World Myanmar military removes rebel Arakan Army from ‘terrorist’ list
ASEAN set for talks with Myanmar military as crisis escalates
Foreign ministers will call for Aung San Suu Kyi’s release encourage talks between the civilian leader and the army.Singapore’s foreign minister Vivian Balakrishnan, in a televised interview late on Monday, said the Association of Southeast Asian Nations will tell the military it is appalled by the violence in Myanmar and call for the release of the country’s elected leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and for the two sides to talk.
Myanmar’s military government has removed the rebel Arakan Army (AA) from its list of “terrorist” groups because the faction has stopped attacks in order to help establish peace across the country, state media reported on Thursday.
“The designation of this group as a terrorist group is terminated from March 11, 2021,” the state-run Mirror Daily said, citing the end of attacks and the military’s vision of building “nationwide eternal peace”.
Three police officers from coup-hit Myanmar seek refuge in India
Police constables cross over to India’s Mizoram to avoid carrying out Myanmar military’s orders, says Indian official.The three men came across the border near the town of North Vanlaiphai on Wednesday afternoon and the local authorities were assessing their health and making arrangements for them, the police superintendent in Mizoram’s Serchhip district said.
The decision comes as the army is struggling to contain daily protests against the February 1 coup during which it detained elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and senior members of the civilian government.
The AA is fighting for greater autonomy in western Rakhine state and over the past two years had become one of the most formidable forces in challenging the Myanmar army, also known as the Tatmadaw, which has been fighting various ethnic wars for some 70 years.
By removing the “terrorist” designation of the AA, the military also potentially removes another obstacle to its effort to hold onto power and crack down on the continuing protests.
Herve Lemahieu, a Myanmar expert from Australia’s Lowy Institute, said the move was probably because the military wanted to end the distraction of fighting the AA in the north so it could focus on the protests.
Myanmar’s Digital Insurgents Have Finally Found a Way to Hurt the Junta
This story was produced in partnership with Coda Story. One month after Myanmar’s military seized power in a bloodless coup and declared a year-long state of emergency, daily protests continue to shake cities and towns across the country. Now, in addition to taking their anger to the streets, an underground movement of pro-democracy activists has unleashed a raft of new digital tools on the armed forces and police. Myanmar’s powerful militaryOne month after Myanmar’s military seized power in a bloodless coup and declared a year-long state of emergency, daily protests continue to shake cities and towns across the country.
“The Tatmadaw has many enemies, they don’t want to operate on too many fronts at once and the most pressing front at this point in time is against the ethnic Burman majority in the major urban centres,” he told AFP news agency.
AA silent on coup
Under pressure from the military, Aung San Suu Kyi’s government placed the AA on the list of terrorist groups last year amid fighting that has displaced 200,000 mostly ethnic Rakhine people.
The AA, which agreed a temporary ceasefire in November, did not respond to a request by Reuters news agency for comment on the military’s decision.
Some of Myanmar’s more than two dozen ethnic armed groups have criticised the coup and even shown support for anti-coup protesters, but have not significantly stepped up military action or abandoned ceasefire deals.
The AA had not voiced support for the protesters and few protests have been reported in Rakhine, which came to global attention in 2017 when the military launched a brutal crackdown on the state’s mostly Muslim Rohingya forcing hundreds of thousands of people into neighbouring Bangladesh.
Myanmar protests continue as UN urged to hear ‘desperate pleas’
Crackdown on anti-coup protesters continues in Myanmar as UN envoy calls on Security Council to take immediate action.The Southeast Asian country has been in turmoil since a February 1 coup removed the democratically-elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi, triggering mass protests in cities across the country calling for the civilian administration’s restoration.
The AA’s ranks are largely drawn from the ethnic Rakhine and Buddhist majority in what was an independent kingdom until the 18th century.
During Myanmar’s decades of military rule, Rakhine became the second-poorest state in the country and continues to suffer even as enormous Chinese and Indian projects are approved in the area.
Elsewhere in the country, security forces continue to violently crack down on protests with reports of at least three deaths among protesters in Myaing township southwest of Mandalay.
Videos and photos shared on social media showed dozens of protesters running away as shots were heard in the background.
There were also reports of one death in Mandalay and one in Yangon on Thursday afternoon.
One video showed protesters carrying an injured man following a protest in North Dagon township in Yangon, and according to social media reports, some individuals had been shot.
Residents also took to the streets and around the town market in Dawei in Tanintharyi Region to protest against the military rule.
At least four civilians were also reportedly arrested in Aungban in Shan State.
Myanmar Buddhist group signals break with authorities after violent crackdown .
Myanmar Buddhist group signals break with authorities after violent crackdownIn its most forthright condemnation of the military's bloody crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations, the government-appointed body also said in a draft statement its members intended to halt activities in an apparent protest.