Heavy rains at the start of the annual monsoon season have battered parts of Myanmar, causing a landslide that killed five people in a township in Mandalay region, submerging homes in Rakhine state, and washing out roads in Shan state.
The five people were killed by the landslide in Mogok township, Pyin Lwin district, in central Myanmar’s Mandalay region, when they did not evacuate their home situated on a hill in time before disaster struck, Saw Thaung Tin, a state lawmaker from the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) party who represents the township, said on Thursday.
Myanmar must postpone its third round of nationwide peace talks planned for May because the ethnic militias that have already signed the government’s peace accord say they have to attend other meetings this month to prepare for the country’s political dialogue.
A national-level committee representing dozens of civil society groups in Myanmar asked authorities on Monday to stop the arrests of and violent crackdowns on peaceful demonstrators in the commercial capital Yangon, who have been peacefully protesting against the civil war in Kachin state.
More than 400 Kachin civilians displaced by fighting between the Myanmar army and an ethnic armed group arrived on Wednesday in two townships in northern Myanmar’s volatile Kachin state where they have taken temporary shelter in local churches.
They are part of the overall 4,000 civilians who have been driven out of their homes by clashes in the long-running conflict between the national army and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), one of several ethnic militias with which the Myanmar government is trying to end decades of ethnic separatist civil wars and forge peace.
More than 200 war refugees arrived in the capital of northern Myanmar’s war-torn Kachin state Tuesday evening after aid workers helped them escape ongoing hostilities between the national army and an ethnic armed group.
“About 200 IDPs [internally displaced persons] arrived in the city this evening,” said Hkalam Samson, general secretary of the Kachin Baptist Convention, an evangelical organization based headquartered in Myitkyina. “We are helping them. They have to stay here for a while until their areas become peaceful.”
Government authorities in northern Myanmar’s Kachin state on Monday evacuated more than 130 of the region’s roughly 4,000 residents trapped by fighting between an ethnic Kachin armed group and the national army, a local lawmaker and a state official said.
By NAN LWIN HNIN PWINT
MYITKYINA — More than 3,000 poeple are now trapped in conflict zones amid clashes between the Myanmar Army (or Tatmadaw) and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in Kachin State, according to the Kachin Baptist Council (KBC).
“Temporary shelters in Shangaw and Hkawam [in Waingmaw] are not yet safe. Clashes occur there frequently. Displaced persons trapped in Lai Nawng Hku and Injangyang are not safe either,” said Khali, who works for the KBC.
Authorities in the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan have placed families who lost children in the devastating earthquake of 2008 under house arrest ahead of the 10th anniversary of the tragedy on May 12.
More than 80,000 people, thousands of them schoolchildren, died in the quake that devastated mountainous regions of Sichuan, flattening the majority of school buildings and prompting widespread public anger over corruption allegations linked to shoddy construction standards.
About 5,000 people protested in the capital of northern Myanmar’s Kachin state on Monday to demand that the government help rescue displaced civilians trapped in forests amid fighting between the Myanmar military and an ethnic armed group.
More than 3,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) have been driven from their homes by recent clashes in the long-running conflict between the national army and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA).
A clash between an ethnic armed group and the Myanmar military in the Indawgyi region of northern Myanmar’s Kachin state on Thursday has forced an unspecified number of residents from Aytulay village to flee their homes, local sources said.
The fighting between the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and government soldiers began on April 10 in the area where the Myanmar Army’s Infantry Unit 390 and Operations Control Headquarters No. 3 are located, they said.
The Kachin Independence Army (KIA) will launch new offensives against the Myanmar military on April 10 in an isolated valley area of the Tanaing township gold and amber mining region in Kachin state, the ethnic armed group said on Thursday.
The latest round of fighting between the two sides began early this year when government soldiers launched air strikes in Tanaing, an area controlled by the KIA, which relies on its natural resources as a source of income by levying a tax on mine operators.
An ethnic Karen civil society group and local residents urged the Myanmar army on Monday to withdraw troops from Hpapun township in southeastern Myanmar’s Kayin state, where about 2,000 civilians from 15 villages have fled their homes after soldiers confiscated their land for an infrastructure project.
Government troops began entering the area on March 4 to build a new road, and more soldiers are arriving by the day, residents said.
Since then, the soldiers have been appropriating their farmland for the project, they said.
Nearly 200 villagers displaced by repeated clashes between two rival ethnic armies in Kyaukme township in Myanmar’s northern Shan state arrived safely in Kyaukme city on Friday, where they are seeking shelter until the hostilities die down, rescue workers said.
Spreading clashes between the Myanmar army and an ethnic armed group in eastern Myanmar’s Shan state have forced more than 150 residents of the town of Kutkai to flee to safety to Theinni town, local lawmakers said Tuesday.
Ongoing hostilities between the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) and the government military and occasional clashes between the TNLA and a rival ethnic militia — the Shan State Army-South (SSA-S) — have forced thousands of residents in northern Shan state to flee their homes and seek shelter in Buddhist monasteries.
A Myanmar land rights activist who challenged illegal land grabs in northern Shan State was beaten to death this week by a mob of some 20 people, a fellow unionist told RFA’s Myanmar Service on Thursday.
Htay Aung, a member of the National Farmer’s Union was attacked by a mob on Wednesday in Iwine Parhe Village of Naungcho Township, northeast of the city of Mandalay and later died at Mandalay Hospital.
Naw Ohn Hla, chairwoman of the National Farmers Union, described to RFA the events leading up to the attack, for which three people have been arrested.
Six Myanmar soldiers, including regiment officers, have admitted to killing three ethnic Kachin refugees in the town of Mansi in northern Myanmar’s Kachin state, where the national army is engaged in hostilities with an ethnic armed group, a village official said.
The soldiers confessed that they were responsible for the killings during a hearing at military court on Tuesday in Mansi.
Hundreds of thousands of cubic feet of muddy water have flooded eight villages in central Laos’ Xaysomboun province after the reservoir of a dam upstream burst its banks last week following heavy rain, damaging infrastructure, farmlands, and water supplies.
When the reservoir of the Nam Ao Dam in Phaxay district in northeastern Laos’ Xieng Khouang province broke on Sept. 11, it sent 500,000 cubic meters of water downstream in severe flashfloods that inundated the villages with water, seriously damaging one of them, according to officials.
Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, under mounting criticism over her government's military offensive against minority Muslim Rohingyas, on Tuesday rejected claims that she had softened her stand towards the military after her party took power last year.
In an interview with Radio Free Asia, she said she has remained firm with the generals since her days under house arrest during military junta rule.
Nearly 4,000 residents of northwest Myanmar’s Rakhine state have poured into the regional capital Sittwe in recent days to escape fighting in the countryside pitting Myanmar security forces against Muslim insurgents, local authorities and community leaders in Sittwe say.
More than 26,000 people have already fled from rural areas to Sittwe city and Maungdaw, Buthedaung, and other townships in Rakhine from Aug. 25 to Sept. 4, with at least 59 villages burned during the same period, Myanmar’s Government Information Committee said this week.
Villagers affected by controlled flooding at Cambodia’s Lower Sesan 2 hydropower dam petitioned the country’s prime minister Hun Sen and the Ministry of Interior on Tuesday for their help in being allowed to remain on their land, sources said.
A July 15 shutdown of floodgates on the U.S. $781 million project located on Mekong River tributaries in northeastern Cambodia’s Stung Treng province has sent water levels rising in the Srekor and Kbal Romeas villages of Sesan district following government appeals to residents to relocate to other areas.