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National Unity Government visits Australia Foreign Minister; Number killed in Sagaing airstrike rises to 50

National Unity Government visits Australia Foreign Minister

National Unity Government (NUG) Foreign Minister Zin Mar Aung met with Australia Foreign Minister Penny Wong in the capital Canberra on Tuesday. The two discussed Burma’s political crisis and how Australia can help provide humanitarian support to the nearly 2.9 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

“Pleased to meet Australia Foreign Minister Wong in Canberra. I highlighted the current situation in Myanmar and the urgent need for international support as well as avenues for Australian support to the people of Myanmar,” Zin Mar Aung posted on her social media account. 

The NUG added that the two ministers also spoke about how the international community can help protect human rights and promote democracy in Burma. Penny Wong is the most senior diplomat from a western country that has met with Zin Mar Aung. She met the president and prime minister of Timor-Leste, in its capital Dili, in July 2023. 

Number killed in Sagaing airstrike rises to 50

The death toll from an airstrike that occurred in Mataw village of Mingin Township on June 3 rose to at least 50. Residents of the village previously said that the death toll surpassed 38 on Wednesday. The airstrike was carried out on a wedding for a member of the People’s Defense Force (PDF). 

“When the seriously injured people were taken to the hospital, the [pro-military] Pyusawhtee militia blocked off the road, causing some to succumb to their injuries. More also died as the village was attacked with heavy weapons while a funeral was being held,” a Mataw resident told DVB. 

Another Mataw resident claimed that a military informant told regime authorities about the wedding before the airstrike occurred. The airstrike on Mataw village is the deadliest to occur in Burma so far this year. An airstrike on Sagaing in April 2023 killed over 100 people. 

MySpace Myanmar taken down from Google App store

Myspace Myanmar was taken off the Google Play Store on Tuesday after complaints were filed by netizens in Burma. The social media platform and its application was launched on April 27 and has been downloaded over 1,000 times, according to an IT expert who spoke to DVB on the condition of anonymity.

“The permissions required to use it on your mobile phone include access to your location, contacts, microphone, and camera, so, they will get all your personal information once you start using it. The worst part is [that] it can be running as a background application, so they know everything you do and every application that you use,” added the IT expert.

The regime attempted to block Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) nationwide on May 30. Many believe it wants to stop people from using Facebook, which was blocked in the country after the 2021 military coup. Freedom House called online freedom in Burma the second worst in the world after China in its 2023 Freedom on the Net report.

News by Region

Sittwe residents at a market in the Arakan capital in March. (Credit: DVB)

ARAKAN—At least 16 civilians were killed in an airstrike on Singaung village of Thandwe Township on Wednesday. Military aircraft and gunships fired artillery shells into the village despite no reports of fighting occurring in the area since Monday. 

“Some villagers returned for a while to collect their belongings that day, but then the aircraft dropped two bombs,” said a Singaung resident. The injured civilians are facing difficulties obtaining medical treatments as they are unable to travel to Thandwe and Taungup towns.

KAREN—Burma Army troops retreated from five military outposts in Mutraw (Hpapun) district after at least 60 Burma Army personnel were killed during fighting with resistance forces last month, according to a source from the Karen National Union (KNU). 

“The military council is not currently conducting offensives [in Mutraw]. They are heavily reliant on airstrikes, which occur almost daily,” said Saw Kler Doh, the KNU spokesperson for Brigade 5. The Burma Army still maintains more than 10 outposts in Mutraw District. 

CHINLAND—The Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO) told DVB that more than half of Chinland’s population have fled their homes due to fears of attacks by the Burma Army. More than 200,000 are IDPs and around 60,000 have taken refuge in India since the 2021 coup.

“They [military] are using a lot of airstrikes that are intentionally targeting civilians. This has forced civilians to flee to other countries or take shelter in the mountains and forests,” said Terah Thantluang, the CHRO spokesperson. IDPs are in need of humanitarian assistance.

MON—The regime’s administration announced that 346,804 students enrolled in the state’s schools for the 2024-2025 academic year. This is an alleged increase of more than 20,000 students compared to the previous year.

“Enrollment has increased as parents who live in areas where fighting is going on enroll their kids in towns,” said a teacher in Kyaikhto Township. At least 1,385 schools have opened in the state for this academic year but over 200 schools in Kyaikhto, Bilin, Thaton, Kyaikmaraw and Ye towns are closed due to fighting between the Burma Army and resistance forces. 

Listen: Weekly Briefing is our news bulletin available every Friday. Find DVB English News on Youtube Music, Spotify, Apple, Audible, Amazon or wherever you get your podcasts.

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