Myanmar/Burma January 2023-

Written by  //  February 13, 2023  //  Myanmar/Burma, Rights & Social justice  //  Comments Off on Myanmar/Burma January 2023-

January 2020-2023
The Guardian view on Myanmar’s military:
in power but not in control

The civil war in Myanmar: No end in sight
(Brookings) The second anniversary of the February 2021 coup d’état in Myanmar has just passed, and the abysmal state of armed conflict, insurgency, chaos, and anarchy has only been deteriorating. Despite the repeated calls by regional organizations like the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and by the United Nations to stop the violence, protect human rights, and respect the democratic process, the Burmese military junta has demonstrated no appetite for political concessions or negotiation with the resistance movement. With the uncertainty associated with the postponed general elections this year — which most speculate will be neither free nor fair nor legitimate — the civil war inside Myanmar is likely to only escalate in 2023. There is no end in sight.

1 February
How Myanmar has changed after 2 years under military control — and what lies ahead
By Elaine Kurtenbach
(AP) Two years after Myanmar’s generals ousted Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government, thousands of people have died in civil conflict and many more have been forced from their homes in a dire humanitarian crisis.
Myanmar’s economy, once one of the fastest growing in Southeast Asia, now lags behind where it stood before the Feb. 1, 2021, military takeover compounded the country’s struggles with the pandemic.
Ten years earlier, Myanmar had emerged from decades of military rule, gradually transitioning to a civilian government, opening its economy to more foreign investment and entrepreneurship and relaxing censorship of the media. A modern consumer culture took hold, with glitzy shopping malls in the biggest city, Yangon, and use of Facebook and cellphones the new normal
Myanmar junta hit by western sanctions as ‘silent strikes’ mark coup anniversary
The UK, US, Canada and Australia have announced a range of measures aimed at punishing Myanmar’s military
On Wednesday, the anniversary of the coup, images on social media showed empty streets in some of Myanmar’s major cities after activists, who can no longer safely protest in urban areas, called for a “silent strike”. People were encouraged to stay at home and shut their businesses for several hours from 10am to show their opposition to the junta.
Revealed: how world’s biggest fossil fuel firms ‘profited in Myanmar after coup’
Leaked tax records suggest subsidiaries of international gas field contractors continued to make millions after the coup
The Myanmar military seized power in February 2021 and according to the United Nations special rapporteur on Myanmar, it is “committing war crimes and crimes against humanity daily”. More than 2,940 people, including children, pro-democracy activists and other civilians have been killed, according to Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.
Amid this violence, leaked Myanmar tax records and other reports appear to show that US, UK and Irish oil and gas field contractors – which provide essential drilling and other services to Myanamar’s gas field operators – have continued to make millions in profit in the country after the coup.

8 January
Global action is needed to topple Myanmar’s criminal junta boss
Simon Tisdall
From brutal murders and military parades to jailed opponents, Min Aung Hlaing is true to the tyrant’s playbook. The worldwide fight for democracy has to be fought here
(The Guardian) It’s a country where children are imprisoned, tortured and sexually abused. Hundreds have been killed since the military coup two years ago. In total, more than 2,600 people have been murdered and nearly 17,000 detained by a brutal regime led by a genocidal war criminal. In case you’re wondering, this isn’t Ukraine and it isn’t Vladimir Putin.
The criminal in question is Myanmar’s junta boss, Gen Min Aung Hlaing, who struts about in a uniform adorned with meaningless decorations and gaudy gold braid. As a general rule, the more medals a dictator wears, the more absurd and dangerous they are. This killer, this bigoted bomber of villages, schools and hospitals, this displacer of millions, is right up there with the worst of them.
Min Aung Hlaing “celebrated” Myanmar’s 75th independence anniversary from Britain last week with a big military parade silently boycotted by most Burmese. Days earlier, he slapped yet another prison term on Aung San Suu Kyi, the democratically elected leader he deposed. True to the tyrant’s playbook, the junta plans sham elections this year that will exclude its opponents.
Rohingya refugees bet lives on boat crossings despite rising death toll
Woman recounts suffering on perilous journeys taken to escape oppression in Myanmar and squalid Bangladesh camps
Rohingya still in Myanmar, where a brutal conflict has taken place since the military seized power in a coup in 2021, are stuck in the middle of fighting between the junta and a rival group, the Arakan Army. The fighting means humanitarian aid, which persecuted Rohingya rely upon, has been reduced.

7 January
Myanmar’s military holds election talks with armed ethnic groups
The Shan State Progress Party, United Wa State Party and National Democratic Alliance Army have attended elections talks.
(Al Jazeera) Myanmar’s military met with five smaller ethnic rebel groups last month, who later released a joint statement supporting the regime’s plans to hold polls.
Myanmar has some 20 ethnic rebel armies that have fought each other as well as the country’s military for decades over their demands for autonomy, as well as for control of the lucrative drugs trade and natural resources in the country’s borderlands that fund the armed movements.

5 January
 Myanmar’s “election”
(GZero/Signal) To mark the 75th anniversary of independence from British colonial rule on Wednesday, Myanmar’s ruling junta pardoned over 7,000 prisoners — including some political detainees — and announced it will hold an election later this year. But temper your democratic expectations…

4 January
Myanmar’s military honours anti-Muslim monk, frees prisoners
Wirathu has long been known for his ultra-nationalist, anti-Muslim rhetoric, particularly against Myanmar’s Rohingya.
An ultranationalist monk in Myanmar, who was once dubbed the “face of Buddhist terror” over his role in promoting religious hatred against Muslims, has received a prestigious national award as the country’s military rulers celebrate independence from Britain.
The monk, Wirathu, was awarded the honorific “Thiri Pyanchi” title for his “outstanding work for the good of the Union of Myanmar”, the military’s information team said on Tuesday, ahead of the country’s independence day celebrations.

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