29th April 2021

Cash is in increasingly short supply and few ATMs are open and withdrawals are limited to a few dollars.

Queue at ATM. The BFD.

There were four bomb blasts in Hakha, Chin State around 4 am this morning. Locals said that the incidents happened near the house of the Chin state military council chairman, the economic bank, and two other places. There have been no reports of injuries.

Hakha, mountainous Chin state. The BFD.

Anti-junta actions are increasing, and two airbases were hit by rockets today. They were small rockets and not much damage was caused. What is interesting is that they were in the central dry zone which is flat, with little cover, unlike the normal theatre of operations for the EAOs.

Myanmar dry zone. The BFD.
Myanmar dry zone, central Myanmar. The BFD.

Myanmar military air bases in Magwe and Meiktila were attacked with rockets early Thursday morning. Later on Thursday, two civilians in Magwe were reportedly shot by junta forces searching for the perpetrators of the attack, and one was seriously injured.

The air base in Magwe was attacked around 3 am. Regime troops subsequently searched Sanyoe and Sankan villages from where it is believed the attack was launched. The two villages lie six miles to the southeast of the air base.

“I heard five rounds of rocket fire. Others said they heard seven. We don’t know yet if any damage was caused. People were questioned this morning at their farms by the soldiers. Some houses in the villages were also searched. No one has been arrested so far. They are still searching houses,” a local villager told The Irrawaddy.

Two civilians in Magwe city were reportedly shot on Thursday morning close to the No.1 police station, with one seriously injured, as junta forces stopped and questioned local people. Security was tightened across the city and the bridge linking Magwe and Minbu was closed, said a Magwe resident.

Meiktila air base was also attacked on early Thursday morning. There were also explosions at a military logistics unit, immigration office and vehicle registration office, said residents.

The shells fell near the housing of aircraft maintenance officers between 3 am and 5 am, according to a resident who lives near the air base. He said he also heard an explosion around 6 am, followed by a military helicopter flying low on an aerial search of the surrounding area.

The military confirmed the attacks during its online press conference on Thursday afternoon.

“Regarding the attacks on Magwe and Meiktila air bases, Magwe air base was attacked with four 107mm rockets at 3am on April 29, fired from a farm between Thabyay San and Sankan villages. Three rockets fell on the farm and one landed on the road. One building was damaged a little. Similarly, this morning from 5 am to 9 am, five 107mm rockets were fired at Meiktila air base and they landed on the runway. No one was injured,” said Captain Aye Thazin Myint from the junta’s information team.

Source the Irrawaddy, 29th April 2021.

It is a worry for the military that the EAOs are taking the action into previously untouched areas. I suspect they were practice runs and proves that the EAOs have ordnance over and above rifles, grenades, and side arms.

Finally, we have another interview with a defecting officer.

One of the officers, a graduate of the Defense Services Technological Academy, fled to the Indian border after going AWOL. He spoke to reporter Soe San Aung of RFA’s Myanmar Service about his views on the protests and his military experience. 

RFA: Why did you defect?

Military officer: The main reason I defected is because the military is supposed to protect the country and the people. This is the reason the military exists. Now, the Burmese military is arresting, torturing, and killing the people for no reason. I defected because I dislike their actions.

RFA: So far, more than 700 people have been killed by security forces amid crackdowns. As a military officer, how do you view these killings?

Military officer: The military coup was not supposed to happen. As for the people of Myanmar, we only want democracy. They have taken power and gone backwards. The duty of the military is to protect the country and the people and to be loyal to the ruling government. They should not be examining the voter lists [from the November 2020 elections]. The military coup was not reasonable because there is no solid evidence of voting fraud or voter list errors.

RFA: Now that you are in India, what are you planning to do next?

Military officer: I’m looking forward to seeing a federal army established by the National Unity Government [Myanmar’s parallel government]. I want to serve in the federal army if they want to use my expertise. I want to serve the federal army and the people.

RFA: How could you help the federal army?

Military officer: I’m from one of the factories under the military’s Defense Products Industries, known as Ka Pa Sa. I’m moderately skillful at defense technologies.

RFA: How many officers from Ka Pa Sa are now involved in the CDM?

Military officer: There are only three officers from the Ka Pa Sa, including myself, who are participating in the CDM.

RFA: From which countries does the military purchase raw materials for manufacturing its weapons?

Military officer: The raw materials for our factories mostly come from China, but these materials do not enter Myanmar through border trading routes such as [the northern Shan state border trading town] Muse. They come by shipment via Singapore. In the Chaw Dwin Gone neighborhood of Yangon, there are storage units called Ka Hta Pa. They house all the containers with the raw materials for the weapons factories, and they distribute them to the factories. Most of the raw materials come from Norinco, [a Chinese state-owned defense corporation that manufactures civil and military products]. There are 38 Ka Pa Sa factories [in Myanmar]. The German company Fritz Werner supplied the equipment for manufacturing bullets. As far as I know, there are no more sales of new equipment from that company, but it is still supplying spare parts.

RFA: What kinds of weapons are being used against anti-junta protestors during crackdowns?

Military officer: In February, when the protests were the heaviest, I saw [security forces] using rubber bullets and smoke bombs. After they shut down the internet, they used more violent means. They no longer use rubber bullets and smoke bombs. They have been using assault rifles like the MA-1, MA-3 and BA-63, which can kill a person instantly when they are hit.

RFA: In some areas, local people say that security forces have used rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) against protesters. Do you know if this is true?

Military officer: I cannot confirm this since I haven’t seen any photos, but I’ve seen troops carrying RPGs, so it’s possible they have used them. They wouldn’t have carried RPGs with them if they hadn’t planned on using them.

RFA: As a young person and a graduate of the Defense Services Technological Academy, what advice can you give to young people who are leading the Spring Revolution, the local name for the protests, and the CDM?

Military officer: In my opinion, the military leaders cannot turn back at this juncture. The military cannot give up now. If they did, the leaders would have to face the International Criminal Court or the International Court of Justice, and they would be sent to the gallows to be hanged. They will continue the violence. They will keep firing guns and terrorizing the people. The people also know it. I see the people are very determined to keep fighting and win since they lost in 1988 [during protests and a general strike in the 8888 Revolution]. This time they don’t want to lose again.

Source Radio Free Asia April 28th, 2021.

This indicates that it is going to get bloodier, and the economy is deteriorating day by day. As I have said before, no one will win, and no one will lose. The whole country will just slide into anarchy and repression.

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Air Base Attacked

Brought up in a far-left coal mining community and came to NZ when the opportunity arose. Made a career working for blue-chip companies both here and overseas. Developed a later career working on business...