Amid escalating tensions between the Rakhine Army and the Myanmar Army in Rakhine State, the government of neighboring Bangladesh has said it will inform the UN if Myanmar does not stop firing weapons near the country’s border, according to a September 17 report in the Dhaka Tribune. Quoting Bangladeshi Interior Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal, the report said Bangladesh repeatedly warned Myanmar of such border violations through the Foreign Ministry, but the concerns were ignored.
Amid recent Myanmar army shelling in the area, at least 10 Rohingya recently fled to two refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh: Kutupalong and Balukhali, the Dakha Tribune reported. The report said six Rohingya were injured and one killed in explosions caused by shells fired on September 17. On Sunday, Bangladesh’s foreign ministry reportedly summoned Myanmar’s junta-appointed ambassador, Aung Kyaw Moe, four times to discuss the issue, but a meeting had yet to take place.
Economy and investment
International fast fashion retailer Primark will stop sourcing clothes from Myanmar following the release of an independent study by the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) exploring the human rights implications of continuing to do business in the country .
“The ETI report makes it very difficult to read. Its findings show that there has been a significant deterioration in the situation in Myanmar, which poses significant challenges to our ability to ensure the standards we need to protect the safety and rights of the people who make our clothes and our products,” a Primark spokesperson said. said in the clothing magazine Ecotextile on September 15.
Primark has a total of 899 supplier factories in 26 countries around the world, including 17 in Myanmar. In March last year, the Guardian wrote that workers employed by GY Sun Factory, one of Primark’s suppliers in Myanmar, were locked inside their factory by supervisors who tried to stop them from join the anti-coup demonstrations.
Junta affairs and armed resistance
A leaked copy of an August speech by Burma’s junta police chief revealed that between 20 and 26 members of the police have been killed each month since the February 2021 coup. The document seen by Myanmar Now is part of a detailed transcript of Major General Zin Min Htet’s speech, which was delivered at police headquarters in Naypyitaw. He said a total of 360 police officers were killed in July and it had been difficult to recruit and retain new officers. By 2022, the police had recruited 1,740 new members, but 849 left their jobs by mid-year. Desertion has largely contributed to the loss of personnel, explained the police chief – who is also deputy interior minister – with 238 police officers having joined the resistance in June and July alone. A total of 1,142 police personnel have also been injured since the coup, he added. According to the National Unity Shadow Government (NUG), more than 6,000 members of the junta’s police force have defected since the coup, half of whom have had contact with the NUG’s interior ministry.
Five members of the Pa-O National Liberation Army (PNLA) were murdered by the Pa-O National Organization (PNO), a militia allied with the junta, in southern Shan State on September 14, according to the PNLA. The group said its slain members were first held in War Pyone village in Pinlaung township. He added that he condemned the incident but would resolve the matter through peaceful means. The PNLA is the armed wing of the Pa-O National Liberation Organization, a signatory to the National Ceasefire Agreement reached under former President Thein Sein in 2012.
Four people were injured after a pipe bomb exploded outside the Kamayut Township Municipal Police Office in Yangon at around 8.35am on September 16. The victims were two women and two men; according to a witness who spoke to Myanmar Now, one of the women was a passerby. Another explosive placed at the site was safely detonated by demining experts. A Yangon-based urban guerrilla group called the Burma Special Agency claimed responsibility for the attack, which it said targeted Yangon’s junta-appointed mayor Bo Htay and other city officials. The group said in a statement that a police vehicle was damaged in the blast, but made no mention of the injured bystander.
Also on September 16, a man accused of working as a military informant was shot dead in Thaketa township in Yangon. According to a police source, the victim, Kyaw Kyaw Lin, was chatting with another man near a school when two gunmen on bicycles opened fire on them, firing a total of nine shots. Kyaw Kyaw Lin was shot five times in the head and died at the scene of the shooting, while the other man, Paing Hmu Khant, was injured in the right thigh, the source said. Local media described Kyaw Kyaw Lin as a former soldier close to junta officials. Myanmar Now has not been able to independently verify this information.
The junta-controlled health ministry and members of the Burmese public have reported an increase in Covid-19 cases in urban areas of the country in recent weeks. According to ministry data, there have been a total of 3,677 new cases of Covid-19 and eight more deaths from the virus since September 1. Healthcare workers have urged the public to take extra precautions after the latest outbreak, even though current infections have not been as severe as those caused by earlier strains. Life-saving drugs became more expensive due to restrictions on the import and retention of foreign currency and the continued shortage of hospital workers following the coup.