Regime claims military conscription to begin in mid-April

Regime spokesperson Zaw Min Tun said that the military’s conscription law is scheduled to be enforced by mid-April after Thingyan, the Buddhist holiday and new year. He said that the military is anticipating around 5,000 people to be recruited in each batch of new conscripts. 

Mandatory military service was declared on Feb. 10 under the People’s Military Service Law. The law was enacted in 2010 under the previous regime the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) but had not been enforced up until now. The law requires men aged 18 to 35 and women aged 18 to 27 to serve up to two years, while specialists like doctors aged up to 45 must serve for three years.

“It’s not just about military roles in national defense. Today, even computer hackers play a vital role in protecting their country from cyber intrusions. Business people contribute by safeguarding national interests to maximize benefits. The news media also plays a part in defending against attacks, even from other media outlets,” Zaw Min Tun told BBC Burmese. Read more here

Thailand’s plan for aid corridor ‘flawed’ says Phil Thornton

Phil Thornton, the advisor to the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) based in Thailand, sat down with DVB to talk about the flaws in the new humanitarian aid corridor with Burma. It will be established next month along the border near Mae Sot, Thailand where he has lived and reported for 22 years.

“I think the numbers who would seek aid is phenomenal. And I think that the flaws are: Don’t engage with the people who caused the displacement. Engage with the people who are best geared up to handle [it]. That’s the Karen, the Karennis, the Shan, the Kachin. All of those groups have the expertise to deal with this,” said Thornton.

He’s referring to the military as the cause of displacement, who are involved in Thailand’s plan, through its proxy the Myanmar Red Cross Society. Thornton praised the Thais for allowing exiles and refugees from Burma to access its hospitals situated near the border and for providing emergency assistance to those seeking safety from the conflict. 

Seven NCA signatories attend meeting in Naypyidaw

Seven signatories of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) met with the regime’s National Solidarity and Peacemaking Negotiation Committee in Naypyidaw on Feb. 13, regime media reported. 

The parties reportedly discussed Burma’s “stability, peace processes to be carried out in the future, humanitarian aid issues, and organizations’ opinions and suggestions regarding regional development issues.”

Attendees of the meeting included the Pa-O National Liberation Organization (PNLO), Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS), and the New Mon State Party (NMSP). The armed wing of the PNLO, the PNLA, has fought alongside resistance forces against the Burma Army in Hsihseng Township of southern Shan State since January.

News by Region

The Karen community held a memorial commemorating the 16th anniversary of the assassination of KNU Secretary General Padoh Mahn Sha Lah Phan on Feb. 14 in Mae Sot, Thailand.

KAREN—The Karen National Union (KNU) announced on Feb. 13 that it will fight against illegal casinos and cyber scam centers operating in Karen State along the Thai-Burma border. 

“The [military] is directly benefiting from these illicit businesses and are protecting and supporting them from behind. This has resulted in various social problems, not only for the Karen people in Karen State, but also for all those involved, and brings instability to the region,” the KNU stated.

It did not address accusations from Karen civil society groups that KNU officials are involved in scam centers operating in KK Park – a Chinese-backed project south of Myawaddy. 

MON—The New Mon State Party Anti-Dictatorship (NMSP AD), a splinter group established by NMSP General Secretary Nai Zay Ya. stated on Feb. 14 that it will join forces with other resistance groups to fight the military. It claimed that the NMSP meetings with the regime have failed to achieve any results and that dialogue is no longer possible. 

The NMSP met with the regime and six other NCA signatories in Naypyidaw on Feb. 13. “Ending the dictatorship is the only way to protect our people, equality, and build a federal union with full self-administration,” stated the NMSP AD. 

MAGWAY—Residents said that three administrators who attended military training were killed near a pagoda in Taungdwingyi on Feb. 12. “Unidentified gunmen shot them inside the compound of the pagoda. They were injured in the chest and head and died,” said an unnamed source from the regime’s administration. 

Another administrator was shot dead on Feb. 3 while he was promoting training for pro-military militias in Taungdwingyi Township. The Burma Army has provided military training to administrators, USDP members, and regime supporters since December. 

ARAKAN—The Arakan Army (AA) stated on Feb. 13 that it has captured all of the Burma Army bases in Kyauktaw. It shared photos of AA troops in front of the town’s government offices and signboard. 

It claimed to have destroyed another military vessel in Minbya Township on the same day. A total of five warships have been reportedly destroyed by the AA since fighting with the Burma Army re-started on Nov. 13.

VOA reports on exile media in its coverage of three years since the 2021 military coup. DVB English News is on X, FB, IG, Threads & TikTok. Subscribe on YouTube. Follow our Podcast.