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UN Secretary-General ‘deeply concerned’ about Burma; Two men found dead after military conscription

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

UN Secretary-General ‘deeply concerned’ about Burma

The U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres’s office released a statement on Monday saying that he is ‘deeply concerned’ about the escalation of violence in Burma. Guterres called for the cessation of hostilities and protection of civilians, especially in Arakan State, where fighting between the military and the Arakan Army (AA) has escalated rapidly since November. 

“The expansion of conflict in Rakhine State is driving displacement and exacerbating pre-existing vulnerabilities and discrimination. The Secretary-General calls on all parties to prevent further incitement of communal tensions,” said Farhan Haq, the deputy spokesperson for the Secretary-General. 

Farhan Haq added that Guterres was alarmed by reports of an airstrike that killed at least 21 people in a Rohingya village in Minbya Township in Arakan State as well as the impact of forced recruitment on communities in Burma. The U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) states that more than 18.6 million people in the country are in need of humanitarian assistance, including six million children. 

Two men found dead after military conscription

Two men from Pyapon and Kangyidaunt townships of Ayeyarwady Region, selected in the first batch of military conscripts, died March 16-17. Their names had been called during a lottery organized by the regime’s authorities on March 16 under the conscription law, which states men aged 18 to 35 must serve up to two years. 

“[A man] ingested poison the next day after his name was selected for military service. He took his life as he didn’t want to serve in the army,” said a Kangyidaunt resident. He was from Yaydwinchaung village and was only 19-years-old.” 

A 17-year-old, who was called upon for military conscription, in Pyapon Township allegedly died after ingesting pesticides. Regime administration officials questioned the men’s families after it was informed of their deaths. 

Aung San Suu Kyi’s Yangon home at 54 University Avenue (Credit: Reuters)

Revision filed to stop sale of Aung San Suu Kyi’s Yangon home

The legal team representing jailed Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi is navigating legal channels in military-run courts to file a revision concerning the auction of her family home at 54 University Avenue in Yangon, where she famously spent 15 out of 20 years under house arrest.

The Kamayut District Court issued an auction order for the property in January, which is scheduled to take place today (March 20). A starting price was set by the court at over 30 billion kyat ($90 million USD).

The lakeside villa was owned by Khin Kyi, the wife of Burma’s independence hero Aung San and the mother of Aung San Suu Kyi and Aung San Oo. But a legal dispute between the siblings over its ownership began in 2001. Read more here.

News by Region

KACHIN—A religious leader named Nammye Hkun Jaw Li was killed in In Lan Khwa village of Namti, Mogaung Township on Monday. Residents in Namti said that an unknown armed group entered a computer shop within his home and shot him five times. 

Eyewitnesses described the assailants as wearing masks and said they fled the scene immediately after the gunfire. Nammye Hkun Jaw Li was known for his involvement in charity work and for his former leadership role in the Kachin Baptist Church (KBC). 

MON—The train route from Yangon to Mawlamyine has been temporarily suspended due to a landmine explosion at a railroad bridge between Theinseik and Donwun stations near Moekaung village in Thaton Township on Monday. It destroyed 20 feet of railroad and a cargo train. 

“It is unknown when the reconstruction work will be done as the bridge and railroad were destroyed,” said a railway worker. The Mawlamyine train station announced that it will refund all tickets meant to depart on Tuesday. No group has claimed responsibility.

SAGAING—The Burma Army’s offensives in Kani and Tigyaing townships have forced residents to flee their homes. The People’s Defense Force (PDF) claimed it briefly seized control of Kani from March 2-12 but was forced to retreat due to retaliatory airstrikes and attacks. 

Fighting between the Burma Army and the PDF has been ongoing in Tigyaing Township since November. Over 100,000 people are now Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). A communications blackout has been imposed on the townships. 

SHAN—More than 200 IDPs have been staying temporarily on Lwal Ta Phi mountain to avoid fighting between the Pa-O National Liberation Army (PNLA) and Burma Army in Hsihseng Township, which began on March 10. Nearly 1,000 IDPs, currently sheltering on mountains and bridges, are in need of humanitarian assistance.

“They fled there for a short time as it is close to their village. They have been attacked by the military’s drones but no one was injured. So, they are afraid to return from hiding and take food from their homes. No one is helping them,” said a volunteer assisting the IDPs. 

Read this story from The Irrawaddy about DVB’s CJ Network. DVB English News is on X, Fcaebook, Instagram, Threads & TikTok Subscribe on YouTube. Follow us on Spotify.

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