Myanmar Spring Chronicle: Bridge Destroyed on Yangon-Mawlamyine-Hpa-An Road; Kalay University Incident Raises Concerns

Myanmar Spring Chronicle: Bridge Destroyed on Yangon-Mawlamyine-Hpa-An Road; Kalay University Incident Raises Concerns

Published by MoeMaKa on February 28, 2024

In a troubling turn of events, a vital bridge on the Yangon-Mawlamyine-Hpa-An road was destroyed early on February 28, plunging the region into transportation chaos and sparking concerns over trade disruptions and security breaches. The concrete bridge, locally known as Moe Kaung Bridge, located in Thein Seik Village of Thaton Township, was reportedly blown up with a high-explosive bomb under the cover of darkness.

While the perpetrators behind the attack remain undisclosed, suspicions point towards revolutionary armed groups operating in the area, given Thaton Township’s history of insurgency and frequent clashes between the Karen National Union (KNU), local People’s Defense Forces (PDFs), and military council troops. As a critical artery for trade and transportation between Mon State, Karen State, and Tanintharyi Region, the destruction of Moe Kaung Bridge threatens to disrupt vital supply chains and trade routes, impacting both local communities and cross-border trade with Thailand.

The incident underscores the strategic importance of bridges in conflict zones, with similar attacks on key infrastructure posing significant challenges for military operations and civilian transportation alike. While efforts to restore temporary access are underway, the long-term implications for regional stability and economic development remain uncertain.

Meanwhile, tensions escalated in Kalay Town as Chin PDF armed forces clashed with military council troops stationed at Kalay University on February 26, raising concerns over the safety of students and academic staff caught in the crossfire. The armed group reportedly evacuated more than 100 students and teachers from the university amidst the fighting, prompting accusations of hostage-taking from the military council.

The incident at Kalay University mirrors similar incidents elsewhere in Myanmar, where academic institutions have become flashpoints in the conflict between revolutionary forces and the military council. With reports indicating that non-CDM (Civil Disobedience Movement) students and academic staff are under investigation, fears mount over the potential for further violence and reprisals against educational institutions.

As the situation unfolds, questions linger over the fate of the academic staff and students evacuated from Kalay University, highlighting the urgent need for measures to safeguard civilian lives and uphold academic freedom in conflict-affected areas. Amidst escalating violence and humanitarian concerns, calls for peace and dialogue grow louder, underscoring the imperative for a peaceful resolution to Myanmar’s protracted crisis.