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Silent Strike on third anniversary of military coup; Aung San Suu Kyi’s son receives first letter since her arrest

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

Silent Strike on third anniversary of the 2021 military coup

Protests against the 2021 military coup were held on its third anniversary on Feb. 1. Inside Burma, a “Silent Strike” was held again to boycott the military, stay indoors, and refrain from economic activity from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Streets in cities such as Yangon, Mandalay, Pathein, and Monywa were reportedly quieter than usual during the hours of the proposed strike. International support rallies against the 2021 military coup in Burma were held in Thailand, the Philippines, Japan, and South Korea. 

Migrant workers held a demonstration in Bangkok in front of the U.N. headquarters. Many held photos of jailed leaders State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint. Both have been detained since Feb. 1, 2021. A pro-military rally was held in Yangon on Thursday.

Aung San Suu Kyi’s son receives first letter since her arrest

Aung San Suu Kyi’s son Kim Aris received a letter from his mother in mid-January for the first time since she was arrested, RFA reported. It was also the first public statement from Aung San Suu Kyi since she was prevented from meeting with her lawyers at the end of 2022.

Aris said that the letter included a message to family members, stating that she is in good spirits. He expressed hope that Aung San Suu Kyi will be released soon and that the crisis in Burma will end. But Aris also said that they should not give up their fight for democracy. 

Aris has been raising awareness about the crisis in Burma, as well as fundraising for the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM), and other non-violent, peaceful resistance groups refusing to work under the military.

US and Australia impose new sanctions on business affiliates

The U.S. and Australia have sanctioned entities and individuals connected to the military regime to mark the anniversary of the 2021 coup. Australia announced that the regime’s Myanma Foreign Trade Bank and Myanma Investment and Commercial Bank will be sanctioned. 

Entities such as Asia Sun Group, Asia Sun Trading Co Ltd, and Cargo Link Petroleum Logistics Co Ltd were also sanctioned for supplying aviation fuel to the military. The U.S. imposed sanctions on Shwe Byain Phyu Group of Companies and its owner Thein Win Zaw for helping Naypyidaw import petroleum and other products. 

Thein Win Zaw’s wife and their two children, Theint Win Htet and Win Paing Kyaw, were sanctioned for maintaining companies with close ties to the regime. The entity Myanma Five Star Line Company Limited was also sanctioned for helping the military gain access to foreign currency.

A candlelight vigil was held in Chiang Mai, Thailand on Feb. 1 to honor those killed by the military since the 2021 coup. (Credit: Saw Min Thein)

News by Region

BAGO—Former political prisoner Noble Aye was arrested at a military checkpoint in Waw Township on Jan. 29. Regime media reported that she was apprehended with weapons. She served prison sentences for participating in pro-democracy protests in 1996 and 2007. Her brother told DVB that she suffers from a poor health condition.   

CHINLAND—Resistance forces claimed that they are now administering Rikhawdar and most of its 9,000 residents. The town has been under resistance control since Nov. 13, 2023. 

“Residents have started returning to their homes. Schools in the area have also opened again,” a general secretary of the Chinland Defense Force (CDF) Rikhawdar told DVB. The town is a key trade hub on the India-Burma border. 

KAREN—The General Secretary of the Karen Border Guard Force (BGF) Saw Chit Thu said that the Karen Armed Group Unity Committee has made recent progress in unifying Karen armed groups. 

“It has been ten years since we formed the Karen Armed Group Unity Committee. We have seen some unity,” he said. The committee’s goal is to unify the Karen National Union (KNU), KNU/KNLA Peace Council, Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), and the BGF. 

MANDALAY—Four women from a village in Myingyan Township were killed by unidentified gunmen on accusations of aiding resistance forces on Jan. 29. “The victims were merely civilians,” a Myingyan resident told DVB. Five young men were killed in a nearby village in the township on Jan. 27. 

Eight unidentified gunmen stole around 300 million kyat from a KBZ bank in New Bagan on Jan. 31. “They pointed a gun at the bank manager and forced eighteen employees to lie face down on the floor. Then they took the money,” said an unnamed source close to the bank. 

NAYPYIDAW—The regime stated on Jan. 31 that Thein Soe, chairperson of the Union Election Commission (UEC), and Aung Zaw Aye, the Chief Minister for Shan State, have retired due to health reasons. Thein Soe attended a meeting between 39 political parties and regime officials in Naypyidaw on Jan. 6.

Ko Ko will replace Thein Soe as UEC chairperson. Aung Aung will replace Aung Zaw Aye as the Chief Minister of Shan State. The regime also sacked Kyaw Tun, a member of its Central Advisory Body. 

Toemyit and Lapyaelynn publishing houses had their publication licenses revoked on Jan. 27 for content that “harms the peace and stability” of the country, regime media reported. At least six publishing houses have had their licenses revoked since the 2021 coup. 

Watch Myanmar: Where does it stand three years after the 2021 military coup? DVB English News is on X, FB, IG, Threads & TikTok. Subscribe to us on YouTube.

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