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Burma coup resistance notes April 29, 2023
Junta being cleaned out of Chin State; Karenni hand regime more big losses; air strikes specifically seek out hospitals; epidemic of hostage-taking for human shields.
A parade of international meddlers continue to muck around in the Myanmar crisis, claiming to advocate for a solution, without ever consulting with the people of Myanmar, as represented by the NUG. The latest fool to legitimize the terrorist regime with a visit is former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. In a letter, he said he promoted peace and democracy in his meeting with the dictator; what he didn’t say is that he neglected to seek any advice from the NUG before handing the dictator another public relations victory. NUG president Duwa Lashila labeled Ban Ki-moon’s visit as show-boating, hypocritical, and inappropriate. Just before Ban Ki-moon, Thailand’s deputy prime minister did the same thing. They were preceded by Yohei Sasakawa of the Nippon Foundation, UN Special Envoy Noeleen Heyzer, and a Beijing diplomat meeting with 2 former dictators. None of them met with the NUG or other people’s representative, they all went straight to the terrorist regime that controls less than half of Myanmar, thus rendering their junkets irrelevant and more destructive than helpful.
Since a junta supply convoy to Hakha was wiped out during March and early April, Chin defense forces have been busy cleaning out the remaining junta presence in Chin State. This past week they fought the 40 surviving troops from the 200 that began the Hakha convoy; attacked another column of 30 troops attempting to reinforce from Gangaw in Magway Region, killing 10 of them and wounding 6; attacked junta troops remaining in Mindat town; and repulsed a convoy trying to reach Htitaing. Also, on April 26, Chin forces attacked three junta hilltop camps between Hakha and Htantalan, capturing two of them. (Khit Thit Media 4/27) The junta, of course, is relentlessly bombing civilian communities using Russian-supplied jets in retaliation for its ground losses.
In Karenni land, intense battles have been taking place near Mobye and Pekhon. In the Mobye area, Karenni defense forces killed 22 junta troops including an officer on April 26, and captured 2 officers alive and a large number of weapons. (The Irrawaddy 4/26) In the Pekhon area, Karenni forces attacked 2 junta battalions in Myauk Salone village and the road to Pinlaung for three days starting April 24. They killed over 20 troops at first, but the total is now over 50, including a lieutenant colonel. Weapons were captured. (Ayeyarwaddy Times 4/25, People’s Spring 4/28)
The junta continues to hammer away ineffectually at Mekanei in suburban Myawaddy, Dooplaya District, in Kawthoolei. After losing almost 50 troops killed and wounded last week trying to invade that location, the junta has been continuously bombing it with jets and mortar fire. The Karen army and Cobra Column hold the position. (Than Lwin Khet News 4/25, People’s Spring 4/29)
Karen army Brigade 3 attacked 4 junta camps in Kler Lwi Htoo District on April 22, capturing 2 of them and some weapons and killing 21 troops including an officer, and wounding 15; a Karen soldier was killed and 2 wounded. The junta then bombed civilian villages. (Kawthoolei government information service 4/23)
The Karen army attacked and overran a junta check gate on the Pa-an – Kamarmaung road on April 24, capturing some weapons; all 15 junta troops were killed or fled. (Salween Press 4/24)
PDFs in Beit-Tavoy District of Kawthoolei attacked two junta checkpoints in Tavoy Township on April 23, killing 15 troops including a battalion commander. (Khit Thit Media 4/28)
Capt. Daw Bo, commander of the Karen army Cobra Column, gave an interview during a capture of a camp of the ethnic Karen but pro-junta BGF militia. He invited the BGF to rejoin the Karen army and fight for a new Kawthoolei. (People's Spring 4/22) Small numbers of BGF soldiers have changed sides, but many more have been killed by Karen forces in recent fighting.
The Kachin army and allied PDFs fought a major battle in Sagaing Region’s Htee Chaing Township April 21-25. At least 50 junta troops were killed including a senior officer. The junta responded to its losses with helicopter gunship attacks. (Kachin News Group 4/24)
In Kachin State’s Hpakant Township, junta troops kidnapped 215 civilians from Hmaw Bom as human shields; the Kachin army is attempting to attack the troops without harming the civilians. In Hpakant town, Kachin army soldiers assassinated a junta major, 2 junta police, and two pro-junta jade merchants as they partied in a karaoke bar on April 25.
The NUG says that over 50 junta troops have defected to the Chin, Karenni, and Karen ethnic armies since the Thingyan holiday in mid-April. (The Irrawaddy 4/28) These are troops that will not have to die and can be more easily integrated into society after the coup regime falls.
Update on the large PDF-junta battle in Naungcho and Pyin Oo Lwin Townships of northern Shan State April 5-14: Over 900 junta troops were involved, and their death toll has been revised from 75 to over 100, including 2 officers. (People's Spring 4/23)
Junta scorched earth village terrorism campaign---------------
A disturbing trend lately has been the mass-abduction of random civilians, for use as human shields and for extorting ransom. Troops took over 200 civilian hostages in Hpakant Township of Kachin State on April 18. A video emerged of about 50 people being herded along a road by junta troops in Thayetchaung Township of Beit-Tavoy District in Kawthoolei (Tanintharyi Region on Burmese maps). Troops broke into homes and took anyone they found; if there was no one, they looted the homes of valuables. (Khit Thit Media 4/23) In Kler Lwi Htoo District of Kawthoolei (Kyaukgyi township on Burmese maps), local sources say villagers are kidnapped and only released on payment of 1 million kyats (almost US$5000), in lieu of which they are killed. Mass kidnappings have also been proliferating in Sagaing Region.
The terrorist regime also targeted hospitals and clinics, destroying 5 of them in April with air strikes, in Pekhon, Htichaing, Myaing, & Shweku townships. In Pekhon, Karenni area, five jets dropped ten bombs on a rural hospital in Daw Tha Maji. Targeting health centers is a war crime.
Large bombs dropped by jets on hospitals and other civilian targets are supplied to the junta by Thailand. Unexploded bombs in Kawthoolei clearly show Thai origin, effectively an act of war by the Thai regime against Kawthoolei. The outgoing Bangkok government is thus complicit in the Burma genocide taking place now. (Khit Thit Media 4/26) Thailand has new elections scheduled on May 14 that could change its stance on the Burma civil war.
People’s Defense Forces (PDFs)-----------------
In recent weeks news reports more frequently include captured weapons. Both PDFs and ethnic armies are not only inflicting casualties; the junta’s losses are serious enough that they lose control of rifles, mortars, grenades, ammunition, and equipment. These fall into the hands of the Revolution, to be used to inflict still more casualties on the terrorist forces. The illegal regime’s relentless aerial bombing can do nothing about this.
PDFs counter-attacked junta troops invading the area around Paziji village where jets massacred 170 civilians on April 11; 25 junta troops and one PDF soldier were killed on April 22. (People's Spring 4/24) PDFs also counter-attacked a junta/Pyu Saw Htee terror squad attacking villages in Sagaing Township on April 22, killing or wounding 57 troops and Pyu Saw Htees. (Khit Thit Media 4/25) Lastly, PDFs attacked and destroyed a Pyu Saw Htee camp in Tantse Township, killing 12 Pyu Saw Htees and capturing their weapons, which turn out to be outdated, worn old guns and knives. For the most part the Pyu Saw Htees don’t fight, but rather just attack civilians and rob and burn their communities.
PDFs in Myaing Township of Magway Region fired mortars into the police barracks in Myaing town on April 24, the junta’s only remaining power center in the township. Other PDFs attacked a Pyu Saw Htee terrorist gang in Pakokku Township on April 25, killing all 13 of them including the leader.
There have been many bomb explosions at junta targets in Yangon, including double-bombings that target troops that arrive in response to an initial explosion. In Hlaingthaya Township a junta colonel was among the dead from a secondary explosion on April 23. (Khit Thit Media 4/24) In Insein Township a bombing at the police criminal investigation division (where prisoners often die under interrogation and torture) brought a number of troops to investigate on the morning of April 23. An hour later two larger bombs blew up those troops, killing an unreported number. (Khit Thit Media 4/24) Explosions and gunshots also occurred in North Dagon, Thingangyun, North Okkalapa, Mingaladon, and Tharketa Townships. (Mizzima 4/24)
Retired General Sai Kyaw Thu, Deputy Director-General of the Terrorist Military Council Election Commission, was assassinated by urban guerrillas on April 22. (People's Spring 4/22) The spate of killings of high-level junta officials and cronies recently has created a climate of fear among regime members and allies.
Political and economic-------------------
The junta’s extreme inability to keep the lights on has now led to dire water shortages in major cities like Mandalay, due to the inability to operate pumps. Fuel is also in short supply. (Mizzima 4/25)
Information has come to light that members of Iran’s Al Quds special forces visited Naypyitaw three times between Decemer 2021 and February 2022 to advise the illegal Burma regime on cyber-hacking, artificial intelligence, robotics, and related topics. Nothing has been publicized about outcomes of those visits. (Myanmar Now 4/24)