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UN Special Rapporteur calls for sanctions against military regime; Burma Army troops flee into Thailand

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

UN Special Rapporteur calls for sanctions against military regime

Tom Andrews, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on human rights, called on the international community to take coordinated action to protect civilians from aerial attacks by the military, as it has faced “substantial” setbacks by resistance forces on the battlefield. 

“The tide is turning in Myanmar and it is turning because of the courage and tenacity of its people. It is time for the international community to pay attention to Myanmar and take the strong, coordinated action that will enable them to seize this moment,” said Andrews. 

He added that the number of airstrikes carried out on villages and Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps over the past five months has increased five-fold. The U.N. stated that there are now more than 2.8 million IDPs nationwide. Andrews expressed alarm about the military beginning to forcefully conscript men aged 18 to 35 and called for immediate sanctions against the regime in Naypyidaw. 

Auction on Aung San Suu Kyi’s home fails to attract bids

The auction of Aung San Suu Kyi’s home at 54 University Avenue in Yangon didn’t receive any bids on Wednesday. The Kamayut District Court issued an auction order for the property in January at a starting price of $90 million USD.

“No buyer came today so the officer in charge of the auction already left,” a witness told Reuters. The lakeside villa is where Aung San Suu Kyi spent 15 years under house arrest until she was freed in 2010. It has also been the center of an inheritance dispute between Aung San Suu Kyi and her brother Aung San Oo. 

An appeal was made to the Supreme Court over ownership of the house in 2022 by Aung San Oo, which culminated in the March 20 auction. The proceeds are intended to be split between the siblings. Aung San Suu Kyi’s legal team is attempting to prevent the sale of the home. She has been imprisoned since the military coup took place on Feb. 1, 2021. Read more here.

Burma Army troops were detained by Thai authorities on March 19. (Credit: CJ)

Burma Army troops flee into Thailand

Forty-eight Burma Army personnel, including a battalion commander, based in Kyainseikgyi Township of Karen State crossed the border into Tak Province, Thailand on Tuesday. They reportedly abandoned the Maetharawhta military base on March 17 after receiving reports that the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) would attack it.

An unnamed source close to the Thai officials said that the soldiers were arrested by local authorities upon crossing the border into the country. “They will be sent back to Burma if they want to be but they are now being questioned by Thai authorities,” said the source.

The KNLA seized control of Maetharawhta military base on Monday. Other military outposts in Kyaikseikgyi Township have been attacked by the KNLA once it seized control of the Kyondoe strategic base on March 14. 

News by Region

MANDALAY—An administrator who was recruiting conscripts for the Burma Army in Wundwin Township was killed on Tuesday. “He was shot five times in the chest after returning from the township administration office,” said a Wundwin resident. 

A local resistance group claimed that it killed the administrator for conducting recruitment under the military’s conscription law and it threatened all others helping recruit conscripts to stop. 

A resistance group calling itself No More Dictatorship People’s Defence Force (PDF) stated that it attacked Yadanabon hall in Maha Aungmye Township with a rocket launcher on Tuesday. The extent of the damage is unknown. 

The PDF claimed that the hall is owned by regime leader Min Aung Hlaing’s son Aung Pyae Son, and that the regime has hosted celebrations and meetings inside the building. Yadanabon hall was opened by Min Aung Hlaing on May 27, 2021. 

SHAN—The Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA/PSLF) stated on Tuesday that it will take “strong” action against administrators who recruit conscripts for the Burma Army. It said that it had received complaints from residents of Lashio, Hsipaw, Namtu, Kyaukme, Nawnghkio, Mogok and Mongmit townships. 

The TNLA claimed that forced recruitment is unacceptable. Tar Bone Kyaw, the secretary-general of the TNLA, visited Namtu on Monday and met with residents to discuss its education, health, and development policies. The TNLA outlined its own conscription policy for ethnic Ta’ang last month. 

YANGON—Travel agencies and bus companies in Yangon said they received an order from the regime to restrict travel for those with National Registration Cards (NRC) issued in Arakan State. Civil society groups estimate that there may be hundreds of thousands of people from Arakan State living in Yangon. 

“Officials sent us a notice letter on Monday [to] not sell tickets to any [Arakan State] NRC holders,” said an employee at a bus ticket company in Yangon. A woman from Arakan State living in Yangon accused the regime of restricting their right to travel. 

The Burma Army has blocked all land and water routes into Arakan State since fighting resumed against the the Arakan Army (AA) on Nov. 13. Hundreds of people have been detained at the Yangon International Airport traveling to Arakan State, and at airports in Sittwe and Kyaukphyu in Arakan State upon return. 

Read our latest: Political parties condemn violence but exclude military atrocities. DVB English News is on X, Facebook, Instagram, Threads, TikTok. Subscribe to us on YouTube.

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