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NUG condemns ferry explosion; Calls on junta officials to share information

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

NUG condemns ferry explosion; Calls on junta officials to share information

The National Unity Government (NUG) condemned the ferry explosion on Dec. 18 that killed five people. The NUG offered condolences to the victims and their families. It reminded people to remain vigilant as the junta tries “to instill fear and anxiety in the minds of the people in order to remain in power.” The NUG vowed to take action against the perpetrators. Junta media has accused the Dala People’s Defense Force (PDF) of committing the attack, an accusation the PDF denied. The NUG is now offering incentives for soldiers, police officers, and civil servants working under the junta, to covertly support the resistance to it. The NUG called on these “watermelons” to share information and receive rewards. The NUG promised to protect the identities of informants “during the revolution” and will provide benefits to them “after the revolution” when Burma returns to democracy. 

Monitoring group says Burma Army has increasingly used landmines 

Landmines and Cluster Munition Monitor held a press conference discussing their 2022 landmine monitor report at Mae Tao Clinic in Mae Sot, Thailand on Dec. 21. The Burma Army has used antipersonnel mines since the 2021 military coup. In the past 14 years, the monitoring group recorded a total of 5,629 mines/ ERW (explosive remnants of war) detonations that killed 1,008 people and left 4,500 seriously injured. “These are the most conservative numbers we were able to record. In fact, the total number of casualties for all time is still unknown,” said Teshua Moser-Puangsuwan, a research coordinator and editor of Landmine Monitor. In 2021, there were at least 368 casualties from ERWs in Burma. Shan State had 121 recorded casualties last year, which was the most recorded. This was followed by Rakhine, Kachin and Karen states.

Regime claims that Rohingya are being trafficked

The junta claims that the 13 Rohingya found dead on Dec. 5 near Bar Lar village in Hlegu Township of Yangon had suffocated. Junta media reported that 12 members of a human smuggling syndicate were arrested. They confessed to smuggling 33 Rohingya inside a truck’s fuel tank into Yangon. Thirteen of them were killed due to suffocation when the smugglers closed the lid of the tank. It was reported that the syndicate smuggled 255 Rohingya from Rakhine State to Malaysia in recent months. According to Human Rights Watch, the 600,000 Rohingya who remain in Rakhine State face systematic abuses that amount to the crimes against humanity of apartheid, persecution, and deprivation of liberty. They are confined to camps and villages without freedom of movement, cut off from access to adequate food, health care, education, and livelihoods.

News by Region

AYEYARWADDY—A total of 112 Rohingya were arrested in Bogalay Township on Dec. 20, according to police. A boat carrying the Rohingya sank near Kadone Lay island, Kadonkani village tract. “Locals said their boat sank at around 2 a.m. They swam to the bank as they had nowhere to go. Locals contacted us,” a police officer said. The Rohingya are from Rakhine State. Locals claimed they were arrested by the police and taken to Bogalay Police Station.

Locals in Maubin District said that the junta-appointed administration forced people to attend a Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) election campaign. Residents were told by the local administration that they must attend an important meeting, but then discovered it was a USDP event. “Our ward administrator told us that one person from each house must attend the meeting. They asked us to sign up at the entrance gate. We found out it was a USDP meeting,” a man said. Officials from the USDP have been visiting villages in Maubin District.

SAGAING—The Burma Army conducted an offensive on Sat Taw village, Indaw Township on Dec. 20. It burned down 41 houses, according to the Indaw People’s Defense Force (PDF). “There were two military columns that conducted offensives on Nat Ma Hoke Gyi village and here. The troops are from the 301st and 416th Light Infantry Battalions under the 88th Division,” a source said. On Dec. 18,  troops killed four people in Indaw Township and buried them inside a monastery of Painn In village but the families of the victims dug up the bodies to give proper burials, locals said.

TANINTHARYI—Junta officials announced that 60 people are being trained to collect population data in order to prepare for the upcoming election in Dawei, Myeik and Kawthaung districts. The junta is planning to collect population data in other states and regions in January and February, 2023. Residents of Dawei district claim that junta officials have been recording the number of people in every household since October. “It is impossible for them to get the right number as there are many people who left their homes for many reasons. There are no residents in some villages in Dawei Township as they fled elsewhere,” he said.

DVB READS—This week Francis Wade discusses how the title of his book “Myanmar’s Enemy Within: Buddhist Violence and the Making of a Muslim ‘Other’” was selected. DVB English On-Demand, via YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, TuneIn Radio, SoundCloud, Spotify, Stitcher, Anchor, Audible, Amazon Music, Apple and Google Podcasts: https://link.chtbl.com/dvbenglish

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