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Refugees begin to return from Thailand; Aung San Suu Kyi appeals rejected by Supreme Court

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

Refugees begin to return from Thailand 

An estimated 70 people from Burma who had fled fighting in Mese Township of Karenni State on June 13, and sought refuge in Thailand’s Mae Hong Son Province, returned home voluntarily on Sept. 2, according to the Thai authorities. “Refugees were told that they all had to return, but not all at once,” a refugee told DVB. 

Nearly 120,000 people have sought refuge in Thailand following fighting between the Burma Army and Karenni resistance forces. “The situation depends a lot on the Thai authorities. We can do nothing if they send the refugees back. The international community needs to speak out about this,” a volunteer assisting the refugees told DVB. 

Aung San Suu Kyi appeals rejected by Supreme Court

The Supreme Court rejected the special appeal of five charges by State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi on Aug. 29, RFA reported. The five charges consist of two under the Natural Disaster Management Law, two under the Telecommunications Law, and one for incitement. On Aug. 1, Aung San Suu Kyi, 78, had six years taken off her 33 year sentence, reducing it to 27 years. She was arrested during the military coup on Feb. 1, 2021.

Civilians killed since coup surpasses 4,000

A total of 4,029 people have been killed by pro-regime forces and 24,532 people have been arrested since the 2021 military coup, states the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP). There are 19,846 people currently detained and only 7,254 of them have been sentenced by a court. A total of 145 prisoners have been sentenced to death, 43 in absentia, 102 are currently on death row awaiting execution.

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News by Region

MANDALAY—Four administration staff, including an assistant director, were injured after three explosions took place at the Regional Health Department in Chanayethazan Township on Aug. 31. “Burma Army soldiers went to investigate the first explosion [but] were attacked,” said a Chanayethazan resident. The assistant director is receiving medical treatment at Mandalay Hospital. 

NAYPYIDAW—Revenue generated by online and printed lottery tickets in August reached over K5.2 billion ($2.47 million USD). This is a decline of over K15 million ($7,120 USD) compared to July. The decline of ticket sales caused the drop in revenue, according to the regime’s Internal Revenue Department (IRD). Lottery sales representatives said that millions of lottery tickets were not sold compared to previous months and the sales were around half the number of printed lottery tickets.

SAGAING—Three civilians were killed and more than 20,000 civilians in Kanbalu Township fled their homes during a Burma Army offensive on Aug. 30. “People were forced to flee their homes without being able to prepare anything, including food, medicine and water,” said a spokesperson from Kyunhla Activists Group. 

ARAKAN (RAKHINE)—Rohingya forced to stay at Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in Sittwe Township have requested identification cards and the ability to return to their homes during a meeting with diplomats and regime officials on Sept. 1. “We have more than 1,000 people in our camp holding NVC [National Verification Cards] who are applying for citizenship. We have requested to expedite this process. Additionally, we seek access to birth certificates,” a Rohingya man told DVB. 

Diplomats from Thailand, Laos, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, and Brazil visited the IDP camps to meet with Rohingya. “There are numerous essential needs for our children, such as access to education and healthcare,” said another Rohingya man. Rohingya and Kaman were forced from their homes in 2012 during communal violence and have been forced to stay in 14 IDP camps.

YANGON—Owners of KTVs and restaurants with live music venues in Yangon must apply for business licenses and pay taxes. “Previously, we were told to stop live music services temporarily. But now we have been told that the tax for the entertainment license will be about K3.6 million [$1,700 USD] per year and depending on the size of the venue,” said an unnamed bar owner. 

Regime officials ordered bars and restaurants in Yangon and Naypyidaw to halt all live music performances in July but Yangon venues were allowed to resume on July 7. Businesses that do not adhere to the regulations will have their business licenses revoked. 

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