11th June 2021
There are reports of a bomb blast outside the offices of Myanmar Economic Bank in Ahlone township, Yangon. These blasts are becoming more regular, with the number of attacks being minimal at the moment, but enough to cause uncertainty in the minds of the authorities. They are also happening in all parts of the city, from the downtown business district to the industrial suburbs.
And the terror deepens. The military are intensifying their scorched earth policy, destroying food, supplies and shelter in the villages.
The wider world is carrying very little of these occurrences, and one day it will suddenly hit them when the scale of the humanitarian disaster that is happening becomes obvious.
The military entered the village in Karen State and burnt 80 bags of rice, medical supplies and the rescue truck used by the village. This is now part of a deliberate strategy to demoralise and then starve the citizens into submission.
As part of this strategy, the Tatmadaw have targeted places of worship, in breach of the Geneva convention, and unconfirmed reports come in of rapes. A 14-year-old nun was allegedly raped by a soldier at a Buddhist monastery in Namphatka village, Kutkai, Shan State, As the soldiers worried that the news would spread, they gave her 500,000 Kyat (NZ$500) a week ago, forced her to become a lay person and made her leave the monastery.
There is now the danger of a major new wave of Covid -19 and this could be disastrous as the medical services, poor at best, are severely disrupted by the effects of the coup and the poor treatment of medical staff by the Junta. In the category of shooting oneself in the foot, the Junta arrested and abducted Dr. Htar Htar Lin, the director of the national programme on immunisation, her seven-year-old son, her husband, her friend and her friend’s daughter on Thursday afternoon in Yangon. She had joined the Civil Disobedience Movement in February.
Her arrest could be connected to an open letter she wrote earlier in which she accused the military of interfering with and manipulating the vaccination programme. She accused the military of using the offer of vaccination to entice members of the CDM back to work and to demand favourable treatment for the military, which went against the programme designed to gain the best results nationally against the pandemic. Dr. Htar Htar Lin is one of Southeast Asia’s experts on infectious diseases and is the author of several well-respected academic papers on the subject. This will throw the vaccination programme into disarray.
The following sums up the fears and feelings of the majority of the population.
We end today’s report with more pictures of the developing scorched earth policy, this time directed at the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), who are in effect domestic refugees.
As I said earlier the scale of the humanitarian disaster will come as a shock to the West and will suddenly fill our TV screens later in the year.
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