Myanmar armed forces chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing (R) meeting with Brunei’s Second Minister of Foreign Affairs Erywan Yusof (L) in Naypyidaw on June 4, 2021. (Photo by Handout / MYANMAR NEWS AGENCY / AFP)
June 8: It is becoming increasingly apparent that Myanmar’s military-run government will not be able either to take control of the situation or quell all forms of dissent.
(Daily round-up of the latest events in Myanmar by Thai PBS World correspondent David Tun.)
As the State Administration Council (SAC), led by Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, struggles, ASEAN member states have expressed disappointment that things are progressing so slowly.
Singapore’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Vivian Balakrishnan, criticized Myanmar, during the China-ASEAN foreign ministers meeting, for the lack of progress. Many believe that this is another blow to the SAC, as ASEAN is usually reluctant to make such comments and, despite China’s continued commitment to supporting ASEAN’s efforts at intervention, anti-ASEAN sentiments, such as the burning of the ASEAN flag, have become more regular amongst the anti-coup protesters.
Meanwhile, the United Nations expressed concern about the escalating violence. The special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar has warned of “mass deaths” from starvation and disease, in the wake of fighting between rebel groups and junta forces in the east of the country. Clashes have escalated in Kayah state, near the Thai border, in recent weeks.
Locals report that there was constant firing of artillery, especially onto residential buildings in which civilians could be hiding. There were also unconfirmed reports of soldiers laying landmines in residential areas, as they pushed into villages and towns.
While the situations in major cities, such as Yangon and Mandalay, are somewhat more peaceful, local administrators and security forces continue to die. Two policemen were also shot and killed in Mandalay.
Notably, the state-owned newspaper announced that the Ministry of Information had sued Eleven Media Group, but decided to drop all the charges, at the request of the group, on April 6th, 2021.
Eleven Media Group and The Standard Times (San Taw Chain) remain among the very few major private news media outlets still allowed to operate under the SAC.
The AAPP reports that 857 have been killed to date.