Myanmar Spring Chronicle – April 15 Scenes
MoeMaKa, April 16 2023
Loikaw central pavilion bombed by a drone; Thingyan occasion under the shade of civil war
On the occasion of the Thingyan festival, which is annually celebrated in Myanmar, PDFs and urban guerrillas have urged the public to boycott the Thingyan festival organized by the military council, and they conducted bomb explosions at the pavilions where Thingyan Festival was being held by throwing or dropping bombs with drones. There were explosions at some pavilions in Yangon. The military council announced that 8 civilians were killed in a drone attack at the pavilion in Kywe Pon Village in Sagaing Division.
In Lashio, 4 people were killed and 11 injured when a bomb, believed to be a car bomb, exploded near a roadside parking lot. An explosion also took place at the pavilion on Kanna Road in Sagaing City, and the latest incident was the news that many people were injured in a drone attack with bombs dropped from the air by Loikaw PDF on the central pavilion of the Kayah state government with tight security.
It can be said that the explosion at the central pavilion of the military council’s state government in Loikaw city was an unexpected attack and the military council might not think that the PDFs would be able to attack like this. Some reports stated that the secretary of the Prime Minister of the military council was among the wounded, but this was not able to be confirmed.
The military council announced that 8 people were killed in a drone attack on a Thingyan pavilion sponsored by the village administration in the village of Kywe Pon Village, Sagaing Division. After the airstrikes by fighter jets and military helicopters on Pazigyi Village in Kanbalu Township, which killed more than a hundred people, the PDFs retaliated by targeting Thingyan pavilions in other places and villages.
There may be some controversy about the drone attacks on the Thingyan pavilions, whether they targeted military targets or not, and whether civilians were among the dead. Such drone attacks targeting a crowd of people with a mixture of civilians, government staff, and members of the military council’s security forces are in no way comparable to the brutality of the Pazigyi incident, where a crowd of civilians and members of the PDF was attacked by repeated airstrikes within a day. However, it is important to note that attacking a place where civilians and soldiers mix may become some excuse for the military council.
During Thingyan occasion, Sagaing Division, Upper Magway Division, Karen State, and Kayah State in Myanmar are unable to celebrate Thingyan Festival due to armed conflicts, fleeing war, loss of life, and injuries.
It is true that the military council did its best to show that the public was happy to participate in the fun rather than being interested in politics. Rather than enjoying the once-a-year festival called Thingyan, most of the people in Myanmar are struggling under uncertain conditions for survival, food, and the ability to sleep safely in their homes, in the midst of armed battles, conflicts, fleeing situations, and an increasingly difficult livelihood.
The 2023 Thingyan is only the occasion, which is mixed with the happiness of some minorities under the dark shadow of civil war, bombs, guns, being burned, and the uncertainty of food and drink.