Myanmar Situation Update (14-20 June 2021)

Nearly five months after the coup, the junta has begun the trial of the leaders of NLD. Ousted State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi appeared in a special court in Naypyitaw on 14 June to hear three cases for possession of illegally imported walkie-talkies, violations of the Telecommunications Law and Natural Disaster Management Law.

Furthermore, the junta has charged Ye Min Oo, a former Naypyitaw Mayor with article 409 of Penal Code (criminal breach of trust by a public servant) and violation of the Anti-Corruption law as he allegedly  misused his power to allow the “La Yaung Taw” project of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi under Daw Khin Kyi’s foundation. A detained Mandalay region MP from the National League for Democracy (NLD) also has been sentenced to three years in prison by the junta without a trial according to his family members that media reported this week.

UNHCR reported that more than 680,000 people are currently internally displaced in Myanmar, including more than 200,000 in the last four months. Most of the recent IDPs are from the states of Kayah and Kayin, where ethnic groups and  the Myanmar military engaged in fighting. The reports also revealed more than 100,000 people have been displaced by the fighting in Kayah State, with Demoso Township having the highest number of IDPs. It also mentioned that food and medicines run out faster. Dry food, medicine, and water are the major needs. IDPs in southern Shan State also reported due to the heavy fighting between The Shan Nationalities Progressive Party (SSPP/SSA) and the Shan State Reconstruction Council (RCSS/SSA). People are in dire need of emergency medical treatment, according to a relief team.

Strong winds destroyed around 600 houses in refugee camps in Rakhine state making it more difficult for refugees to live, according to the Rakhine Nationalities Association. People face food shortages and international organizations are no longer able to provide assistance due to political instability. More than 100,000 refugees are still reluctant to return to their homes although no fighting in Rakhine for about eight months.

The junta-controlled Ministry of Health and Sports (MOHS) announced that three “highly transmissible and more severe” coronavirus variants have been detected in Myanmar. With more than 600 COVID-19 cases reported in Yangon in the last two weeks, the second highest coronavirus hotspot after Sagaing Region. The junta has been struggling to maintain COVID-19 prevention, control and treatment as thousands of government medical staff and numerous volunteers have refused to work for the junta.

Two elderly civilians were burned to death alive after junta troops set the whole Kin Ma village on fire and burnt it to ashes in Pauk Township of Magway Region. On June 20, the junta condemned the actions of local/foreign media outlets and organizations spreading false information on the Kinma Village fire case that further the state media accused People Defense Forces (PDF) for setting fire to the house of U Kyaw Htay, who did not support the PDF which spread to other houses due to the wind.

The junta’s propaganda newspapers published an article on neighboring Thailand’s proportional representation (PR) system of elections and parliaments crafted by the Thai military after the 2014 coup, an indicator that the Myanmar junta is considering enacting a similar system in future elections.

Frontier Myanmar’s managing editor arrested by the junta at the Yangon International Airport is facing a charge under section 505-A of Penal Code, which carries a potential three-year prison term while a DVB reporter, was sentenced to 3-year imprisonment with 505-A of Penal Code in Minhla, Bago Region. There are four reporters arrested by the junta in the Bago region, and among them two have been sentenced to 3-year imprisonment. Ye Chan Naing, editor-in-chief of the DVB in Burma is selected for the International Press Freedom Award for 2021.

The United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution with the support of 119 countries to call for a stop to the flow of arms to Myanmar and urge the junta to respect November election results & release political detainees, including leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Belarus requested the text be put to a vote and was the only country to oppose it, while 36 abstained, including China and Russia with Thailand, Cambodia, Brunei and Laos from the ASEAN regional block.

The junta chief arrived in Moscow on 20 June by a special international Myanmar Airlines flight to attend a security conference, marking his second known trip abroad since he seized power in a coup. Junta appointed Deputy Minister of Investment and Foreign Trade U Than Aung Kyaw, Nay Pyi Taw Council chairman Dr Maung Maung Naing, Directors-General from various government departments and senior military officers joined the trip.

The protests continued in different parts of Myanmar despite the crackdown by the junta. The clashes between the junta forces and the civil resistance fighters or Ethnic Armed Organizations also emerged in several places in Myanmar, such as in Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Chin, Shan, Mandalay, Magway and Yangon States/Regions. 

According to the information compiled by ANFREL, at least 56 bomb blasts happened across Myanmar in the past week. It was reported that at least 19 people were injured and at least 4 died.

According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), as of 20 June, 872 people were killed by the junta. 5,033 people are currently under detention and 196 are sentenced. 1,950 warrants have been issued. 31 were sentenced to death, 14 people to three years, 39 people to 20 years, 18 people to 7 years imprisonment.


Read the full update here: Myanmar Situation Update (14-20 June 2021)


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