Myanmar Situation Update (13-19 June 2022)

A junta-controlled court sentenced former Mandalay Region Chief Minister Dr. Zaw Myint Maung, second vice president and spokesperson of National League for Democracy (NLD), to 21 years in prison for five corruption charges.

The ASEAN Special Envoy will not be allowed to meet with Aung San Suu Kyi on his second visit to Myanmar scheduled on 29-30 June. According to the junta spokesman, the Envoy was scheduled only to meet with ethnic armed groups currently holding peace talks with the junta.

Addressing the Special ASEAN-India Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in New Delhi, the Malaysian foreign minister called for new and creative ways that are inclusive and comprehensive for peace and reconciliation in Myanmar, including engagement with the National Unity Government (NUG) and the National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC). The Malaysian foreign minister Saifuddin Abdullah met with Zin Mar Aung, the NUG minister of foreign affairs, in May 2022 which the Myanmar junta criticized as “abetting terrorism.” United Nations (UN) human rights experts will conduct a mission to Malaysia from 17-23 June, in a bid to meet UN officials and experts who work on Myanmar and ASEAN foreign policy, as well as representatives of civil society and community-based organizations in the region to help resolve the crisis in Myanmar.

Some 677 Myanmar, regional and international civil society organizations, in an open letter, urged ASEAN defense ministers to not invite the Myanmar junta’s minister of defense to the upcoming 16th ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) due to be held on 22 June.

Myanmar military junta defended a planned execution of two prominent democracy figures as lawful and required, defying international criticism for resuming capital punishment after a three-decade hiatus. The military defied foreign outrage over the executions which UN experts last week said were decided without due process.

A UN official urged action to prevent a lost generation of children in Myanmar as the military regime systematically abused children since taking power. More than 1,400 youths have been detained and at least 61 are currently being held as hostage while 142 children have been tortured since the coup. The UN also called for the protection of children from the Myanmar military junta’s brutal attacks which "constitute crimes against humanity." Tom Andrews, UN special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, issued a report saying that at least 382 children have been killed or maimed by armed groups since the coup last year.

According to media reports, the humanitarian assistance of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has rarely reached the displaced people in desperate need. UNHCR released a statement on 9 June that it has provided emergency relief supplies to more than 50,000 refugees in Loikaw and Demowso Townships in Kayah State in May and early June.

Viettel has been helping the Myanmar junta to track civilians and military deserters, according to Justice for Myanmar (JFM), which called for immediate sanctions against Viettel Global Investment (VGI), a unit of Vietnam's largest mobile carrier. Viettel is owned by Vietnam's defense ministry and VGI holds a stake in Telecom International Myanmar, which runs mobile company Mytel.

As Myanmar intends to join Russia’s financial messaging system (FMS), the central banks of the two countries are negotiating, the Minister of investment and foreign economic relations of Myanmar said. Myanmar and Russia are also discussing the use of Russian Mir payment system cards in Asian countries. Furthermore, he said Myanmar intends to increase the volume of grain supplies from Russia.

NUG acting president Duwa Lashi La called on Tuesday, 14 June, for people to prepare to put an end to the fraudulent election planned by the junta for next year, which the country’s democratic forces see as an attempt to prolong military rule.

The junta committed almost 2,800 war crimes including arbitrary killing, extrajudicial use if torture, using civilians as human shield, air and artillery strikes on civilian targets, the looting and burning of houses and the use of sexual violence across the country in the last six months, according to NUG.

The Arakan Army (AA) and NUG are said to be on friendly terms. In a press conference, AA criticized the military junta and their efforts to disrupt the parallel administration that AA is spearheading in Arakan State. The junta also appeared to be stepping up its activities in northern Rakhine State amid recent tensions with the AA as large quantities of weapons and other military supplies arrived in the state by air and sea in recent days.

As of 17 June 2022, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) recorded that 1,963 people have been killed by the junta since the coup. There are 11,096 people currently under detention. There are 115 people who have been sentenced to death while 1,979 people are evading arrest warrants.

Prepared by
Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL)
20 June 2022, 11:30 a.m. (Bangkok time)

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