BURMA/MYANMAR: Myanmar Situation Update

A Statement from ANFREL forwarded by the Asian Human Rights Commission

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The protests continued for the 12th week across the country despite the brutal crackdown. After a weeks- long absence, protesters returned to the streets in downtown Yangon ahead of the ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting. The media also reported that more than 110 people, many of them student activists and youth protesters, were abducted by the junta. Some of the protest leaders’ houses were raided while some of them fled to avoid the arrests.

The ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting was held on 24 April in Jakarta, Indonesia and was represented by junta chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing despite strong objection from the people of Myanmar and both local and international CSOs. The calls to invite the National Unity Government (NUG) to the meeting in order to address the issue of Myanmar were not fulfilled. The meeting ended with the issue of a “Five Points of Consensus”, which was criticised for not including the call for the release of political detainees in Myanmar. Deadly crackdowns on the protesters and the attacks on ethnic communities by the junta continued even during the ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting.

The World Bank forecast the Myanmar economy will decline by 10 percent this year due to the impact of the military coup. Around 200,000 workers in the garment industry have lost their jobs and nearly a third of the garment industry jobs have been wiped out with many other industries. The World Food Program (WFP) analysis also shows up to 3.4 million or more people will struggle to afford food in coming months with urban areas worst affected as job losses mount in manufacturing, construction and services and food prices are in rise.

As air raids and the continuing fights between the Myanmar military led thousands of people to cross the border to Thailand and India. The humanitarian organizations also stressed the importance of unfettered access to everyone fleeing Myanmar to provide lifesaving aid and other services, including healthcare, food and water.

There are nearly 250,000 displaced persons inside Myanmar or neighbouring countries like Thailand, India. However, there is no proper humanitarian assistance for these victims and it was discussed in many CSOs forums for immediate actions, specially from the Thai government, UN and other international relief groups.

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners figures show that as of 25 April, 751 people are confirmed killed by this junta. 3,431 are currently under detention while 79 are sentenced. 1,159 arrest warrants have been issued. 20 were sentenced to death and 14 to three years imprisonment.

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The views shared in this statement do not necessarily reflect that of the AHRC.