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HomeBreakingRegime confirms resistance drone strikes on Naypyidaw; Backlash over New Zealand-ASEAN meeting

Regime confirms resistance drone strikes on Naypyidaw; Backlash over New Zealand-ASEAN meeting

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

Regime confirms resistance drone strike on Naypyidaw

The military regime confirmed that its air defenses shot down 13 drones at Naypyidaw Airport and Zeyathiri Township on Thursday. The National Unity Government (NUG) Ministry of Defense stated that the People’s Defense Force (PDF) carried out drone strikes on the military’s headquarters and Aye Lar Air Force base on April 4. 

“This drone attack was long-range and a stronger attack than normal. We have plans to do more. This is a time when the [military] is forcing conscription and causing fear for the people. With this attack on their nerve center, Naypyidaw, we want to highlight that they don’t have a safe place [to hide],” Kyaw Zaw, the NUG spokesperson, told Reuters.

The NUG added that it was a coordinated attack launched by resistance forces. Regime media displayed nine damaged drones on its television station. But it reported there were no casualties or buildings damaged by the drone strikes. It did not state that military facilities were targeted. 

Civil society assisting those evading military conscription

The New Myanmar Foundation, based in Mae Sot, Thailand, is assisting Burma nationals aged 18 to 35 who seek to evade military conscription. It works with other civil society organizations, based along the Thai-Burma border, to provide protection to those seeking asylum.

“We provide the telephone numbers, including my number, for finding a way [to help them] come to neighboring countries,” said Sann Aung, the executive director of New Myanmar Foundation.

Sann Aung added that New Myanmar Foundation has assisted around 250 people who’ve contacted them so far. But he acknowledged that there’s not enough funding available to provide safe houses and accommodation to all who seek assistance.

Activist group says genocide against Rohingya has intensified

The Burmese Rohingya Organization U.K. (BROUK) stated that the genocide against the Rohingya is intensifying as fighting continues between the Burma Army and Arakan Army (AA) in Arakan State. It claimed that nearly 1,000 Rohingya have been forcefully conscripted into the military and dozens may have been killed in fighting.

“The regime has targeted Rohingya for forced recruitment because we are vulnerable. We cannot flee because of the restrictions on movement the [military] has imposed on us. [It] views us as expendable. This is [its] latest heinous way to intensify the genocide against us,” said Tun Khin, the president of BROUK. 

Tun Khin added that Rohingya community leaders have been threatened at gunpoint and detained by the military if they do not supply recruits to the military. He called on the U.N. Security Council to take immediate action to enforce the International Court of Justice (ICJ) provisional measures on Burma to protect the Rohingya.

A protest against Burma’s military coup in Wellington, New Zealand on May 1, 2021 (Credit: Wan Tha)

Backlash over New Zealand-ASEAN meeting

New Zealand will host an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting April 18-19 in its capital, Wellington. Concerns have been raised by the diaspora from Burma in New Zealand about the military regime being invited to attend. 

Phyo Sandar Soe is a human rights activist who fled Burma after the 2021 military coup, and now lives in Wellington. “We don’t want the [military] to enter the land of New Zealand. They are not representing the people of Myanmar. They don’t have legitimacy,” she said.

New Zealand was one of the first countries to condemn the 2021 military coup in Burma. This ASEAN meeting in Wellington would be the first hosted in the country since 2019. Member of parliament Phil Twyford called on his government to decline visas for the military regime as Australia did last month during its ASEAN meeting in Melbourne.

News by Region

ARAKAN—Minbya Township residents said that three women were killed, and at least ten civilians were injured, by an airstrike on Myitna village on Wednesday. “Their fighter jets usually come at midnight and at dawn when people are still sleeping. The Arakan Army is not here and all of us are just civilians who are afraid and we don’t want to run away,” said a Minbya resident.  

At least ten homes and crop storage facilities were destroyed by a fire as a  result of the airstrike. More than 200 civilians have been killed and over 500 have been injured in Arakan State since the AA launched its latest offensive against the military on Nov. 13.  

NAYPYIDAW—The regime’s Ministry of Information issued a warning on Monday that it will take action against anyone broadcasting movies on social media that have not been approved by its censorship board under the Essential Supplies and Services Law. 

It claimed that these movies often contain content that “contravene the country’s policies, religious sentiments, ethnic harmony, legal framework, and cultural norms.” Individuals found guilty of violating the law could face a jail sentence ranging from six months to three years and receive a fine not exceeding 500,000 kyat. 

MAGWAY—Three residents of Yay Myat Ni village were arrested and more than 200 homes were destroyed by an arson attack on Htilin Township Wednesday. Burma Army troops entered the village on Tuesday. Yay Myat Ni residents fled their homes when fighting between the PDF and Burma Army began in December. 

MON—The Karen National Union (KNU) stated on Wednesday that six people, including two children, were injured by artillery fire in Thaton Township. Three civilians were injured in Chaung Saung village on March 30. Three others were injured in Hton Koh and Htone Bo Lay villages on March 27. The KNU accused the Burma Army of deliberately firing artillery at civilians. 

(Exchange rate: $1 USD = 3,860 kyat)

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