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Regime allows limited number of men to leave for work abroad; Kachin Independence Army makes gains

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

Regime allows limited number of men to leave for work abroad

Up to half of all male workers who have applied to work abroad will be allowed to leave Burma, according to an anonymous source from the regime’s Ministry of Labour. This news comes after the regime announced that all males of military conscription age will be banned from leaving the country to work abroad starting May 1. 

“They did not issue any directive stating this but they are allowing about 50 percent of men to leave. All parties need to renegotiate. They [military regime] only communicated this verbally and did not provide written documentation,” the anonymous source told DVB.

The regime’s ban on men 18 to 35 from working abroad has created a challenge for overseas employment agencies. “This political uncertainty and unstable way of doing things has hurt Myanmar’s image and disrupted the labor market,” an overseas employment agency told DVB.  

Kachin Independence Army offensive makes gains

The Kachin Independence Army (KIA), and its allied People’s Defense Force (PDF), seized control of five military outposts and camps near Sinkhan bridge in Bhamo Township on Tuesday. Fighting between KIA-led forces and the Burma Army is also taking place in Momauk and Mansi townships.

“The fighting started early in the morning. The sounds of gunshots and artillery shelling are everywhere. Bhamo-Mandalay highway road is closed and all vehicles are stuck,” said a Mansi resident. 

Naw Bu, the KIA spokesperson, told DVB that its forces took control of 11 military outposts, including Gidon mountain outpost in Waingmaw Township that it lost to the Burma Army in 2016. The KIA claimed that it now controls around 80 military outposts since it launched an offensive on March 7.

Over 20 political prisoners have died in detention since 2023

The Political Prisoners Network Myanmar (PPNM) stated that 24 political prisoners died from January 2023 up to May 2024 due to lack of access to medicine and medical treatment. Thaik Tun Oo, the PPNM spokesperson, called for international organizations to be allowed to enter prisons. 

“We documented the deaths of 24 political prisoners and there could be more on the ground. We call on the regime to allow the International Committee of the Red Cross to enter prisons to investigate the whole situation,” he said. 

Prisoners have suffered from skin disease and dehydration due to the shortage of drinking water and high temperatures. The PPNM urged prison authorities to offer proper healthcare to prisoners, transfer inmates with emergency health conditions to hospitals, and to allow prisoners’ families to provide medicine to them.

Thaksin Shinawatra meets with resistance groups in Chiang Mai

Thai Foreign Minister Maris Sangiampongsa claimed on Tuesday that former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra met with resistance groups from Burma in Chiang Mai, Thailand on April 13 but it was not on behalf of the government, the Bangkok Post reported

“We have to admit that Mr Thaksin is well-known and has connections. Myanmar believes that he can help [solve the problems]. “Myanmar [resistance groups] talked to him. The government was not involved in this,” said Maris Sangiampongsa. 

The Thai Enquirer reported that Thaksin held discussions with representatives of the Karen National Union (KNU), the National Unity Government (NUG), the Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP), and the Kachin National Organization, He also met with officials from the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS). 

News by Region

Medics treat wounded Karenni resistance fighters in Hpasawng Township on May 4. (Credit: DVB)

KARENNI—The Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF) claimed to have downed a military Mi-35 helicopter in Hpasawng Township on May 6. “Karenni revolutionary groups shot it down. We are still investigating to get more details,” a KNDF spokesperson told DVB. Fighting in Hpasawng has intensified as Karenni resistance groups have been trying to seize control of the town from the Burma Army since May 4. 

CHINLAND—At least 47 Burma nationals living in Paletwa Township entered India’s Mizoram State on April 30 and May 1, The Print reported, citing Indian intelligence sources. The 47 allegedly fled to India to evade forced recruitment by the Arakan Army (AA). Paletwa Township is under the control of the AA. It reportedly plans to resettle ethnic Rakhine, who are living in Bangladesh, in Paletwa. 

ARAKAN—Four civilians, including a monk, were killed and at least four others were injured during airstrikes carried out by the military on Alal Kyun village of Kyauktaw Township on Monday. “Two fighter jets dropped bombs near the monastery and a school. The injured civilians are now being hospitalized,” said a Alal Kyun resident. 

MON—A bridge on the Bilin-Hpapun Road in Bilin Township was destroyed by an explosion on Monday. “The bridge was 80-feet-long and it completely collapsed due to the explosion. People said resistance forces did this to block [military] reinforcements as fighting in Hpapun is intensifying,” said a Bilin resident. DVB contacted the PDF to request a comment but has received no response. 

Read this: What choice do the Rohingya have? By Maung Zarni. DVB English is on X, FB, IG, Threads & TikTok. Subscribe to us on YouTube. Follow our podcast on YouTube Music.

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