FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM
NUG requests aid groups seek authorization to enter its territory
The National Unity Government (NUG) has notified aid organizations to seek prior authorization from its ministries before they travel within its administered areas to provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Burma. The NUG claims to control territory “through the leadership of the people and battles fought by the revolutionary forces.” It urges all local civil society organizations and international non-governmental organizations to apply for permission in advance to ensure the security of all aid workers and the effective provision of humanitarian assistance to those in need.
US diplomat to discuss Burma with Thailand and Indonesia
The Counselor of the U.S. Department of State Derek Chollet will travel to Thailand and Indonesia from March 20-24 to meet with officials and to discuss regional issues, including Burma’s crisis. He will meet with Indonesian officials in Jakarta to discuss its objectives in Burma as the 2023 chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). In Bangkok, Chollett will meet with Thai ministers to “strengthen cooperation to achieve peace in Burma.”
Prominent Burmese film director arrested in Yangon
Burmese film director Mr. Steel was at his home in Thanlyin Township of Yangon on March 20. “The troops first came to his house while he was on his way to drop his child off at school. They called him and threatened to seal off his house if he tried to hide,” a family friend told DVB. The arrest comes after news spread online that Mr. Steel publicly criticized Min Aung Hlaing.
Central Bank revokes foreign currency licenses of 20 businesses
The Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) has revoked the licenses of 20 businesses dealing with foreign currency accusing them of “not complying with orders and instructions.” “There are more than 400 companies that have obtained business licenses for currency exchange services, but the number of companies that actually do work on the ground is very low,” a source at the CBM told DVB.
News by Region
SAGAING—Min Aung Hlaing visited the North-West Command Headquarters in Monywa on March 19. He spoke with troops and their families about unity within the Burma Army. “Military unity and the strength of the state must be built without fail as strength can make positive changes and better progress for the state as well as the armed forces,” he said. Chindwin Attack Force (CAF) claimed to have fired two artillery shells at the North-West Command Headquarters in Monywa during Min Aung Hlaing’s visit. “We had to retreat quickly,” said a CAF spokesperson.
KACHIN—At least six people, including a child, were killed and two were injured in Hpakant town by artillery shells on March 18. “One child died instantly. Another child had his hand amputated,” a local told DVB. Fighting in Hpakant has been ongoing since March 18, when a Burma Army outpost near Longhkin village was attacked and at least three police officers were killed by the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and the People’s Defense Force (PDF).
BAGO—A 41-year-old man had his leg amputated after stepping on a landmine in a village of Kyauktaga Township on March 17. The man was sent to an intensive care unit (ICU) for treatment. It is not known which group planted the explosive.
Local businesses in Pyay have been forced to donate money for the upcoming Thingyan celebrations in April. “The businesses have been struggling for a long time. It is mandatory to pay at least K30,000,” a grocery store owner told DVB. Municipal and administrative officials guarded by Burma Army troops have collected funds ranging from K30,000 to 100,000 ($14.35 to 47.83 USD), depending on the size of the business. “We have been told by the district administration head that we have a responsibility to hold a busy festival,” said a 100-household administrator.
YANGON—Two men were wounded in a shooting in Thaketa Township on March 19. “The two men will almost certainly die,” a witness told DVB. The motive behind the shootings is unknown.
Six people were arrested in Thaketa Township on March 18. They are accused of sharing photos of three dead police officers with Khit Thit Media. “Their family is concerned because they have lost contact with them,” a local told DVB. Since the 2021 military coup, groups offering emergency medical services have been monitored by regime forces. “If we go out to help, we have to inform the local police station. We have to bring them along with us if possible,” said a spokesperson from a social relief group.