Daily Briefing: Tuesday, August 23, 2022

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

Second round of junta’s “peace talks” begin. Delegations of three EAOs have arrived in Naypyidaw to attend the second round of the junta’s “peace talks.” Representatives from Pa-O National Liberation Organization (PNLO), Lahu Democratic Union (LDU), and Arakan Liberation Party (ALP) arrived on Aug 21, state media announced. The military announced a new round of peace talks in April and 10 EAOs attended the talks between May and August, while other EAOs, including major groups such as AA and KIA, boycotted them. During the first meeting, state media claimed the creation of a multi-party federal democratic union was discussed during the talks as well as peace and development. However, no detailed information has been released regarding the meetings. | BURMESE  

LDU faction distances itself from the junta’s “peace talks.” The delegation led by Kyar Solomon, who attended the second round of peace talks convened by the military, does not represent the Lahu Democratic Union (LDU), an LDU faction claimed in a statement. Disagreements among LDU leaders over the talks have grown and fissures have emerged within the group ever since the EAO attended the junta’s first set of peace talks. The statement was signed by Chairman Kyar Har and said that it strongly condemns the Kyar Solomon-led group for misusing the LDU name, despite the delegation being repeatedly warned not to. The group also was accused of working “only for their own interests.” Kyar Har told DVB. “Kyar Solomon was a member of our organization [LDU] for 12 years. To be clear, we cannot accept his actions and he is doing this for his own benefit, not for peace or our nation. In addition, we have already dismissed him from our organization. He never informs us of what he does. We went to him many times to talk to him, but he did not listen,” he said. | BURMESE 

Civil society groups call on the UN to withdraw the Special Envoy’s mandate. The 864 CSOs have jointly condemned Noeleen Heyzer, the UN Special Envoy for Burma, for meeting with Min Aung Hlaing and called on the UN “to withdraw the mandate of the Special Envoy.” The announcement listed the name of each CSO and the organizations said they were “deeply disappointed” at the UN’s “absence of a reference to the National Unity Government (NUG).” The CSOs claimed that the UN Special Envoy’s meeting with the junta chief lent legitimacy to the regime. The statement also called for the UN Secretary-General to personally take charge to work towards solving Burma’s political crisis. Heyzer visited Burma Aug. 16 and 17.  

Prominent gem business owner arrested by military. Millions of dollars’ worth of assets owned by a gem businessman were seized by the junta, state media announced on Aug. 21. Kyaw Thura, the owner of Myanmar Thura Gems Company, is reported to have been arrested in Mandalay on Aug. 17 on accusations of providing financial assistance to the PDF and CDM workers. The junta claimed he provided large financial contributions to the PDF and CDM staff, and declared that his massive array of properties – including vehicles, buildings, and jade worth an estimated total of K118,449 lakh (around US $5.6 million) – were “state-owned treasure.”  | BURMESE

News by Region

KARENNI —Karenni resistance groups captured a military outpost on the Shan- Karenni border in Shadaw Township on Aug. 22. The Karenni Army (KA) reported that its forces and the Karenni National Defense Force (KNDF) jointly attacked and captured the outpost. The captured Tunguso outpost, later torched, is said to be a strategic base of the military. No significant casualties have been reported on either side as a result of the attack. After the military coup in 2021, the Karenni Army also announced that it had captured eight military outposts in Shadaw Township. Fighting has continued to occur in the area. There was a report of clashes in Hpruso Township on Aug. 21. | BURMESE

MANDALAY  —A man was shot dead by two unidentified armed men while shopping in Pyigyidagun Township in Mandalay on Aug. 22. The motivation behind the killing is unknown, but a resident told DVB he was suspected of providing information to the military that resulted in the arrests of urban guerrillas. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack. | BURMESE 

YANGON —Grenades were fired at Yangon’s Insein Prison, injuring a prison official. A person close to the prison said that an unknown armed group fired a 40mm rocket launcher, and a grenade hit a tamarind tree inside the prison compound and exploded. According to residents, security forces have been deployed around Insein Prison shortly after the incident. The notorious prison has experienced a number of attacks, including shootings and explosions since the coup. | BURMESE 

RAKHINE —Fierce fighting between the Burma Army and the Arakan Army (AA) continued in Chin’s Paletwa Township and northern Maungdaw Township on the western border of Rakhine State, the news outlet Narinjara reported. According to residents, clashes in Paletwa Township started on Aug. 20 and continued into the morning of Aug. 22. AA was able to seize a hill previously occupied by the military as well as three military outposts, and captured about 20 military soldiers in Paletwa on Sunday, according to a source close to AA . In addition, fighting was also reported in Maungdaw Township on the morning of Aug. 22. There were unconfirmed reports of casualties on the military’s side.