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Burma coup resistance notes May 20, 2023
Heavy losses for the shrinking regime in Karen & Sagaing; junta manipulates international food aid following Cyclone Mocha destruction; Thailand election results promising for Myanmar people.
Karen army Brigades 1 and 5 battled a junta convoy in Doo Tha Htoo District of Kawthoolei, killing 28 junta troops, from May 13 to 16 in Mepali, Natji, and Asuchaung villages of Thaton Township. About 20 more were wounded. (Ayeyarwaddy Times 5/18)
Information emerged about the battle that preceded the burning massacre of 18 Karen villagers in Nyaungpintha village of Kawthoolei Kler Lwi Htoo District on May 10. Karen army Brigade 3 confronted a junta column and killed 20 troops. It was the survivors who committed the civilian fire massacre. (Ayeyarwaddy Times 5/13)
The Karen army intercepted and destroyed a junta food convoy in Noh Ta Kaw Township of Dooplaya District on May 9. Two trucks were bombed by drone, and the last one was stopped by gunfire, at Ka Maw Pi. Of the 80 junta/BGF troops in the convoy, 8 were killed and 5 captured. (People's Spring 5/14)
Also in Dooplaya District, the Karen forces fought a 3-day battle with junta troops near Myawaddy May 11-13, during which at least 8 enemy were killed and 27 wounded, while 1 Karen soldier was killed and 10 were wounded also. (Cobra Column 5/14)
The Karen army drone-bombed a junta police barracks near Waw Lay in Kaw T’Ree Township, Dooplaya District on May 11, killing or wounding 20 junta troops and hitting the mortar emplacements. (Khit Thit Media 5/13)
The commander of the Myeik PDF battalion in Kawthoolei Beit-Tavoy District says almost all of Palaw Township is now under PDF control. He says the junta only controls some urban areas. (Tanintharyi Times 5/13) Palaw Township has been the scene of heavy PDF fighting during the Revolution, while Karen army Brigade 4 has tacitly enabled the junta occupation by its inactivity.
As junta troops prepared to set up a camp at Myaung Meishaung village of Tavoy Township in Beit-Tavoy District, Karen PDFs counter-attacked on May 12 with drone bombs and mortar fire, killing 18 of the invaders and wounding others. (Khit Thit Media 5/15)
In the same district, junta troops arbitrarily detained citizens in Nabule, north of Tavoy, and beat the men and sexually assaulted the women. The victims told of their treatment after their release. Jets also bombed near the Tavoy Special Economic Zone there on May 14, indicating a possible loss of junta control in that area. (Tanintharyi Times 5/16)
Pa-an, the enemy-occupied capital of Karen State, has always been under tight junta military control, but now has become unstable. Junta officers try to maintain coverage with electronic jammers at all times due to worries about Revolution drone bombing. They travel with vehicles operating jammers, but these cannot jam remote control roadside bombs. (Karen Information Center 5/19)
In a clash in Hpakant Township, the Kachin army killed 13 junta troops.
The junta air-dropped some crates of ammunition for its stranded troops along the Gangaw-Hakha road in Chin State on May 12, but Chin forces captured the crates, firing on junta troops to keep them away. (The Irrawaddy 5/13)
The Arakan Army assisted up to 100,000 Arakan citizens to evacuate the coastal flood zone ahead of Cyclone Mocha’s landfall on May 14. (The Irrawaddy 5/14)
A video surfaced on social media on April 27 of Karenni soldiers torturing a captive Burmese soldier with electric shocks. The video was promoted on a pro-junta social media page, but the video was genuine, and the Karenni Nationalities Defense Force took responsibility, saying it would prosecute the members of its forces who were responsible. (KNDF 5/15)
Junta scorched earth village terrorism campaign---------------
A junta/Pyu Saw Htee column of 200 destroyed 12 villages in Khin Oo Township of Sagaing Region and Sangku Township of Mandalay Region May 4-9, when they were counter-attacked by nine local defense forces. The PDFs killed 11 of the terrorists including 2 officers. The PDFs planted remote-controlled mines ahead of them, then blew them up. Pyu Saw Htee thugs looted the homes before torching them, then loaded their booty into two boats. PDFs shot at them in the river, so they jumped in the water and fled. (People's Spring 5/13)
As Cyclone Mocha brought extreme winds and rain to Burma, the junta and Pyu Saw Htee terrorists didn’t stop assaulting villages. In Khin Oo and Kani Townships they drove 10,000 citizens from their homes into the bush in the wind and rain. (Myaelatt Athan 5/14)
The junta continues its jet bombing of schools, hospitals, religious buildings, and civilian homes in Karenni, Sagaing, Karen, and other areas. There are not many human casualties to report, but the bombing results in hundreds of thousands of people living as refugees because their communities are targeted.
People’s Defense Forces (PDFs)-----------------
Kani Township of Sagaing Region has been one of the hardest hit by junta and Pyu Saw Htee terrorist attacks on villages. This past week, however, a deployment of 17 PDFs counter-attacked them and killed more than 60 junta troops including officers, from May 11 to May 17. The surviving troops then killed 5 girls and an adult and kidnapped other civilians as human shields. They loaded the dead soldiers into civilian houses and burned them. After jet bombed a village, they occupied it. Three PDF soldiers were killed and 8 were wounded. (The Irrawaddy 5/18)
PDFs in Salin Township of Magway Region attacked and captured a junta police barracks on May 11, killing 12 police/troops, but 3 PDF soldiers also died. (Mizzima 5/14)
A PDF fired locally-manufactured mortars at 10 junta troops guarding an entrance to a village in Myaing Township of Magway Region on May 17. When the PDF inspected the site, they found that they had killed 8 of the ten troops. (Khit Thit Media 5/18)
Political and economic-------------------
In Thailand, the progressive Move Forward Party won the May 15 election. Prospective prime minister Pita Limjaroenrat expressed a desire to help resolve the Myanmar civil war by joining with the USA and others trying to help the democratic movement succeed. This would be a sharp contrast to outgoing military-backed prime minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha, who consistently aided and abetted the illegal seizure of power by the Naypyitaw regime.
UN relief agencies are being blocked by the junta from providing humanitarian assistance in the wake of Cyclone Mocha in liberated areas of Sagaing and Magway Regions. The regime has only allowed assistance to junta-controlled parts of Arakan State. (The Irrawaddy 5/18) The NUG reports that over 450 people were killed by Cyclone Mocha, of which 400 in Arakan State; junta propaganda says 48 people died, total. (People's Spring 5/18)
Ten political prisoners in Taungoo Prison grabbed weapons and escaped on May 18, killing a guard and wounding another in the process. Nine of them reached liberated territory, but one was caught and killed. Reports say that the prison is guarded only by Pyu Saw Htee militia and military retirees, due to the junta’s manpower shortage. Troops then started hunting for the escapees. (Khit Thit Media 5/19)
A UN report calculates that the illegal military regime in Naypyitaw has spent US$1 billion on imported military hardware from Russia and China since the coup. (The Irrawaddy 5/18) Meanwhile, the same regime cannot import enough fuel to supply electricity to cities.
The junta revoked the licenses of three private hospitals in Mandalay, on grounds that they had hired CDM health workers. (The Irrawaddy 5/18) Starting with the coup, the junta has waged war on the health professions, which refused to kneel to the regime from the outset.