Myanmar Situation Update (10-16 May 2021)
One hundred days after the coup, the junta has pushed the region’s fastest-growing economy into an economic and humanitarian disaster. The World Bank forecast shows that Myanmar's economy is expected to contract by 10% in 2021, a sharp difference from the previous prediction of 5.9% growth in October 2020. There is a possible banking crisis which leads to cash shortages, limited access to social welfare payments and international remittances. Last week, Myanmar Kyat hit one of its lowest compared to the USD.
The World Food Program also estimates that up to 3.4 million more people, particularly those in urban areas, will face hunger during the next six months. Price rises, hurting the poor and causing shortages of some essentials, including the costs of fuel and medicine.
The junta called to reopen colleges, universities and schools soon but many students and educators are boycotting. As a result, around 13,000 staff had been suspended by May 8. The junta also announced job vacancies for educational positions to replace striking staff.
Across Myanmar, the ordinary citizens have taken up any weapons available from air guns to traditional firearms and homemade bombs and arms have spread in Chin state, Sagaing, Magwe and Mandalay regions. Mindat township in Chin State reported more intensified fights between the civil resistance groups and the Myanmar military while clashes were reported in Myingyan township, Mandalay region and Tamu township, Sagaing region.
According to our information, at least 43 bomb blasts happened across Myanmar in the past week and many of them were in Yangon’s townships. It was reported that two people died and at least 21 people were injured.
Media reported the junta continued to conduct air strikes across the villages in Kachin, Kayin, and Shan states, leading to thousands of people fleeing their villages. The Ethnic Health Organizations (EHOs) called on the international community to provide direct support to the ethnic areas as international aid sent through central Myanmar was unable to reach EHOs. The media also reported that the IDPs in Momauk township, Kachin State are in desperate need for emergency support.
CSOs based in Thai-Myanmar border called authorities to consider measures for refugees on humanitarian principles and make an effort to monitor, assess the situation closely while consistently upholding both national security and humanitarian principles. They also urge Thai authorities to assess the situation comprehensively based on correct information and reliable sources.
A DVB reporter, Min Nyo was sentenced by a military court to three years in prison for his reporting. Three reporters from Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) and two activists from Myanmar have been arrested in Thailand for illegal entry and face possible deportation. CSOs and foreign correspondents in Thailand urged the Thai authorities not to deport them back to Myanmar.
Thai prime minister and Foreign Minister met with the UN special envoy on Myanmar Christine Schraner Burgener to discuss the situation in Myanmar. The PM said he will not force those fleeing violence back to Myanmar. The National Unity Government also called for foreign countries to introduce and expand sanctions against the overseas relatives of Myanmar’s military council members.
As of May 16, a total of 3,998 people are currently under detention and among 92 are sentenced. 1,679 have been issued arrest warrants. Twenty were sentenced to death and 14 to three years imprisonment.
UEC member U Khin Maung Oo informed that there will be a coordination meeting with all the 91 political parties on 21 May and the main topic to discuss is about the use of the PR system. After the coup, the junta appointed UEC requested political parties to send the proposals on the PR system and some of the major parties such as NLD and SNLD rejected the proposal.
World religious leaders are giving special attention to Myanmar, Pope Francis offered a special mass for the people of Myanmar on Sunday, 16 May 2021.
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