Myanmar Spring Chronicle – August 18 Scenes
MoeMaKa, August 19, 2023
Loss of trust among each other during the military council rule; Suspicions and hardships
The topic of the day is named like that. In Myanmar, which has been engulfed in civil war after the military coup, the reports and responses from the media have shown that the events are as bad as they are, so it can be said that there is almost no hope for comfort. Those who can afford to live comfortably in the big cities are walking around eating and trading normally, but the majority of people are struggling to keep up with the daily rising commodity prices. Families fleeing the war from war-torn areas have moved to Yangon and other big cities, so traffic has not stopped. In Nay Pyi Taw, May Myo and other military bases, areas where the military group has a foothold, it is said that they are increasing the relocation of land and housing. Some commented that the routes to their footholds were fenced by civilian dwellings as human shields.
The loss of trust means that the public is struggling to live under various crises, so they can’t put too much hope into tomorrow and can’t say anything with confidence, as they have to be cautious about everything for their own safety. People are suspicious of each other because they have to deal with informers who interfere unnecessarily, criminals, extortion, and bribery. Not only those who fled their homes within Myanmar, but also many Myanmar people who crossed the border and lived in other countries without documents are experiencing the same suffering. In addition to ruler disasters, wars, and natural disasters, the Myanmar people are facing a sea of hardships.
The military council’s control of the dollar and foreign banks’ freezing of bank accounts in Myanmar due to pressure on the military council by the United States and its allies to restrict arms sales have led to the value of the Myanmar currency plummeting. Regarding this, in a news story from Moemaka – “This sanction by Bangladesh Bank comes after United Overseas Bank (UOB) in Singapore restricted all services to Myanmar banks and businesses. Sonali Bank is the main bank used in Bangladesh-Myanmar bilateral trade, and this suspension may affect legitimate trade activities as well as illegal payments and illegal money savings. Regarding this matter, I heard that the ambassador of the military council in the city of ‘Dakha’ is desperately trying to discuss it. Although the amount of money controlled is small, it shows that the consequences of US sanctions can have a global impact.”
If the restrictions and controls from the international financial system continue, the breathing space of the military council will only become narrower. Myanmar entrepreneurs who trade imports and export products with foreign are also finding it difficult to continue due to the rapidly falling currency. It is uncertain whether the foreign banks will keep their accounts open.
Another proof of the unrestrained restrictions on freedom of expression by the military council’s lackey lobbyists is the news of the arrest of foreign nationals and helpers of documentary filmmakers. Tachileik news agency reported, “The military council announced today, August 18, 2023, that 14 people, including a foreign director and a 12-year-old child, who shot a short film “Don’t expect anything,” allegedly accused the film of being a tarnish to the religion, On July 24, the short film was released on social networking sites such as the isi Dhamma YouTube Channel and Tiktok. It is known that they were arrested after being propagandized by military council lobbyist Han Nyein Oo, claiming that the film was created to misrepresent the Buddhist religion and monks.”
The military council announced that those arrested were Swiss writer and director Didier Nusbaumer and actors San Win @ U Zaninda, Yoon Ei Khin @ Yoon Yoon, Zarni Oo, Win Moe, Kyaw Thet Htwe @ Poe Htoo, Ye Lin Tun @ Ko Ye, Chan Chan May @ Khin Yupar Shin Thant, Shwe Ye Win @ Ke Ke, Kaung San Tun.@ Kyal Sin, Moe Pyae Pyae Thu @ Ju Ju San, Khar Taw Hmee @ Khar Khar, Phyo Mg Mg @ Joe Set Thwin, and Nyan Lin Phyo @ Bryan.
Reporters and journalists themselves work within their networks and do not work widely with their news and press communities like in the past. Commenting that they have to be more careful than ever about their security and the security of their new sources. In addition to facing the uncontrollable response and aggression of the military council’s informants and intelligence agencies, the informants themselves, who reveal the truth and injustice, are said to be reluctant to talk and consult with the environment and journalists. They made comments that they could not do the work quickly and efficiently and that there were delays because of being suspicious of each other.
Just as the world is facing the prospect of economic recession and inflation, Myanmar looks the same, but the essence is different. In Myanmar, the political crisis and civil war continue. The price of domestic gold has continued to rise daily, and today, August 18, one tical of 24K gold rose to 3,930,000 kyats and one US dollar rose to 3,903 kyats, according to the Yangon Gold and Foreign Currency Exchange Market.
It was reported that on August 17, one tical of 24K gold rose from 3,870,000 kyats, and the US dollar rose from 3,799 kyats. Yesterday, August 17, world gold was worth US$1,894 per ounce. Today, August 18, the world gold price fell to US$1,891 per ounce, but Myanmar’s gold price is heading upwards.
While the price of Myanmar currency is falling, the NUG Ministry of Finance, which has established the Central Bank and Spring Development Bank, is accepting the opening of online bank accounts for the people of Myanmar. It is an interesting question how the central bank and Spring Development Bank can respond with a payment and withdrawal system that can provide more guarantees than the price of banknotes issued by the military council.