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Thai universities deny reports of visa ban on men from Burma; Military deploys drones from Russia

Thai universities deny reports of visa ban on men from Burma

Thai university officials said that education visas for Burma nationals at Thailand’s language schools have not been suspended. Reports last week stated that visa agencies would stop processing one-year visa applications at schools in Thailand for men with Burma passports. 

“At Payap University, there is no racial discrimination in enrollment. There is also no discrimination based on gender. We accept everyone,” said a professor at Payap University. She added that reports of a visa ban were rumors and not fact. 

North-Chiang Mai University issued a statement on May 12 dismissing a visa ban on male Burma nationals as “false information.” It added that it provides education to anyone regardless of nationality. Thailand’s Immigration Bureau has not issued any statement. An unknown number of Burma nationals aged 18 to 35 have come to Thailand to evade the military conscription law

Military deploys drones from Russia

The regime has deployed Russian Orion-2 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to its areas of operation since May 9, sources in the military told DVB on the condition of anonymity. Regime officials purchased the UAVs during a visit to Russia from May 1-5. 

“Since then, the regime has been providing drone training to air force personnel. On May 4, other officials visited [Russia] again and bought UAVs and firearms for drones. I don’t know how many they bought,” said a source close to the military.    

Deputy Commander-in-Chief Soe Win ordered the distribution of UAVs during an Air Force meeting. The regime purchased Ch-4 UAVs sourced from China in April and began using them during fighting in Myawaddy. Russian drone technicians have reportedly trained military personnel. 

Helsinki to continue support for civil society

The National Unity Government (NUG) welcomes Finland’s decision to terminate development cooperation funding to Burma, which will impact multilateral cooperation, humanitarian assistance and development policy loans and investments.

“‘Sending funds to the [regime] only perpetuates their oppressive actions against the people of Myanmar. Through the support of the people, the NUG and ethnic revolution forces have gained significant ground, asserting their legitimacy,” said Nay Phone Latt, the spokesperson of the NUG Prime Minister’s Office. 

He added that all governments should engage with the NUG and Ethnic Resistance Organizations (EROs) directly rather than with the military regime in Naypyidaw. Helsinki will continue to provide project support for Finnish non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and civil society in Burma.

News by Region

A hospital in Momauk Township was destroyed by an airstrike on May 7. (Credit: Kachin News Group)

KACHIN—One civilian was killed and two others were seriously injured in an airstrike in Myothit village of Momauk Township on Monday, the Kachin News Group reported. “The husband of a family of three was killed. Their home was also destroyed,” said a Myothit resident. 

The military has carried out airstrikes on Myothit and other villages. Residents have claimed that more than 100 homes in villages between Momauk and Dawthponeyan towns have been destroyed since the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) launched its offensive on March 7. 

MON—The regime’s Chief Minister for Mon State, Aung Kyi Thein, said on social media that he inspected the Kyon Aik bridge on Monday. He claimed the bridge was destroyed by a “terrorist act” on May 11 and vowed to rebuild it. “It is time consuming and costs more as people can’t use this road. The prices of goods transported on this road are also going up,” said a cargo truck driver. A spokesperson for the People’s Defense Force (PDF) said that two civilians were killed due to retaliatory artillery shelling from the Burma Army on May 11. 

SAGAING—One woman was killed and 11 others were injured by artillery fired by the Burma Army that landed in the Mohnyin Thanboddhay pagoda compound sheltering Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in Monywa Township on Monday. “Many villagers in the township have been temporarily sheltering inside the compound because of the military’s offensives and arson attacks,” said a Monywa resident now displaced from her home and staying with 3,000 other IDPs inside the pagoda compound.

YANGON—The families of two women from the anti-coup protest group Octopus have not been able to contact them since they were arrested in Insein Township on May 9. Octopus claimed that the Burma Army has also threatened the relatives and friends of the women. “We will raise the Octopus flag with our hands and continue marching with the people until the uprising is successful,” its leader told DVB. Fourteen members of the protest group have been arrested and imprisoned since the 2021 military coup.

Read: The end of India’s Free Movement Regime with Burma. DVB English News is on X, FB, IG, Threads & TikTok. Subscribe to us on YouTube. Follow us on YouTube Music.

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