Political prisoners who have been arrested are sentenced before the end of the year; China’s Special Envoy visited Myanmar’s military leader

Myanmar Spring Chronicle – December 29 Scenes
MoeMaKa, December 30 2022
Political prisoners who have been arrested are sentenced before the end of the year; China’s Special Envoy visited Myanmar’s military leader

It is seen that people who have been arrested for political reasons are being sentenced quickly before the end of this calendar year. From Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and U Win Myint, who are still on trial, to those arrested on terrorism charges with the alleged PDF and journalists, it is clear that most of the long-running cases will be convicted before the end of December. In Yangon, Mandalay, and Nay Pyi Taw, the trial sessions have been scheduled and sentenced continuously throughout the calendar year.

We have heard some speculation about whether the military council is doing it because they want to grant them amnesty on the upcoming Independence Day. Even if they were granted amnesty on Independence Day, it is doubtful whether political prisoners would be included. Of the 6,000 amnesties announced by the military council last National Day, only a few hundred were related to politics, and those who were charged and punished under the anti-terrorist section did not include any at all. It is also seen that among these hundreds of people, those who have less than 6 months to be released and some who have appealed for release are included. Rather than the act being to reduce international pressure, as crimes increase, there are more and more people in prison who have been arrested as the crime rate increases. On the other hand, young people who carried out non-violent protest movements against the military council for political purposes in the cities whenever there was opportunity, those who were convicted of the assassinations and bombings of the Dalan people in the cities, and those who participated in CDM from medical and educational fields were so numerous in prison that it cannot be compared to any period.

In almost all prisons, the number of people arrested for political crimes exceeds the prison’s capacity. Prisoners from cities such as Yangon and Mandalay, which have a lot of activity in the cities, were transferred to Thayarwaddy Prison in central Myanmar and Myingyan Prison, and the convicts from Karen State were moved to the newly constructed Kyaikmaraw Prison in Mon State.

Therefore, I think it is difficult to assume that the quick punishments imposed in the past few days were intended to grant amnesty.

Another interesting piece of news for today is the news that Deng Xijun, the Special Envoy for Myanmar appointed by China, visited Myanmar’s military leader Min Aung Hlaing in Nay Pyi Taw. It is likely that China will negotiate and exchange views on Myanmar’s issues with the Military Council due to the recent Security Council’s adoption of a resolution on Myanmar and the fact that the United States’ defense budget law (NDAA) contains a section related to Myanmar’s issues called the Burma Act. The Myanmar military council is aware of China’s important role, but the powerful country they rely on is Russia, which is currently a villain in the world. During the previous military regime that ruled from 1988 to 2010, it relied mainly on China, and there is a sense that China has been the country that provides protection in arms procurement, in the United Nations and international diplomatic affairs, while Myanmar has suffered and compromised in matters such as border trade, China’s oil and natural gas procurement, the Sea Outlet Project, and the Myitsone Project.

It is obvious that Min Aung Hlaing, who was the commander-in-chief during the time of U Thein Sein and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, decided to choose countries other than China in inter-army relations. Rather than relying on military relations with China, it had more contacts with Russia and Pakistan. However, it is certain that the military council is aware of and cannot forget the fact that China is a country with a military power as big as Russia’s in the world, a country that is bigger than Russia in terms of economic power, and a powerful neighboring country of Myanmar, that has influence in East Asia.

Therefore, it can be assumed that the meeting between China’s Special Envoy and the Myanmar military leader is to inform the Myanmar military leader of the opinions on its policy that China wants to inform in response to America’s influence in Southeast Asia.