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Monks protest spreads to more townships; Calls for US to enforce jet fuel sanctions against military

Monks protest spreads to more townships

Monks from 21 townships across Sagaing, Magway, Mandalay and Tanintharyi regions have joined the growing protest in response to the killing of Sayadaw Bhaddanta Munindabhivamsa by the military in Mandalay on June 19

“We believe the country will be devastated under the rule of the military regime,” said Ye-U Sayadaw, who lives in Sagaing Region. The chairperson of the Sagaing Federal Unit Hluttaw (SFUH) Myint Htwe called on all monks in the Patriotic Association of Myanmar, also known as Ma Ba Tha, to reject the military and join the protests. 

Monks from Chaung-U Township in Sagaing Region refused to accept alms from anyone associated with the military on June 23. This protest has spread nationwide with monks in a total of 21 other townships across the country having joined them. 

Calls for US to enforce jet fuel sanctions against military

Whistleblower group Justice for Myanmar (JFM) and The Sentry, an investigative group that tracks corruption, called on the U.S. Department of the Treasury to sanction a Chinese ship, a Vietnamese petroleum storage terminal operator, and other entities and individuals involved in the supply of aviation fuel to the military. 

“The U.S. has the power to act to disrupt the junta’s access to jet fuel and it needs to take concrete action with sanctions,” said Yadanar Maung, the JFM spokesperson. 

The U.S. and the E.U. placed targeted sanctions on Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) and state-owned financial institutions such as the Myanma Investment and Commercial Bank (MICB) as well as the Myanmar Foreign Trade Bank (MFTB) in June 2023.   

Twelve foreigners freed from scam compounds in Myawaddy 

Twelve foreign nationals, including one German and 11 Moroccans, were reportedly rescued from a cyber scam compound in Myawaddy, Karen State, on Friday. The Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), an armed group based in Karen State, reportedly facilitated the rescue.

“We contacted NGOs and groups to assist those trapped foreigners. We asked help from the DKBA through the military regime,” said Rangsiman Rome, a member of the House of Representatives in Thailand. 

The 12 foreign nationals were sent by boat across the Moei (Thaung Yin) river from Burma to Thailand. Rangsiman Rome added that more than 150 foreigners are trapped inside cyber scam compounds and casinos in Karen State. 

News by Region

Lashio residents fleeing the fighting in northern Shan State on Monday. (Credit: CJ)

SHAN—Thousands of Lashio residents have fled their homes in fear of retaliatory airstrikes and artillery attacks from the military. Checkpoints blocked motorists from accessing the Lashio-Mandalay Road on Monday. Fighting between the military and the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) began July 3. 

“We have to move slowly and the cars are stuck in the traffic jam. We were told that they would allow people to use Maehan Road on Sunday. I hope they will still allow us to pass the Maehan gate,” said a Lashio resident.  

ARAKAN—The Arakan Army (AA) stated on Sunday that it recovered the bodies of more than 400 military personnel killed during fighting in Thandwe Township. The AA added that it launched an attack on the remaining military outpost in Thandwe. Residents have been facing shortages of food and medicine due to military roadblocks. 

MANDALAY—One civilian was killed and many others were injured in an airstrike on Yonepin village of Madaya Township on Sunday. “A woman who fled from another village was killed and a child was severely injured. Many villagers fled after the airstrike,” said a Yonepin resident. 

The Mandalay People’s Defense Force (MPDF) stated on Saturday that it had seized 25 military outposts in Madaya, where it launched an attack on June 25. 

YANGON—An anti-military group calling itself the Freeland Attack Force claimed that it had killed a regime-appointed administrator at a tea shop in Kyundaw ward of Sanchaung Township on Saturday. 

“He was famous as an informant and notorious for recruiting conscripts and collecting guest lists in the ward,” said a Sanchaung resident. The military patrolled Baho Road and Phyar Phone Street near the Myaynigone intersection. Residents reported soldiers were searching pedestrians’ phones and bags. 

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