Myanmar Spring Chronicle – July 11 Scenes

MoeMaKa   July 12 2022

Danger of landmines, condition of no rule of laws in both urban and rural 

A young school-aged boy was killed by a landmine when he went to pick up bamboo shoots in the forest in Ann Township, Rakhine State recently. Although there have been no recent clashes, AA (Arakan Army) and the Myanmar military have been fighting in previous years. Under the current military tension, there are dangers of landmines for civilians who have to go out daily for earnings, especially when they are going to farm, forest to pick up bamboo shoot and fishing.

Shan State has more danger of landmines than in Rakhine State. According to the report from January to May by Mine Action Myanmar, 33 people were killed and 162 people injured by landmines across Myanmar. Among 33, 14 were children. These figures are only the list of civilian causalities not including military causalities. 

Shan State is the worst affected area, followed by Kachin State as second and Sagaing Division in third place. As a country that uses landmines for military purposes, Myanmar is one of the few countries in the world where landmines are widely used. According to the report by the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) around 2017, Myanmar is expressed as the only country to use landmines by the government.

Although 2017 was not a time in which civil war was raging, Myanmar was one of the fourth most affected countries in the world in terms of casualties and Myanmar is likely to rise up in the list of the worst affected by landmines in the world in the wake of armed conflict and landmines across the region after the coup. Myanmar, which has been plagued by decades of civil war and civilian deaths and loss of limbs from landmines, is on the verge of deteriorating since the military coup. People with amputated legs by landmines are often seen in the news and photos. In Rakhine State, which has been at war in recent years, it was read in the news that there was loss of lives due to frequent explosions of landmines and  unexploded artillery shells that remained after the war.

Arms conflicts in Myanmar can’t be compared to Ukraine in causalities as they don’t use rockets and tanks, but due to the long-lasting conflicts, the casualties are rising from time to time. 

The other news for today is that 2 robberies occurred at noon in Mandalay on the same day. Also on the same day, a robbery also occurred at a money changer business at noon in Yangon. One of 2 events occurred in Mandalay happened seems premeditated.  After victim had withdrawn the money from the bank, the robbers followed to the victim’s house and robbed the money and a car then they shot victims dead with gun. The deceased was a retired cvil servant woman.

The other event was an armed robbery at a diamond refining business and the robbers were arrested after getting help via the phone.

On the same day, a money changer business in Latha Township, a downtown in Yangon, was robbed by people with guns and knifes and they got away with tens of millions of Kyats in broad daylight. By knowing that guns are readily available and there is no rule of law, the places like banks, money exchange businesses and jewelry shops where one can get money easily have become easy target.

These events are happening even in large cities of Myanmar, and events like arson attacks, looting properties and damaging houses are also happening in villages. People Defense Forces (PDF) should be able to find a way to prevent such events.