to DVB on the condition of anonymity. He said that he is planning to either leave the country or join a resistance group to evade military service. 

“There is no place to go or stay. It doesn’t matter where you are or which part of the country you live. The conscription law affects all young people. We also had plans for our future. Somehow we have to change plans to start migrating to other countries,” said Robert.

Regime administrators have been visiting families in his township to collect data on anyone eligible for military conscription. The maximum punishment for those evading conscription is five years in prison.

US official meets with resistance groups

The Counselor of the U.S. State Department Derek Chollet stated that he met with leaders of the “K3C” coalition of Ethnic Armed Organizations (EAOs) on Friday. He said that they discussed the armed group’s efforts to establish federal democracy in Burma.

“We discussed steps for the international community to expand assistance to those in need and secure a better future for the people of Burma,” Chollet posted on the social media platform X, (formerly known as Twitter) on March 29. 

The “K3C” coalition consists of the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), Karen National Union (KNU), and Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP). These three work closely with the National Unity Government (NUG) and have trained the People’s Defense Force (PDF) since the 2021 military coup.

From festivities to the frontlines, the tiny dictator needs the nation’s youth to make the ultimate sacrifice after Thingyan.

News by Region

ARAKAN—Thirty-one people were killed and 60 others were injured by airstrikes on Mrauk-U, Minbya and Myebon townships from March 17-24, according to DVB data. At least 60 civilian properties, including hospitals, religious buildings, and schools have been damaged in the airstrikes.

Human rights activist Myat Tun said that military airstrikes are targeting civilians. The Arakan Army (AA) has taken control of nine towns in Arakan State and Paletwa Township in southern Chinland since fighting resumed with the military on Nov. 13.  

AYEYARWADY—A two-year prison sentence was handed to Okkar Phyo, a staff member at Myaungmya Prison earlier this month. He was arrested in January after prison authorities alleged he had assisted political prisoners and took bribes. 

Okkar Phyo was convicted under Section 161 of the Anti-Corruption Law. “His father who served as a sergeant in Myaungmya Prison was demoted [and] transferred to Pathein Prison,” said an anonymous source close to his family. 

CHINLAND—The Hualngo police force stated that five people were arrested with $99,540 USD worth of drugs in Rikhawdar, a town located on the India border on Friday. It added that the drugs were hidden in soap containers and were intended to be smuggled across the border into Mizoram State, India. 

“Drug trafficking is a huge challenge for us amidst this worsening political crisis. There are many displaced people in Mizoram and along the border,” said a Hualngo administrator. More than 40,000 tablets of methamphetamine were seized in Rikhawdar on March 8 and 15.

NAYPYIDAW—The military has lost 12 of its aircraft in the last three years of combat following its 2021 coup, according to DVB data. These losses were attributed to either engine failure or being shot down by resistance groups. 

“The Air Force combat capabilities have been compromised by a combination of the ability of the resistance to shoot down aircraft, equipment malfunctions, and extended flight operations,” said Zin Yew, a former Burma Army captain who joined the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM).​​

A total of six aircraft have already been lost by the military so far this year. In January, a military’s helicopter was shot down by the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA). This reportedly led to the death of Brigadier General Aye Min Naung, who was aboard the helicopter when it was brought down. 

YANGON—Three civilians, including two 10-year-old girls, were killed in an explosion near an administrator’s home in Kalagone village of Taikkyi Township on Saturday. A plastic bag was reported to contain homemade explosives which killed the two, as well as a 65-year old woman. 

“We don’t know who did this. But I oppose this kind of incident that kills innocent people,” said a Taikkyi resident. The three victims were from neighboring Hmawbi Township. More than 100 homes were destroyed on March 28 after the Burma Army declared land in Kalagone village as military property in October. 

Watch our latest: Shan Women’s Action Network celebrates its Silver Jubilee. DVB English News is on X, FB, IG, Threads & TikTok. Subscribe to us YouTube. Follow us on Spotify.

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