Myanmar Spring Chronicle – November 14 Scenes
MoeMaKa, November 15 2022
The military council announced that some of the perpetrators in the Insein prison explosion were arrested; The place where the PDF was gathered was raided in Mawlamyine
The military council announced today that it has arrested some of those who perpetrated the explosion at the reception counter at the entrance of Insein Prison that occurred on October 19. According to the press release, a husband and his wife, who are members of the group named STA, which stands for Special Task Agency, were arrested. It is said that the husband himself participated in the bomb implantation that exploded at the entrance of Insein Prison, and his wife recorded the incident from a distance and posted it on social media.
The explosion in front of Insein Prison resulted in the loss of life and injuries to the family members of political prisoners, and this explosion was condemned by many opponents of the military council. Although the STA stated that the prison warden was targeted, it is widely criticized that exploding such a place where civilians, specifically prisoners arrested on political charges and their family members, could be harmed is reckless, and that the rights of political prisoners in prison will be further restricted.
Of the two arrested, the wife was the first to be traced and arrested, so it can be assumed that they were traced from the video of the incident that she posted on social media. It is to be considered whether the arrest was due to digital footprint tracking, which can leave traces that the average person considers impossible to track.
It can be generally concluded that the military council, which has the right to access information on the phone network and the Internet network, tried to arrest the perpetrators with a digital trail after the explosions and shootings in the city. Although it is true that opposition forces use social media, such as Facebook and YouTube, as a platform to organize the public, we can’t forget that covert operations and communication with each other are on digital platforms that are controlled by the military council as they do technical surveillance and monitoring by investing great deal of money.
In this case, it cannot be said that it was breached through a digital trail, but when looking at the statement, there is a possibility that the security line was breached through a digital trail.
In another piece of news for today, on the night of November 14th, the military council raided a rented house by PDFs in Zeyarthiri Ward 3, a suburb of Mawlamyine City, killing some and arresting 6 people. The news reported that the military council tried to raid a house where young people, including girls, were living together. A policeman was killed when PDFs returned fire. The military council fired with not only small arms but also heavy weapons, and as a result, some civilians and the son of the administrator of that ward were injured.
Compared to other cities, Mawlamyine in Mon State has generally had very few shootings and bombings. The New Mon State Party (NMSP) and the Mon Unity Party (MUP) are in contact with the military coup council, and some of the leaders of the Mon Unity Party are part of the State Administrative Council (SAC). So far, there has been no armed conflict between the New Mon State Party and the military council troops. Some PDF groups related to KNU or regionally established PDF groups were active in some townships of Mon State, but there was no apparent group active in Mawlamyine.
It is not yet known exactly whether the group involved in the shooting was a group formed by the locals themselves or a group linked to another ethnic armed group. Mawlamyine is not the main route for transporting weapons, and it exists separately because only the Hpa-An, Thaton, and Yangon routes through Karen State’s Myawaddy and Kawkareik serve as the main routes.
If we consider the raiding incident that occurred after getting information, it is safe to some extent for PDFs to live and move together in the densely populated neighborhoods of a city like Yangon, where there is little opportunity to notice each other. But it is probably easy to attract people’s attention for PDFs who are gathering in neighborhoods of Mawlamyine where there are few people moving in and out of the ward.