Daily Briefing: Thursday, August 25, 2022

Daily Briefing: Thursday, August 25, 2022

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

Military seals off the house of a renowned actor and social worker. The house of actor and prominent social worker Kyaw Thu, located in Yangon’s Mayangone Township, was sealed off by the military on the evening of Aug. 24, according to local sources. Burma’s Academy Award winner Kyaw Thu and his wife Myint Myint Khin Pe (aka Shwe Zee Kwet) were prosecuted for incitement charges under Sec. 505(a) in March last year for participating in the anti-junta movement. The military sealed off their house as the couple remained in hiding, a source close to the junta’s administration said. Kyaw Thu is also the founder of Free Funeral Service Society, a renowned civil society organization based in Yangon. His wife was arrested for supporting monks’ protests during the country’s 2007 Saffron Revolution. | BURMESE

Prices of fuel and other basic commodities continue to surge as inflation bites.

Price of fuel in Burma continues to rise. The price of fuel rose to over K3,000 per liter recently after the junta said it will import fuel from Russia. Fuel prices in Burma have continued to rise a week after the regime formed a 10 person committee led by Lt. Gen. Nyo Saw to oversee importing and distributing fuel from Russia. According to an announcement on Wednesday from the Supervision Committee on Import, Storage and Distribution of Fuel Oil, a liter of diesel is K3,000 in Yangon but K3,045 and K3,040 in Naypyidaw and Mandalay. A liter of premium diesel in Yangon reached K3,080 and K3,125 in Naypyidaw and Mandalay. Likewise, the price of fuel in Yangon on Aug. 24 was K2,440 per liter of octane 92 Ron and K2,525 per liter of octane 95 Ron. However, a liter of octane is sold for K2,800 at small fuel shops. The regime recently admitted at a press conference that it cannot control the rising price of fuel. | BURMESE

News by Region

KAREN —The KNLA occupied a small outpost of the military-backed BGF in Mutraw (aka Hpapun) District on Aug. 22, KNU’s Mutraw News reported. During the attack, four BGF personnel were killed and ammunition and other related items were seized, the report added. From Aug. 1 to 15, 53 clashes are said to have occurred in the area of Hpapun District, KNU’s Brigade 5, killing 43 BGF troops. In addition, 33 major and minor battles took place in KNU’s Brigade 6, Dooplaya District, Kawkareik Township, from Aug. 1 to 20, the KNU claimed in another regular report detailing clashes. 48 junta troops are claimed to have been killed during the fighting. DVB could not independently confirm the death toll. The Karen EAO alleged that the military conducted air raids and used heavy weapons in its territory, killing two KNLA personnel and injuring 16 others. One civilian is also reported to have been killed during the attacks and 90,291 locals have been forced to flee. It is said that there are still a large number of IDPs that have yet to be documented.

MANDALAY —Tiger Force Mandalay said it apologized to the family of a couple it mistakenly killed at the corner of 30 and 57 streets in Mandalay. The guerrilla group conducted the operation based on information it obtained within the military and investigated the motorcycle plate number, uniform, appearance and the recent movements of CID sheriff Soe Ko Ko – the resistance force’s intended target. However, the resistance group erroneously killed a civilian couple who had an eight-year-old daughter. The couple’s funeral was held today. “We use our weapons to defeat the dictatorship and protect civilians. We are deeply sorry for accidentally shooting and killing them. Although we really wanted to apologize, we are unable to do so as we are on the run,” Bo La Yaung told Mandalay Free Press. The CID sheriff was also at the scene yesterday but his family lost contact with him. The group said it will accept responsibility for the killings.

RAKHINE —Arakan Army (AA) launched a fierce assault on the Burma Army’s No. 7 border guard station near Kyein Chaung village, northern Maungdaw Township, on the night of Aug. 23. “…We hear the sound of heavy weapons continuously firing,” a Kyein Chaung villager told DVB. Neither side has announced any casualties so far. Fresh clashes between the AA and the military have been occurring in northern Rakhine and neighboring Chin’s Paletwa Township. The ULA, the political-wing of the AA, announced on Aug. 23 that as of Aug. 20, 1,622 locals including pregnant women and children have been forced to flee due to the recent fighting in Rakhine State. The EAO stated that junta forces, which “have suffered heavy casualties since fighting broke out on Aug. 13”, have closed roads in Maungdaw and Rathedaung, and restricted the flow of goods. It is said that tight security restrictions have been imposed on roads in northern Rakhine more than before and aid teams have been banned from traveling to the region. Moreover, in Chin’s Paletwa Township, around 60,000 IDPs are still displaced from previous years fighting, according to the ULA. Recent fighting in Paletwa has forced another 1,600 to flee, the ULA said. The Rakhine armed group called for humanitarian assistance to be provided to IDPs in the state. It has also asked aid organizations to contact the ULA if the Burma Army blocks aid organizations – which face difficulties in Rakhine – from providing assistance. | BURMESE

UN OCHA Myanmar announced that the number of IDPs in Rakhine and neighboring Chin State have increased due to new clashes between the AA and Burma Army. The group also expressed that “security measures have been tightened in many areas including on waterways and roads have been blocked, restricting transportation of medical supplies and food to Paletwa township, Chin State, and Maungdaw township in northern Rakhine.” The heavy rains of Burma’s annual monsoon season have caused challenges for IDPs.

SAGAING —Four civilians including a pregnant woman and child were killed and another one was injured after a military air raid in western Kawlin Township on the night of Aug. 23, according to Kyunhla activists. Fighting took place in Aung Chan Tha village, at the border of Kanbalu and Kyunhla townships on Tuesday morning, and the military bombed and fired at Thit Saint Kone village with aircraft in Kawlin Township at midnight. A six-year-old boy, a pregnant woman, her husband and a villager were killed and another villager was injured in the raids. “They (military) estimated the time that PDFs retreated from the village and opened fire with aircraft,” a spokesperson of a Kyunhla activist group told Burma Associated Press. Phone lines were cut off in the northern parts of Kanbalu and Kyunhla townships during the air raids, and the lines are still cut off at the moment, causing communication issues in the area. Junta troops set fire to Aung Chan Tha village where clashes broke out on Tuesday. According to Kanbalu District PDF Battalion 2, nearly 40 military personnel were said to have been killed while more than 20 weapons and ammunition -including an RPG – were seized after yesterday’s clashes. The PDF also captured three junior officers including two captains from the Burma Army’s LIB 708 based in the town of Mawlaik.