Myanmar Spring Chronicle – March 10 Scenes
MoeMaKa, March 11 2023
Armed personnels of the military council with license to kill
Some peculiar news topics for today in the daily news are the news of the military council troops raiding the Letkapin Village in Myinmu Township, arresting some sheltered persons and some arrested members of the people’s defense force who were found dead, the news of Myanmar activists urging the Special Envoy for Myanmar of the United Nations to present the United Nations with measures to deal with Myanmar issues, and the news that the military council is talking about saving foreign currency as it is facing a situation where foreign income is scarce.
The news of arrests, the news of killings, the news of properties being destroyed and burned down, and the news of thousands of people being displaced and fleeing due to the war are usually reported in the daily news, and it can be said that these news topics are not strange anymore. You will find that 80 to 90 percent of the main verbs in the headlines of Myanmar news are kill, arrest, torture, arson, destroy, attack, and die. These unpleasant news topics outnumber the news of people helping each other, rescuing each other, and providing support and encouragement.
Similarly, in today’s news, the military council’s column raided Letkapin Village, Myinmu Township, and the village was cordoned off and all the villagers were arrested and interrogated. There are reports that Pyigyitagon Sayadaw and other activists who came to seek refuge from other areas were arrested, and some members of the people’s defense forces were killed, and their dead bodies were discarded into the river.
Myinmu Township is a township with strong PDF activity in Sagaing Division. Myinmu is also a town located on the Mandalay-Monywa Road and on the bank of the Irrawaddy River. Sayadaw, who is known as Pyigyitagon Sayadaw of Mandalay, and actively participated in the guerrilla strikes against the military coup in the city, was arrested while he was hiding in the Letkapin Village.
Incidents of related persons being notified to bring the dead bodies of their deceased family members out shortly after being arrested by the military council troops were frequently reported in the news, and even if they were not members of the armed forces, the military council troops usually killed them during interrogation. So, there are worrying about the danger of the lives of those arrested in Letkapin Village.
The next piece of news is that Noeleen Heyzer, a Singaporean who has been appointed as the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General on Myanmar, will soon report to the UN Security Council on the Myanmar issue. The news also reported that the NUG spokesperson urged the United Nations to take more pressure, actions and response measures regarding the Myanmar issue. Noeleen Heyzer met and spoke with the head of the military council for a considerable amount of time when she was given permission to visit Myanmar for the first time in August of last year. The discussion did not yield any results, and the military council was not satisfied with the statement issued by the UN Special Envoy after the trip, so the details of the discussion were made public.
Since then, the military council has not met with the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General, and there is no longer permission given for the Special Envoy to visit Myanmar.
As a UN representative, if asked what can be done further in the Security Council regarding the Myanmar issue, it would be difficult to give a specific answer. According to the resolution of the Security Council issued at the end of last year, there is a resolution to immediately stop the violence that is happening in Myanmar and to release political prisoners, but it does not say when it should be done or what action will be taken against Myanmar if it is not followed, so this Security Council resolution has not yet had a major impact. It may be a question whether or not the United Nations has the power to implement such time limits and measures. The United Nations has imposed sanctions on some countries in the world not to sell oil, but Myanmar has yet to impose similar restrictions. It is still too far from the current situation to expect the United Nations to act to define a no-fly zone.
During the period when the Myanmar military took power from 1989 to 2010, the United Nations discussed, appointed a Special Envoy for Myanmar’s issues, handled human rights and political issues, but there were no sanctions. Although it can be said that the UN’s discussions, urgings, and decisions during the current military coup are more severe than those during the previous military coup, no obvious action has yet been taken.
Another piece of news for today is that the deputy leader of the military council said in a meeting to find a way to reduce fuel imports to save foreign currency. It can be assumed that this is due to the decrease in foreign currency required to import fuel, which amounts to billions of dollars a year. On the other hand, it could also be due to the increase in imports of military weapons and ammunition from abroad. Airstrikes are being carried out almost every day, and the cost of purchasing weapons to attack opposition ethnic armed groups and local armed forces with heavy weapons and small arms, has increased significantly, so it is believed that the military council is trying to reduce foreign currency spending in other areas of the civilian economy. If fuel imports are reduced, domestic fuel shortages and high prices may occur as a consequence, which in turn may cause damage to Myanmar’s economy.