FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM
Poet receives additional prison sentence
The Pathein poet Lu Phan Kha (aka Htet Lin Soe) received an additional two years under Section 505 of the Penal Code on Dec. 19. This brings his total prison sentence to 28 years. Htet Lin Soe was convicted of violating the Natural Disaster Management Law, along with Sections 122, 124, 332, and 505. He was arrested in March 2021 in Pathein, Ayeyarwady Region. Ten other activists and parliamentarians were sentenced to 20 years in prison each on Nov. 22.
Trial of Aung San Suu Kyi in final phase
A Naypyidaw military court will hear the final arguments in the trial of Aung San Suu Kyi on Dec. 26. “The verdict will be given after that stage,” a source said. Aung San Suu Kyi has been convicted on 14 charges and sentenced to a total of 26 years in prison.
UN Security Council to vote on Burma
The U.N. Security Council is set to vote on a draft resolution demanding the end of violence in Burma on Dec. 21. The resolution calls for the release of all political prisoners and the immediate implementation of the ASEAN Five-Point Consensus. The U.N. Security Council members have yet to formally vote on draft resolutions since Burma’s political crisis kicked off following the 2021 military coup. The U.K. drafted the resolution on Burma calling for an arms embargo and sanctions on Burma, but this was later removed. China and Russia, both permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, have historically shielded Burma from international accountability.
News by Region
AYEYARWADDY—A suspect who allegedly raped a two-year-old girl in Ma Gyi Zin village, Pathein Township was released by police on Dec. 15. The suspect has a criminal record and is related to the police chief, according to locals. The police chief claimed that it would cost around K1.5 million ($714 USD) to file charges and would involve a lengthy trial. Locals demanded the suspect be handed over, but the police transported him to another town on Dec. 18.
KACHIN—Locals claimed that Burma Army troops set fire to two passenger vehicles on Dec. 18. “In the first week of December, authorities seized unregistered vehicles in Kamaing. Many vehicles were taken but the drivers were released. Two vehicles were torched in the area controlled by the military,” a local said. The Burma Army also seized unregistered vehicles in Myitkyina, Bhamo, and Hpakant townships in October and November.
KAREN—The Burma Army closed Tadakyo gate on Hpa-an-Myawaddy Asia Highway in Kawkareik Township on Dec. 20 after it had been reopened the previous day. “No vehicles are trying to use that road as it is shut down. We don’t know when it will reopen,” a bus driver said. Asia Highway is the second most important road for transit between Burma and Thailand. It has been frequently shut due to fighting between the Burma Army and the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) in Kaw Nwe village. Three fighter jets have been flying over the area since Dec. 20 causing locals concern an attack is imminent.
RAKHINE—The bodies of two missing people from Shwetaung village were discovered in northern Maungdaw Township on Dec. 19. The two went missing the previous day while searching for bamboo in the forest.
The junta charged a mill owner in Thazin village of Kyauktaw Township under Section 131 of the Penal Code for abetting or encouraging military officers to mutiny. Hla Maung Tha, 43, was arrested on Nov. 2 together with another man. They were charged under Section 17(1) of the Unlawful Association Act on Dec. 19 for alleged ties to the Arakan Army (AA). The Sittwe Court filed an additional charge against Hla Maung Than under Section 131. “I do not know much about law, but it is a serious charge according to police officers. I heard my husband is seriously injured and I want him to receive medical treatment. I sent him medicine,” his wife said. Section 131 carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. The junta has arrested over 200 people in Rakhine since fighting resumed with the AA. Over 80 have been released.
SAGAING—A local defense force announced that they had killed four police officers and a civilian in Salingyi Township on Dec. 19. Three guns were taken from the dead police officers.
YANGON—Nearly K10 million ($4,762 USD) was stolen in a robbery at Ayeyarwaddy bank in Latha Township on Dec. 19. Locals said an unidentified man arrived at the bank and threatened staff with a sword. “The robber arrived when the bank opened. A female staff member and a security guard were in the bank,” a resident told DVB.
DVB Athan features Khin Ohmar, the founder and chair of Progressive Voice, a human rights-based policy research and advocacy organization in Burma. She discusses the junta’s new organizations registration law and the humanitarian resistance to it. #WhatshappeninginMyanmar