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Three Years Ago juxtaposes images from Yangon in 2021 with today; Military sends representative to ASEAN meeting

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

Three Years Ago juxtaposes images from Yangon in 2021 with today

Yangon People’s Strike, an anti-coup activist group founded in 2021, started an online campaign called Three Years Ago Movement on Jan. 29 to commemorate the 2021 protests against the military coup.

It shared photos to social media with juxtaposing images from Yangon today with it in February 2021 during the height of the anti-coup street protests. The images were taken at iconic locations around Yangon.

“We are re-enacting photos of the uprising three years ago and we hope people can join this movement in different ways” stated the Yangon People’s Strike on social media. 

ISP calculates number of political prisoners released

The Institute for Strategy and Policy (ISP) Myanmar stated that only 7,695 of the 92,560 people pardoned in prison amnesties since the 2021 military coup were deemed as political prisoners. It added that 19,911 of them remain behind bars. 

“There were 14 amnesties that pardoned 92,560 prisoners,” said Kyaw Htet Aung, the senior ISP researcher. He added that the military regime only grants amnesty to political prisoners that it does not feel threatened by.

The ISP has calculated that only 81 of the 9,652 prisoners that were pardoned on Jan. 4 were jailed for political reasons. A former political prisoner claimed that the regime is only granting amnesties in order to reduce international pressure.

The military regime sent a representative to the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat in Luang Prabang, Laos on Jan. 29. (Credit: ASEAN)

Military sends representative to ASEAN meeting in Laos

The military regime sent Malar Than Htike, the acting permanent secretary of its foreign ministry, to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Foreign Ministers’ Retreat in Luang Prabang, Laos on Jan. 29, Reuters reported

It is the first time that Naypyidaw agreed to send a “non-political” representative to attend an ASEAN meeting since it barred high-ranking regime officials from its summits in 2022. It had previously declined to send a non-political representative. 

Laos is the current chair of ASEAN and its Special Envoy to Burma, Alounkeo Kittikhoun, met with Min Aung Hlaing in Naypyidaw on Jan. 10. The ASEAN Five Point Consensus – agreed to in April 2021 – has failed to stop the violence in Burma.

News by Region

ARAKAN—Sittwe residents claimed that the prices of Yangon-Sittwe airline tickets reached up to 1.2 million kyat on the black market as many seek to flee since the second week of January. An airplane ticket usually costs 190,000 kyat. 

“The airport has been packed with people every day buying tickets ever since the news broke out that the Arakan Army could try to seize control of Sittwe. I’ve been told that all tickets with departure dates before April 20 are sold out,” said a Sittwe resident. 

The number of people in Arakan traveling by air has increased since the Burma Army blocked roads when fighting began with the Arakan Army on Nov. 13. Telecommunication and internet services have been shut down in much of the state since Jan. 14.

Mrauk-U residents said four civilians were killed, at least seven were injured, and more than 20 homes were destroyed by artillery in Alal Zay ward on Jan. 27. More than 20 civilians have been killed and at least 30 have been injured by artillery since December.

CHIN—The Chinland Defense Force (CDF) Kanpetlet stated on Jan. 28 that it will take action against individuals that opened fire on civilian vehicles in Kanpetlet Township, Chin World reported

A civilian was killed when an unidentified armed group fired upon two vehicles in Makyar village tract on Jan. 27. The CDF Kanpetlet claimed it is investigating the incident and condemned anyone that attacks civilians.

SAGAING—More than 20,000 residents in Ye-U, Khin-U and Depayin townships have been displaced due to offensives launched by the Burma Army since Jan. 19. 

“They [are] raiding villages to find people who are connected with the People’s Defense Force and the National Unity Government,” said a PDF member in Ye-U. The PDF claimed that civilians have been killed or injured due to airstrikes in Kawlin, Tigyaing, and Khampat since Dec. 20.

SHAN—At least ten homes have been destroyed and residents of Hsihseng Township cannot leave due to airstrikes and artillery attacks carried out after the Pa-O National Liberation Army (PNLA) seized the town on Jan. 28. 

“Some said our home was destroyed by an artillery shell. Houses and stores near our home were also reduced to ashes as no one extinguished the fire,” said a Hsihseng resident who fled from town. 

(Exchange rate: $1 USD = 3,535 kyat)

David Mathieson joins DVB Bureau Chief Mon Mon Myat in the Newsroom to discuss resistance to the coup. DVB English News is available wherever you get your podcasts.

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