The fifth person to be expelled as a member of the NLD party after the military coup; Floods and armed conflict in Karen State

Myanmar Spring Chronicle – August 09 Scenes

MoeMaKa, August 10, 2023

The fifth person to be expelled as a member of the NLD party after the military coup; Floods and armed conflict in Karen State


A day before August 1, the meeting of the National Defence and Security Council, known as the NDSC meeting (Kalon) for short, was attended for the first time by one of the vice presidents of the country, Henry Van Thio, who was nominated by the NLD parliamentarians when the NLD government was in power. He was the vice president who is from the NLD party, but he was not arrested after the military coup.


At that time, no one knew exactly how he responded to the coup military’s speech and organization. He did not attend the NDSC meeting held just after the military coup, the meeting held 1 year after that, and the next successive NDSC meetings held 2 times 6 months apart. But after 2 and a half years, he appeared in public for the first time and attended the NDSC meeting that decided to extend the emergency period for another 6 months. Attending this meeting means that U Van Thio remains in the position of Vice President and accepts the Military Council’s 2008 constitutional narrative.


On the other hand, there may be a procedural problem as to whether a member of the NLD party’s Central Committee has the right to be dismissed by the party’s Central Work Committee formed during an emergency period. At present, the party’s dismissal of a member of the party’s Central Committee might not have a major impact. It should be generally said that it is done with the intention of showing a political stance and responding to the actions of the military council.


Another topic for today is that many parts of Karen State are flooded due to incessant rains, and the Myawaddy-Hpa An road, the main trade route between Thailand and Myanmar, has been cut off by landslides. The roads are difficult to travel due to water erosion. In the past few days, a section of the new Kawkareik-Myawaddy road, known as Asia Road, collapsed due to a landslide along with the soil, making it completely impassable. It is difficult to transport goods imported from Thailand and goods to be exported to Thailand due to the lack of maintenance of the old Dawna mountain road connecting Myawaddy-Kawkareik, Hpa-An, and Nabu roads passing through Htoekawkoe Village and road damages due to erosion caused by heavy rains.


Although it is the heaviest period of the monsoon season, and it has been raining for days around the Myawaddy and Kawkareik areas, the armed clashes, and the intense battles by the military council to recover the camps seized by the KNLA side, are not stopping. During the previous Masala (Burma Socialist Programme Party) and military regimes, there were very few battles during the monsoon season, and they usually attacked in the dry seasons. In those days, there were few roads built to travel to these areas, and manpower was needed to carry food and ammunition through the forests and mountains. Therefore, in the middle of the rainy season, because of the slippery roads and difficult transportation, there are fewer operations and battles. Nowadays, because there are many roads connecting villages and towns, fighting continues at a rapid pace, regardless of the season.


As local residents of the villages, they are facing a lot of difficulties in fleeing from their villages and cities when fighting occurs during the monsoon and rainy seasons. In this period of monsoon rains day after day, people are facing the difficulties of living in a place without shelter, the risk of falling ill after catching rain in bad weather while fleeing from the danger of life due to war, and the difficulties of transportation because of the high water levels of the streams and rivers.


Karen State’s Myawaddy, Kawkareik Township, Hlaingbwe Township, the areas besides the Thaton-Bilin road bordering Karen State, and Kyainseikgyi Township are currently experiencing the effects of floods, and the local people have to constantly monitor the situation of armed conflicts and prepare to escape.