Myanmar’s military regime has officially banned the Irrawaddy, the media reported on October 31.
In a statement released three days earlier, the junta’s information ministry accused the organization of “undermining state security, the rule of law and public tranquility” in its coverage. of the post-coup conflict in the country.
The Irrawaddy said its publisher, Thaung Win, was arrested several weeks before his publishing license was revoked, and a staff member was also temporarily detained earlier this year.
The publication was sued for incitement in March last year for its reporting on anti-coup protests. Regime forces attacked his office in downtown Yangon twice last year, as well as the home of one of its editors earlier this year.
The military also announced in mid-October that it would take legal action against the Irrawaddy and the BBC Burma Service for their reporting on the fatal shot of three pilgrims near Mon State’s Kyaiktiyo Pagoda, also known as the Golden Rock, during a gunfight between resistance fighters and junta soldiers on October 12.
The Irrawaddy and other media reported that the victims were killed when soldiers opened fire in response to an ambush by anti-regime forces.
A new law on the registration of associations came into force on October 28, imposing new restrictions on non-profit groups, including local and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
The new legislation, which replaces a law enacted under the quasi-civilian administration of former General Thein Sein in 2014, requires that at least 40% of board members be Myanmar nationals and explicitly prohibits groups to “interfere in the internal affairs or politics of the state.”
The move has alarmed many civil society groups and charities, as it also requires them to submit quarterly reports to junta-controlled township general administration departments and allows inspections by all “relevant government authorities.” ” if needed.
Other provisions include increases in registration and renewal fees, changes to the registration schedule and a tightening of remedies against the rejection of registration applications.
The law also introduces criminal penalties of up to five years for organizations having direct or indirect contact with or supporting groups and individuals who have taken up arms against the state, or who are designated by the state as terrorists or illegal associations. The same penalty applies to organizations that the regime considers as “directly or indirectly undermining the sovereignty, public order, security and ethnic unity of the state”.
Burmese junta leader Min Aung Hlaing visited the towns of Dawei and Myeik in Myanmar’s southern Tanintharyi region last week to meet with local businessmen and inspect the site of a long-delayed special economic zone (SEZ), state media reported.
The multibillion-dollar SEZ project, located near the deep-water port of Dawei, has faced strong local opposition since 2008, when the then-ruling junta signed a memorandum of understanding with the Thai government to transform the coastal city into the largest industrial and industrial city in Southeast Asia. commercial zone.
Min Aung Hlaing’s visit was seen by some as a sign that he is keen to resume the project, which covers an area of nearly 200 square kilometers.
Thai authorities have seized $47 million worth of assets from a drug ring operated by Burmese arms dealer Tun Min Latt, the Bangkok Post reported on November 3. Assets included cash, cars, luxury items, hotels and resorts.
The 53-year-old man was detained by Royal Thai Police on September 17 with three Thai nationals for alleged involvement in narcotics distribution and money laundering.
Rights groups Justice for Myanmar have also accused him to act as an arms broker for Myanmar’s military junta. The son of a former air force lieutenant colonel, he was reportedly involved in acquiring drones and aircraft parts for the regime, which has made extensive use of military fighter jets and helicopters. attack to carry out airstrikes on resistance forces and civilians.
At least three regime targets were attacked with explosives in Mandalay early last week, causing a number of junta casualties.
The first incident took place in the township of Pyigyitagon on October 31, where a district administration office was attacked by three groups of urban guerrillas armed with grenades. A neighborhood administrator was killed and at least five junta members were injured, the groups claimed. Local residents confirmed the reports.
The following day, junta forces on patrol in three vehicles were attacked with explosives at a street junction in Aungmyay Thazan township in an early morning ambush. Two vehicles were damaged and at least one police officer was killed, residents said.
About three hours later, residents of Chanmyathazi township reported hearing a loud explosion near a police station in the area, followed by continuous gunfire. Citing eyewitnesses, a resident told Myanmar Now that the target was a police vehicle used to transport prisoners. At least two police officers were reportedly killed.
November 7 was the full moon day of the Myanmar month of Tazaungmon, which marks the end of the Buddhist rainy retreat. As one of the key events in Myanmar’s traditional calendar, it usually sees large numbers of devotees flocking to the temples. This year, however, security has reportedly been tightened at Shwedagon Pagoda, the country’s most revered religious site. Pagoda administrators closed the western gate and junta forces – in uniform and in civilian clothes – were seen surrounding the golden structure.