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Pro-military protest against Timor-Leste in Yangon; NUG supports calls for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

Pro-military protest against Timor-Leste in Yangon

Hundreds of pro-military supporters staged a protest in Yangon against Timor-Leste President Jose Ramos-Horta on Dec. 13. Protesters held banners stating “terrorist group supporter” with an image of Ramos-Horta. 

The protest came after the National Unity Government (NUG) shared a video online with Ramos-Horta urging more military personnel to defect to the resistance forces. The NUG claims that 20,000 have defected or surrendered since it launched its “People’s Defensive War” against the military in September 2021.

Naypyidaw severed diplomatic relations with Dili in August after Timor-Leste officials met with the NUG Foreign Ministry Zin Mar Aung in July. Regime media published an article on Dec. 13 stating Ramos-Horta was hired by the NUG “to interfere in the country’s internal affairs.” 

Brotherhood Alliance reaffirms commitment ‘to end dictatorship’

The Brotherhood Alliance stated on Dec. 12 that it will continue fighting to end military dictatorship. Its members, the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), and the Arakan Army (AA), met for China-brokered talks with the military on Dec. 11. 

Regime spokesperson Zaw Min Tun said there will be a second meeting by the end of the month. But he didn’t specify when or where the first meeting took place, nor what was discussed at said meeting. Since Oct. 27, resistance forces, including the Brotherhood Alliance, have seized over 200 military bases and 20 towns from the military nationwide. 

NUG supports calls for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza

The NUG voiced support for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza after Burma’s Permanent Representative to the U.N. Kyaw Moe Tun voted in favor of a resolution at the U.N. General Assembly on Dec. 12. “We need a lasting solution where Israelis and Palestinians can live in peace, security and dignity,” said Kyaw Zaw, the NUG spokesperson. 

The NUG Acting President, Duwa Lashi La previously called for both Israel and Hamas to respect international humanitarian law. Israeli airstrikes and ground attacks in Gaza have killed more than 18,600 Palestinians. Hamas killed over 1,200 Israelis in its assault on southern Israel on Oct. 7. 

Migrant workers wait outside the Burma Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand on Feb. 17. (Credit: CJ)

Migrant workers required to pay income tax

The Burma Embassy in Bangkok announced on Dec. 13 that migrant workers in Thailand must pay a two percent income tax. Workers have to pay taxes on salaries earned from October to December this year at the embassy. The workers can pay the income tax monthly or once every three months, six months, or nine months starting in 2024. There are up to five million migrant workers from Burma in Thailand. 

The Burma Embassy in Singapore also announced that migrant workers there – with the exception of students – will also have to pay a minimum two percent income tax. The regime has mandated that all Burma nationals working abroad must remit 25 percent of their foreign currency income through its banks. 

News by Region

BAGO—Mone residents said they are afraid to return to their homes in Kyaukkyi Township after the Burma Army re-established control over the town on Dec. 8. Around 70,000 civilians from Mone and nearby villages have been displaced due to fighting since Dec. 2. 

The Karen National Union (KNU/KNLA) claimed that 120 military personnel were killed, 50 others were injured, and more were taken as prisoners of war after resistance forces led by the KNLA briefly captured the town on Dec. 4. 

MANDALAY—Madaya Township residents said that three civilians, including two children, from Thaphankaing village were killed and one was injured by artillery on Dec. 13. The children were reportedly 10 and 14-years-old.

The Burma Army has sent reinforcements to Kyauktada and Ngarlone Pyun villages after clashes occurred on Dec. 12 that killed one resistance fighter and three Burma Army soldiers. Tens of thousands of residents have been displaced due to the ongoing fighting in Madaya Township. 

SAGAING—Pale residents said a judge working for the NUG, his wife, and a member of the People’s Defense Force (PDF) were killed and more were injured by an airstrike on an NUG-run court in Mintaingpin village, Pale Township on Dec. 12. 

“It [military] did not stage an offensive but tried to get the locations of the offices and bases and attacked them with aircraft,” said Zaw Htet, the Pale Township People’s Administration spokesperson. 

SHAN—Hopang residents said that two gambling dens in the China-Burma border town, located in the Wa Self-Administered Zone, have reopened with the permission of the Burma Army. 

“There was an impact on gambling dens in Hopang when the authorities forbid gambling in Kokang. Many fled when clashes occurred in Hopang, but now the gambling businesses have resumed,” said a Hopang resident. 

Drug trafficking and other crimes have risen in Hopang after many gambling houses opened after the 2021 military coup. The Wa Self-Administered Zone comprises six townships. The Burma Army governs Hopang and Matman townships, while the remaining four are administered by the United Wa State Army (UWSA). 

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