On Wednesday (April 21) a UN special envoy for human rights (UN) said that Myanmar’s military suppression of anti-coup protesters has displaced nearly a quarter of a million Burmese.
Myanmar’s military government has increased the use of lethal weapons to quell large-scale protests against the February 1 coup carried out by the military to overthrow civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
According to the Association for Supporting Political Prisoners (AAPP), a local surveillance organization, at least 738 people have been killed and 3,300 are dying in prisons as political prisoners.
On Wednesday (April 21), the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar Tom Andrews wrote on Twitter: “According to the sources, it is shocking to know that… military attacks [ Myanmar] has displaced nearly a quarter of a million Burmese people. The world must act immediately to resolve this humanitarian catastrophe. ”
Padoh Mann Mann, spokesperson for the 5th Brigade of the Karen National Union, a rebel group operating in the mountainous border areas of eastern Myanmar, said more than 2,000 Karen people have now crossed the Myanmar border. Thailand and thousands of others have been displaced within the country.
“They are all hiding in the woods near their village,” he said.
Free Burma Rangers, a Christian aid group, estimates at least 24,000 people in the state of Karen have been displaced in the wake of Myanmar army’s mortar and air strikes that took place earlier this month.
Free Burma Rangers director David Eubank told AFP: “Although the air raids have stopped, the ground attacks have increased.”
He said many of the thousands of displaced people were self-sufficient rice farmers and that they would face a shortage of food in the future if they could not return home safely to take care of the wings. their companion.
“We have been looking at food for six months,” he said. He added that some of the evacuees were sleeping in caves or under banana trees.
Air raids took place daily in the state of Kachin in northern Myanmar and at least 5,000 people had been evacuated in recent skirmishes, Eubank said.
Locals taking care of evacuees in some areas of Kachin state are worried about shortages in food supplies in the near future.
Mr. Brang Shawng, leader of an evacuation camp in Kachin state, told AFP: “We currently have 980 people from 27 villages. At this point, we are having difficulty hoarding food. ”
Negotiations on Myanmar crisis in Jakarta
Amid growing violence in Myanmar, Southeast Asian leaders and foreign ministers are about to hold talks on the Myanmar crisis in Jakarta, Indonesia on Saturday (April 24).
The scheduled attendance of the summit by General Min Aung Hlaing, leader of the military coup in Myanmar, has angered activists and human rights organizations.
Mr. Brad Adams of Human Rights Watch said: “[General] Min Aung Hliang is facing international sanctions because of his role in cruel military actions as well as in repression. brutal for pro-democracy protesters, should not be welcomed at an intergovernmental meeting to resolve the crisis he created himself. “
On Tuesday evening (April 20), Myanmar authorities released free video journalist Ko Latt, who had been detained for a month in the capital Naypyidaw.
According to Reporting ASEAN, at least 70 reporters have been arrested since the coup and 38 are in custody.
On Wednesday (April 21) pro-democracy protesters wore blue shirts across Myanmar’s cities and towns following a unified call to demand the release of all. political prisoners. Prisoners in prisons in Myanmar wear blue shirts.
A Yangon doctor who participated in the green-shirt rally told AFP: “I want all those arrested for fighting for the truth be freed.”
The United States imposed more sanctions
In Washington, on Wednesday (April 21) the US Treasury Department put two Myanmar state-owned pearl and wood businesses on the list of sanctions. The Ministry of Finance said these businesses were used to generate economic resources for the Myanmar military regime.
These are the latest US sanctions in a series of punitive actions launched after the Myanmar military has carried out a coup and killed protesters since taking power.
Sanctions imposed on the Myanmar Timber Enterprise and Myanmar Pearl Enterprise – the two companies responsible for exporting the country’s timber and pearls – are intended to restrict them from continuing. access to the global commercial and financial system by prohibiting American individuals and companies from doing business with them.