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Myanmar

$85 to retrieve the dead after bloody Burmese military clash

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Bago was the site of a bloody crackdown yesterday.

Activists say the Burmese military is charging US$85 to families to recover the bodies that security forces killed in last Friday’s violent clash. The city of Bago, just northeast of Yangon, was raided by military forces with 82 people killed according to Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a local advocacy group. Since the February 1 coup, the military has been systematically cracking down against peaceful protesters, detaining 3,000 civilians and killing over 700 more.

Eyewitnesses in Bago say the Burmese military used grenades, RPGs, and assault rifles to quell anti-coup protestors, forcing many villagers and activists to flee and go into hiding. Military security forces are going through the neighbourhoods now and have cut off internet access. Burmese forces claimed they were attacked by protestors while removing road barriers, alleging that demonstrators used homemade guns, shields, grenades, arrows and fire bottles.

In the aftermath of the bloody clash, the military charged families 120,000 Burmese Kyat (about $85) to collect the bodies of lost relatives. This was reported by Bago University Students’ Union’s Facebook page as well as Radio Free Asia’s Burmese service.

NGO Human Rights Watch had published a call for the European Union to take action and implement strict sanctions on the Burmese military on Thursday. And yesterday the US Embassy in Myanmar joined the call, posting on Twitter, urging peace.

“We mourn the senseless loss of life in Bago and around the country where regime forces have reportedly used weapons of war against civilians. The regime has the ability to resolve the crisis and needs to start by ending violence and attacks.”

A volunteer doctor who chairs the Red Cross in Bago had been detained by the Burmese military police on April 2, and yesterday a second volunteer doctor was taken after administering free medical aid to protestors, according to his family.

Meanwhile, the military’s commander-in-chief and another spokesman maintain that the Burmese military are peacekeepers, trying to strengthen the democratic system of Myanmar by safeguarding the country and investigating a fraudulent election. They deny that they seized power and blame the violence and death in the country on protestors rioting.

SOURCE: CNN

 

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Jean-Pierre

    Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 3:17 am

    The last paragraph of the article shows an incredible display of hypocrisy from the thugs with army uniforms.

  2. Avatar

    Richard

    Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 7:29 am

    How about labelling the Burmese soldiers as “military” using quote marks! they’re definetly not security forces.
    Strange, don’t you think, that other Sunni Muslim countries are keeping their distance from the Rohingya crisis. There must be thousands of young men in that squalid community in Coxes Bazaar ready to have a go at the thugs that killed and raped their people. Why. don’t other Muslim countries provide arms and training to for them to combat this evil. The Burmese military are NOT battle hardened troops they’re only good at murdering defenceless children.

  3. Avatar

    toby andrews

    Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 8:43 am

    Well the Burmese can either rise up with military opposition, or they can revert to serfs serving the self appointed dictators. There are armed ethnic groups in Myanmar, if they choose to protect their own lands and no more, the dictators will stay in power for years to come.

  4. Avatar

    Tun Tun Oo

    Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 10:36 am

    We, Bago city residents, know that only four protesters died in this dad event. But some organizations and medias have disseminated that security forces killed 82 on this day without strong evidences. The first attackers in the riot were protesters, not security forces, we have seen. They include mostly NLD members and they tried to make the army as a villain.

  5. Avatar

    Charles

    Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 3:43 pm

    Good point by Richard … the Burmese people have to start trying to kill and wound the so called military …. high ranking officers if possible. Muslims will never help their own kind though, look at the Syrian refugees in
    the Mediterranean…. no help from Saudi or any other vile Muslim state.

  6. Avatar

    toby andrews

    Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 4:16 pm

    How do we know you are not an agent for the army Tun Tun Oo?
    These Myanmar army dogs have bitten before . . .

  7. Avatar

    Richard

    Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 6:52 pm

    to TUN TUN OO
    So you think using heavy artillery and automatic weapons on kids throwing stones is an appropriate response?. And there is video evidence of thugs in unform slaughtering people who just want back what was stolen from them. The Mayanmar military are nothing but a bunch of self serving thugs.If they had too fight battle hardened troops they would fold like a house of cards. They are only good at murdering defences people especially children . They are the scum of this world

  8. Avatar

    Roger Bruce

    Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 7:37 pm

    Tun Tun Oo (paid by the Burmese Army murderers for this post yes ?)
    They “tried to make the Army the Villian”
    You do mean the Burmese Army the ones that have killed up to 700 innocent people plus woman and children
    The ARMY that shows burning men alive and shooting children in the head…That Army?

    Well then “”Tun Tun Oo”” if we look up the hind legs of a pig then look under the tail
    THERE YOU ARE

    Good Luck Burma

  9. Avatar

    steen thomsen

    Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at 7:07 pm

    the militari is the worst. Why they are so stupid so many years.Shoot the leaders. Good luck!!!!

  10. Avatar

    Niko

    Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at 9:29 pm

    I´m also suspicious of these inflated numbers it seems obvious that there are some people in the oposition that think they will instigate a military intervention if they claim wild numbers like 82 killed in just one city

    That´s a cynical and criminal way of trying to achieve your political goals.

    Remenber Syria is way worse today (and could be a lot more if assad fell) than it was 10 years ago.

    And in the case of libya it went from a relative well off country to a battlefield of various groups with all kind criminals, from drug dealers to human trafickers,

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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

Thailand

UN representative talks with Thai officials to help refugees fleeing Myanmar

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo via Facebook/ Karen Information Center - KIC

With ongoing violence in Myanmar between the military junta and ethnic armies, a representative from the United Nations has held discussions with local authorities in Mae Hong Son, which borders Myanmar, to look into ways to help more than 2,000 Karen refugees who fled their homes to escape the violence.

Following the military coup in February, ousting the state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi who had won the election in a landslide, hundreds of anti-coup protesters have been killed by security forces. Ethnic armies, many that occupy border regions, have clashed with the military junta following the coup. The prominent ethnic army of the Karen National Union has openly supported the anti-coup movement, leading to violent clashes with the military junta. Some fear it may be the start of a civil war.

The Myanmar military launched airstrikes on a Karen village by the Thai border in March. It was a significant attack for the Karen National Union, which had signed a ceasefire agreement back in 2015. The Karen army recently took over a state military outpost by the Thai border. Gunshots could be heard just across the Salaween River in Thailand. The ongoing violence has forced around 2,160 Karen to flee their home and cross the river into Thailand.

Mae Hong Son governor Sitthichai Jindaluang says he, as well as other senior provincial officials, met with a protection officer from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to discuss ways to help provide assistance for the Karen refugees.

“The UNHCR representative was deeply concerned about the refugees and we told him that we have already provided them with temporary shelters, public health assistance, food, medicine, and other necessities.”

Troops have been deployed along the Thai-Myanmar border. If the situation between the Karen army and the Myanmar military escalates, then refugees will be relocated to another shelter about 1 to 2 kilometres away from the border.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Protests

Anti-coup Burmese protesters take up military training in jungles of Myanmar

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Burmese military camp via CNN

Members of Myanmar’s Civil Disobedience Movement, including doctors and students, are taking up military training in the jungles, where they fled to escape a violent crackdown by the junta. Crawling on the ground towards their target of a small village isn’t just in preparation for a simulated clash-the training is to help protect them while they continue to resist the February 1 coup.

Small villages in the country’s ethnic border regions are now hosting white and blue collar workers as they learn how to survive military style in the wake of the Tatmadaw, or Myanmar army’s, takeover. The coup, came after opposition to last November’s democratic election which saw the National League for Democracy party win in a landslide. Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Laureate, and head of the NLD party was arrested, along with other leading members of the party. The Tatmadaw argued that the elections were riddled with fraud, but has yet to give any evidence.

Since February 1, the situation in Myanmar has been dire, with innocent civilians being murdered in the streets, with the UN saying the military is likely committing crimes against humanity. As the news of the political situation in the Southeast Asian country hit worldwide, several countries have issued sanctions against the army and its leaders. But, so far, those sanctions have been in vain as the junta is refusing to compromise at the very least.

Now, as the situation continues to escalate, people from all walks of life are fleeing into the jungle with some taking up the Karen National Defense Organisation’s free basic training programme to arm themselves with military-style skills, including learning how to shoot a gun. The chief of staff, Nerdah Bo Mya, seems to be doing his part in helping civilians fight back against the junta.
“This is a responsibility to protect life. If we don’t train them who’s going to help them?”
Nerdah says none of the 200 anti-coup demonstrators that he has seen at the camp, have ever held a gun before, with many still attending university. He says the free training also teaches them first aid techniques and basic marksmanship.
“They’re quite young, their age is around 24, 25 and some are nurses and also some doctors and medical staff.”
For students to seek training from ethnic armies shows how dangerous the situation is in Myanmar. Now, those being trained in the camps say they will come back and train the rest of the protesters. But Nerdah says he is aware that a bit of basic training is no match for the Tatmadaw. He says the CDM members need weapons in order to have a chance in standing up against the Tatmadaw, but would not say whether his group was supplying any, or whether learning how to make a bomb was included in the basic training.
“We told them they have to be wise and we have to fight with our head and not with our heart.”
The KNDO is not the only ethnic group offering CDM members free training. Videos from other ethnic areas show recruits chanting things like “for the people,” “for our freedom,” and “for our independence.”
Nerdah says anti-coup protesters are worried that, if the situation drags on, the world will forget about them.
“They all look up to the American government for democracy and freedom and if Chinese and Russian governments can help the brutal corrupt military regime why the American government cannot help these people who are striving for freedom and democracy in Burma.”
So far, the junta has not commented on the knowledge of protesters receiving basic training, but did publish a statement in the state-run New Light of Myanmar, asking those who have travelled to ethnic areas or even overseas, to return home. But as the tactics to quell the opposition are bloodier by the day, such a request remains in vain. Since the coup, more than 760 people have been killed, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, also noting that the actual death toll is probably much higher.
SOURCE: CNN

 

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Myanmar

Burmese rebel group claim to have downed military helicopter – VIDEO

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Screenshot from You Tube/Thomas Njai

Al Jazeera is reporting that a Burmese rebel group is claiming to have downed a military helicopter in Kachin province. The Kachin Independence Army says it shot down the aircraft in response to military air strikes in the province. Myanmar has been rocked by violence and political unrest since a February 1 military coup that deposed of the democratically-elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi’s NLD party.

Anti-coup protests have continued to take place in the country but if the KIA’s claim is true, the military helicopter is the first aircraft to be downed since the start of the recent conflict. The rebel group says the helicopter was shot down yesterday morning following days of airstrikes on Kachin province.

“The military council launched air strikes in that area since around 8 or 9 this morning using jet fighters and also fired shots using a helicopter so we shot back at them.”

Thomas Njai/You Tube

The Burmese military has not commented on the claim and it has not yet been independently verified. However, multiple videos claiming to show the incident are circulating online. According to Scott Heidler from Al Jazeera, the KIA is one of the most powerful armed rebel groups in the country.

“There are many different groups, but the Kachin Independence Army is one that has really kind of been engaged in heavier battles, more frequent battles, with the Army since the coup on February 1. They said it was retaliation for airstrikes that happened overnight Sunday into Monday, and then also on Monday morning. They said they retaliated because the helicopter involved was attacking their positions.”

An anonymous Kachin resident claims that 4 people have died in hospital following the shelling of a monastery. The Burmese army is accused of having killed around 766 civilians to date, including peaceful protesters. According to the United Nations, tens of thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes as violence escalates between the military junta and armed rebel groups.

SOURCE: Al Jazeera

 

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