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  • Myanmar Military Coup | 1000 + Civilians Killed

    Burmese Military Junta | Civil Death Toll surpasses 1,000
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    Myanmar passed a grim milestone as the death toll at the hands of security forces after the February 1 military coup has officially surpassed 1,000 people. Since the military junta seized power, pro-democracy protesters have taken to the streets nearly non-stop to demonstrate and are often met with harsh and violent suppression for the Burmese military.

    The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners has been actively tracking the mass arrests and deaths since the coup and says they have verified 1,001 total deaths as of today. The joint secretary of the organisation says the true number of deaths at the hands of the military junta is probably a lot higher than that.

    The junta disagrees with the AAPP’s statistics though and officially report a much lower death toll. They also emphasise the death of more than 90 military security force members they attribute to the protesters.
    Despite the violent crackdowns and suppression methods, dissident citizens continue to protest, with self-defence groups forming to fight the military. And not just activists. Students, teachers, professionals, even doctors and nurses have joined the protest.

    This has created more problems as Covid-19 sweeps the country, with over 360,000 infections and more than 13,600 deaths. Hospitals are severely understaffed as medical workers join the protests. Shortages of medical supplies and oxygen are also widespread in Yangon, as people afraid of persecution avoid the military-run hospitals. Because of this, the AAPP suggested that the junta has weaponised Covid-19 against the people.

    The military junta came to their death-filled power by claiming Myanmar’s democratic election were corrupt and ousted and imprisoned the countries leadership. They accuse Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader they unseated, of a variety of political crimes like violating state secrets and using illegal walkie-talkies. Meanwhile, military leader Min Aung Hlaing has installed himself as the acting prime minister of the so-called State Administration Council.

  • #2
    NUG announces defensive war to battle Myanmar coup forces

    In Myanmar, the National Unity Government made up of deposed former leaders announced a defensive war in the name of the Burmese people, but other countries are urging peace to allow humanitarian efforts to continue. The NUG formed a shadow government to represent the people of Myanmar in the wake of the February military junta that took over claiming election fraud in the popular vote.

    Outside of Myanmar, foreign governments plead for both sides to refrain from violence. Indonesia has become a leader of international diplomacy regarding Myanmar and has called for both sides to act in the interest of the Burmese people and to maintain peace to allow for humanitarian aid to take place. The UK Ambassador to Myanmar called for all sides to talk while condemning the junta’s brutality on Facebook.

    The NUG announced their counterattack in an effort to pull together all the splintered factions of insurgents and pro-democracy protesters that all oppose the military junta, and to try to convince administrative officials and soldiers to defect. They earlier formed the People’s Defence Forces as the armed faction of their movement in alliance with ethnic minorities that have long opposed the military.

    But the ruling military says the bluster is just a cry for attention and marched in force yesterday in a show of strength after Tuesday’s showing of both passionate protesters and, separately, ethnic minority insurgents ramping up battles against the army. The military has killed over a thousand protesters since February, and clashes continue nearly daily including recent scuffles with Kachin rebels.

    Though it’s unconfirmed that these violent engagements and large protests in Mandalay, Sagaing, and Magway yesterday were a direct response to the NUG call to action, the group’s declaration was well received on Burmese social media, according to the International Crisis Group. Their Myanmar expert says the war declaration may cost the NUG some international support from those who urge peaceful action.

    But many Burmese feel that the threat of battle is the only option after ASEAN’s diplomacy has been alarmingly slow, frustrating members like Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore, and Western countries have slowly imposed sanctions that haven’t pushed hard enough for resolution. Erywan Yusof, the recently appointed ASEAN envoy to Myanmar, said he had negotiated an as-yet-unconfirmed ceasefire to allow aid to safely be dispersed, and commented that they are watching the NUG’s call to arms closely.

    China, on the other hand, has warned against Western countries supporting the NUG uprising, saying fighting will be endless in a sort of proxy war. The Chinese have vast economic ties to Myanmar and have opted for a more hand-free approach to the conflict, saying that they wish for stability but oppose foreign interference.


    • #3
      Will Myanmar junta leader be given a seat at ASEAN summit?

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      A summit of the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations will take place later this month and delegates are debating whether to include Myanmar or not. The troubled nation is a member of the association, but other nations are debating whether to recognise and invite the military junta leader that overthrew the elected government in Myanmar in February to the ASEAN summit this month.

      After a summit in April to address the political turmoil in Myanmar, a 5-point plan was agreed upon for the military to work towards restoring peace in the country. But after months of stagnation and inaction, the special envoy appointed as part of that plan said that the military junta’s inaction was “tantamount to backtracking.”

      In the 6 months since the plan was laid out, virtually no steps have been taken and none of the 5 points have been tackled. The envoy says that the military junta has not directly responded to messages including the request to meet with detained leaders like Aung San Suu Kyi.

      Other steps laid out by the ASEAN plan included open dialogues between the military, the association of nations, and the deposed leaders of Myanmar, opening the Burmese borders to humanitarian aid, and an immediate cease to all violent clashes. None of those things have taken place.

      With a complete lack of action, ASEAN is challenged as it strives to be inclusive but also is faced with including a glaring dictatorship rife with human rights violations. The envoy’s disappointment was echoed in comments by Malaysia’s top diplomat who said that, while the envoy was doing whatever was possible, in the face of the military junta’s inaction, recognizing the military leader Min Aung Hlaing by giving him a seat this month’s summit would be nearly morally impossible.
      Last edited by Logan; 10-07-2021, 12:11 AM.


      • #4
        Burmese UN envoy calls for international support for democracy in Myanmar

        The Burmese UN envoy says he’s intent on seeking international support for democracy in his country. Kyaw Moe Tun was speaking to Japanese news agency NHK at the UN offices in New York. He was made UN envoy by the former Burmese government, which was ousted in a military coup in February, despite having been democratically elected.

        According to a Thai PBS World report, he continues to be seen as representing Myanmar as the UN Credentials Committee has not made a decision on future representation. The UN envoy has declared that if he remains in the position, he wants to focus on representing the people of Myanmar and their struggle for democracy in the face of military oppression.

        “Please do understand the situation Myanmar is facing. So, that is what I’d like to appeal to the international community to please understand the people of Myanmar. We would like to be our own defence, people’s defence revolution against the military.”
        The ambassador has vowed to continue appealing for the lives of innocent Burmese citizens, calling for an end to the military coup, and the restoration of democracy in his country. He says over 1,100 civilians have been killed by the Burmese military regime and has urged the international community to understand calls from pro-democracy forces in Myanmar encouraging an uprising against military rule.

        Thai PBS World reports that security around the UN envoy has been tightened since the discovery of an assassination plot against him last August, which is being investigated by law enforcement officials in the US.


        • #5
          Burmeses junta leader not invited to ASEAN summit

          After many members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations expressed frustration at the Burmese junta seeming to brush off the actions agreed upon at a summit in April, the group is showing its ire by not inviting Burmese junta leader General Min Aung Hlaing to this month’s ASEAN summit. After an emergency meeting Friday, the decision was announced by ASEAN chair Brunei Darussalam, saying the ASEAN ministers had debated whether or not to include the de facto unelected leader who seized power in Myanmar in a coup February 01. 2021

          The group decided instead to invite a non-political person to represent Myanmar, a senior diplomat from the military government in power, as a punishment for what one ASEAN diplomat called a “rogue family member.”
          The emergency 2-hour meeting was called for Friday after ASEAN failed to reach a consensus during regular sessions, with Malaysia and Indonesia particularly adamant about the junta’s failure to take any action on the 5-point plan the group had agreed on 6 months ago. Other nations agreed with their frustration but wanted to give the junta space to deal with Myanmar’s problems internally.

          Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia were more hesitant to blatantly condemn Myanmar but still strongly urged the junta to enact the steps agreed on by all of ASEAN including General Min. The association collectively decided that, while they will allow Burmese representation, the country’s current rulers don’t deserve the same status after their inaction.

          After progress began with the appointment to a special envoy that was meant to negotiate between the junta and the people in person as well as arrange humanitarian aid, Myanmar reneged and has yet to allow the envoy into the country. Aid from the Thai Red Cross Society has been allowed in though, with Covid-19 vaccination efforts continuing along the Thai-Burmese border as well.

          Burmese leaders warned ASEAN that beyond their leader’s exclusion, the group shouldn’t associate with any of the former leaders of Myanmar, many of whom are currently facing prosecution by the junta. The leaders of what is now the National Unity Government opposition group had previously lobbied for a seat at April’s summit.

          The decision to exclude Burmese junta leader General Min Aung Hlaing may have been a case of a medium-sized governing body (ASEAN) flexing on a small governing body (the junta) to appease a larger looming governing body, as the East Asia Summit is upcoming, with US President Joe Biden expected to attend, along with leaders from Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, and South Korea.


          • #6
            ASEAN snub of Myanmar junta praised by opposition government

            Myanmar’s opposition government has commended the ASEAN announcement that they will not invite the junta leader to the regional summit. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations said that any envoy from Myanmar should be a legitimate representative. They have opted instead to invite a non-political representative from Myanmar, in what appears to be a clear snub of the country’s military government.

            Myanmar’s military came to power after a coup on February 1 of this year, after they ousted the previous democratically elected government. After the junta failed to abide by a number of actions that they had agreed upon at a summit in April, representatives from the other ASEAN member states held an emergency meeting on Friday. At this meeting, they decided to bar Burmese junta leader General Min Aung Hlaing from attending the summit, according to ASEAN chairman Brunei Darussalam.

            The junta had agreed to allow a special envoy to come into the country in order to facilitate negotiations between the junta and the people, and also to assist in coordinating humanitarian aid. But the government has gone back on their agreement, and has so far denied the envoy access.

            Myanmar’s opposition government has had to operate in the shadows. Known as the National Unity Government, the opposition group has been outlawed and banned by the military. They have praised the decision by ASEAN to bar the junta envoy from being allowed to attend the summit. They also said that they are willing to support a genuinely neutral representative from Myanmar being present at the talks, as long as this figure is not secretly representing the interests of the junta.

            This political shuffling is all happening as nations prepare themselves for the impactful East Asia Summit coming up in November, which will be attended by leaders from the US, China, India, Japan, Russia, South Korea and others.


            • #7
              Myanmar’s junta government releases prisoners, cancels arrest warrants

              In the wake of ASEAN recently announcing it would exclude Myanmar’s representatives from future summits, Myanmar’s junta government made the move to release prisoners. The government is also cancelling arrest warrants for thousands of its people after making the announcement yesterday. The statement said that 1,316 people in detention will be released and that 4,320 cases will be dropped. Citing the 505(a) clause, the government’s move is thought to be in response to ASEAN’s decision.

              Many high-profile individuals that were involved in the anti-junta protests will now be released, including 24 people from the entertainment industry. At least 2 journalists have also been released with full pardons. Previously, the government issued pardons for various ethnic and armed forces, but made complaints in the process. General Min Aung Hlaing said that ASEAN is, essentially, singling-out his regime, and not the CRPH nor the NUG (parallel government), in regards to violent acts allegedly committed by those regimes.

              However, some people who have been released, are now saying that ASEAN’s requests are somewhat impossible to meet. One such example is that of the detained, democratically-elected leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. Criticisers of ASEAN, say its demands to have a dialogue with Suu Kyi were too high. And, netizens criticising the junta, says the recent move is just to appease such international bodies like ASEAN, with some released detainees continuing to be under surveillance.


              • #8
                Myanmar no-show a focus as ASEAN summit gets underway

                The exclusion of Myanmar military leader Min Aung Hlaing from the ASEAN summit is looming over the annual regional meeting, with PM Prayut Chan-o-cha pointing to international focus on ASEAN’s response to the situation. As reported by Reuters, Prayut noted that the role of the regional association in addressing the matter is of “paramount importance”, with action taken to “have a bearing on ASEAN’s credibility in the eyes of the international community”

                With this year’s chair Brunei having stated a non-political representative from Myanmar would be invited, Myanmar’s junta had confirmed earlier in the week its condition that only its head of state or a ministerial representative attend. It is in turn going without representation, with the volatile situation following the bloody coup in February being closely monitored within and without the region.

                As reported by Reuters, with the summit underway a number of leaders have weighed in on the issue, with Cambodian PM Hun Sen stating ASEAN had not expelled Myanmar from its framework, but rather Myanmar had “abandoned its right”. Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden expressed “grave concerns” over violence in the country, calling for the release by the military of unjustly detained people.

                According to the report, Prayut expressed his hope the junta would trust ASEAN’s intentions, and that ASEAN special envoy Erywan Yusof – who had previously stated the junta had denied him sufficient access – could visit Myanmar soon, comprising an “important first step in the process of confidence-building”.


                • #9
                  Burmese junta adds third charge for American journalist Fenster

                  The managing editor of Frontier Myanmar, American journalist Danny Fenster, has been held for months by the Burmese junta and has now been charged with a third criminal offence. He had originally been arrested in May when attempting to leave the country. After being held for nearly 6 months, Fenster is still on trial, accused of promoting dissent against the Burmese military junta as well as unlawful association. If convicted on both of these charges, he faces a prison sentence of 6 years.

                  Now according to his lawyer, the American journalist will face an additional third criminal charge for violating immigration law. The charge was levied by the junta during a hearing yesterday that was held inside Insein Prison in Yangon where Fenster is being held. His lawyer is confused about the extra charge, saying he doesn’t know the reason it was added, and confirming that his client’s visa was valid when he attempted to leave and the military apprehended him. If convicted of this third charge, it could add a maximum of another 5 years in prison, meaning Fenster could face over a decade in detention. The trial is expected to begin tomorrow.

                  Fenster is said to be physically ok and in good health but understandably stressed over the new charges by the junta. His family believes that he was infected with Covid-19 while imprisoned though. Former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson has been acting as a hostage negotiator and US diplomat and just 2 days ago met with Burmese junta leader General Min Aung Hlaing in Myanmar’s capital Naypyidaw, but it is unknown if Fenster’s detention was discussed. Richardson’s organisation issued a statement saying he was on a private humanitarian mission with no other details.

                  Meanwhile, Myanmar has been in a humanitarian crisis since the military junta overthrew the government in February and have carried out a brutal crackdown on civilian dissent while fighting armed insurgencies around the country. Local monitoring groups say over 1,200 people have died at the hands of the military, while the junta has throttled internet access and press freedom to control information flow.


                  • #10
                    Burmese junta hands down 11-year sentence for US journalist Fenster

                    US journalist Danny Fenster, the managing editor of Frontier Myanmar who was arrested while attempting to leave the embattled country in May has been sentenced to 11 years in prison. The military court found the 37 year old guilty of incitement and unlawful associations as well as immigration violations. While the court backed down so far on charges of terrorism and sedition that carried up to a life sentence, his magazine called the ruling “the harshest possible under the law” and US officials have called for him to be freed from what they described as unjust detention.

                    While the Burmese coup has prosecuted and jailed dozens of journalists, Fenster is the first Western journalist sentenced to prison since the military junta suspended 10 years of democratic growth in the country. The editor-in-chief of Frontier Myanmar, which has become a leading independent news source in the country, says that the charges lacked any merit.

                    “There is absolutely no basis to convict Danny of these charges. Everyone at Frontier is disappointed and frustrated at this decision. We just want to see Danny released as soon as possible so he can go home to his family.”
                    Fenster has been held since he was taken into custody leaving the country in May in the infamous Insein Prison in Yangon, and may still face punishment for the charges of violating the Terrorism Act and sedition that the junta added without explanation 2 days ago with some speculating that the journalist could receive up to additional 40 years in prison.

                    The harsh punishment that Fenster was sentenced to is likely meant as an example and a warning to the media, the United States, and other possible opponents, according to the humanitarian group Human Rights Watch.

                    “The junta’s rationale for this outrageous, rights-abusing sentence is first to shock and intimidate all remaining Burmese journalists inside Myanmar by punishing a foreign journalist this way. The second message is more strategic, focused on sending a message to the US that the [military’s] generals don’t appreciate being hit with economic sanctions and can bite back with hostage diplomacy.”
                    The 11-year sentence in a trial that was closed to the public is still a shock as US officials and the journalist’s family have repeatedly advocated for him to be freed. The US Embassy has yet to comment, but the State Department harshly criticized the ruling as a transparently unjust punishment and called for Fenster’s immediate release. Amnesty International also chimed in, calling the ruling reprehensible.

                    The Burmese military coup has cracked down hard on journalists and the media in an attempt to control the flow of information. Internet and satellite broadcasts have been restrained, and Fenster is just one journalist among scores that have been arrested, though some were released in a recent amnesty in observance of a Buddhist holiday. Independent journalism in Myanmar has effectively been criminalized, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.


                    • #11
                      Thailand’s Foreign Affairs Minister visits Myanmar capital to meet military junta

                      Thailand’s Foreign Affairs Minister Don Pramudwinai, who also serves as deputy prime minister, met with the military junta’s Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin and later with the coup leader Senior General Min Aung Hlaing yesterday afternoon, according to a report by local media outlet Myanmar Now.

                      It is unknown what topics the two parties discussed during this confidential day-trip made by a special flight. In the evening, the Thai Deputy PM attended the donation ceremony of the Covid-19 vaccine from Thailand to Myanmar at Naypyidaw Airport.

                      Following a military coup in February, the Don intervened during a brief meeting in Bangkok between the Indonesian foreign minister and military representative Wunna Maung Lwin. In the past, Thailand’s foreign minister has said the Thai government wants peace for Myanmar.

                      International diplomats, including the United Nations, frequently meet with Thai government officials in Southeast Asia to discuss the situation in Myanmar, as the Thai government has international close ties with the coup d’état. Sun Guoxiang, the Chinese government’s special envoy for Asia, is also in Naypyidaw for the second time to meet with the military leader, according to a military council official.

                      Some international diplomats have been visiting Naypyidaw in recent days, and Sasakawa, the Special Envoy of the Japanese government and chairman of the Nippon Foundation, who is close to the military, met with Senior General Min Aung Hlaing Saturday and discussed some issues in the peace process and current political situation in the country.

                      Brothers in Arms visiting each other....


                      • #12
                        US journalist Danny Fenster released from Myanmar prison

                        Danny Fenster, American journalist who had been detained in Myanmar’s notorious Insein Prison for more than five months, was released and deported on Monday afternoon, according to his employer at Frontier Myanmar. The report was also confirmed by the US ex-diplomat Richardson, who recently visited Myanmar and talked with junta leader Gen. Min Aung Hlaing. He told Associated Press that Fenster “would be traveling home soon”.

                        Fenster, 37, who worked as an English editor for Frontier Myanmar, was charged with inciting unrest by the Myanmar military on accusations of conspiracy to commit illegal association and breaking immigration regulations and sentenced to 11 years in jail last week.

                        He was also charged under Section 124-A of the Penal Code and Section 50 (a) of the Anti-Terrorism Law, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years, last week. Fenster was arrested at Yangon International Airport on May 24, while returning to the United States with his family.


                        • #13
                          China’s lobbying for Myanmar junta to join Xi Summit met with opposition

                          China’s Special Envoy of Asian Affairs Sun Guoxiang has pressed Southeast Asian governments to allow Myanmar’s military ruler to attend a regional meeting hosted by China’s President next week, but has faced heavy opposition, diplomatic sources told Reuters reporters. He visited Singapore and Brunei last week, but was told that Myanmar military junta chief Ming Aung Hlaing would be unable to attend the virtual summit.

                          The crisis in Myanmar has been brought into the spotlight following a military coup on February 1 that deposed the elected civilian government led by the country’s State Counsellor and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, causing bloodshed nationwide. Last month on October 26, ASEAN leaders took an unprecedented step by barring Myanmar’s military chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, from attending an ASEAN summit.

                          Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia, and Singapore, according to four diplomatic and political sources in the region, wanted Gen. Min Aung Hlaing barred from attending a China-ASEAN summit held by Chinese President Xi Jinping on November 22.

                          “Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and Brunei have agreed to keep the same posture as the ASEAN summit,” an ASEAN government source told Reuters, referring to the demand that Myanmar be represented by a non-political figure.

                          Teuku Faizasyah, a spokesperson for Indonesia’s foreign ministry, said Indonesia’s perspective on who should represent Myanmar at the upcoming leader’s summit is consistent.


                          • #14
                            Thai Foreign Minister reportedly admits to meeting with Myanmar’s military junta

                            Following reports in Burmese media that Thailand’s Foreign Affairs Minister visited Myanmar’s capital Naypyidaw last weekend to meet with the military junta and coup leader, the minister has reportedly revealed details about his trip, saying he discussed humanitarian aid for the country’s citizens.

                            Foreign Affairs Minister, Don Pramudwinai, who also serves as Deputy PM, reportedly admitted to meeting with coup leader Min Aung Hlaing, but did not say what the two discussed, just that the talks were “constructive.” Both the Bangkok Post and Nation Thailand report that Don told the press that 17 tonnes of relief items are being delivered to Myanmar.

                            “The Thai private sector is concerned about the situation in the neighbouring country and has collected essential items and sent them to Myanmar.”
                            The visit was first reported in Burmese media. A former Thai ambassador to Kazakhstan and Mozambique, who calls himself the “Alternative Ambassador” on Facebook, shared The Thaiger’s story on the foreign minister meeting with the military junta in Myanmar and called on the Thai government to be more transparent.

                            Documents from the military in Myanmar from Don’s visit were leaked and shared on social media, including a document outlining the itinerary. The document shows the Foreign Minister was scheduled to attend a Covid-19 vaccine donation ceremony, but the Bangkok Post says that Don has not addressed claims that Thailand donated vaccine doses to Myanmar military junta.

                            Leaked documents also say Don visited Myanmar with Senior Advisor to the Deputy PM and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pornpimol Kanchanalak, Director General at Department of East Asian Affairs Ajaree Sriratanaban, Chief of Staff at Minister’s Office Prapenpim Prachonpachanuk, and Counsellor at Minister Office Chatchawal Horayangkura.


                            • #15
                              Myanmar’s shadow government raises US$6.3 million for “Revolution”

                              In a campaign for a “revolution” against Myanmar’s military following the February 1 coup and bloody crackdown, the country’s shadow government began issuing special “treasury bonds” and say they more than US$6.3 million on the first day.

                              The National Unity Government, or NUG, is a coalition of pro-democracy organisations, ethnic minority militaries, and remnants of the country’s deposed civilian government, which is known as the National League for Democracy led by detained Aung San Suu Kyi.

                              NUG’s Deputy Minister for Planning, Finance, and Investment, Min Zeyar Oo, told local news station DVB TV News that they were sold within two hours of the $2.2 million transaction through

                              He told citizens to cooperate without fear, as technology ensures the security of customers. He added that NUG has made the bank transfer system easier and more flexible with the finest possible arrangements so that money can be moved securely and the original owner, as well as a successor, may be fully secured and protected from the military junta.

                              NUG is selling so-called “revolution bonds”, which are interest-free at four prices: $100, $500, $1000, and $5,000, and can be acquired individually or in groups.

                              The contract terms for bonds are two years and can be transferred back before the expiration date, but you will not be allowed to resell them and will only be able to do so once they’ve expired.

                              It is the first time in the history of the world that a revolutionary government has issued such interest-free treasury bonds, and the pro-democracy people of Myanmar will have a glorious historical record of their ultimate opposition to the military dictatorship.

                              The minister said customer service can be contacted via [email protected].