Armed struggle in Myanmar intensifies

This article is available in PilipinoBisaya

The people of Myanmar’s armed resistance to the military junta is intensifying as it enters its third year of brutal reign in the country.

On February 1, at least 43 armed forces of the junta were reported killed in the regions of Mandalay, Sagaing and Magwe in just three days.

Among them are Tatmadaw commanders who were ambushed in a landmine attack along a highway in Shwebo town, Sagaing region. Fighters who carried out the ambush, said in an interview that they used a homemade landmine. Even though the operation was dangerous because they needed to get near a battalion-strong camp, an 11-man team performed the offensive to inflict damage to the junta. Thirteen junta forces were killed while six were wounded.

Five other junta forces in Ayadaw town in the same region were killed after a drone dropped a bomb at their checkpoint and detachment. A 4-man team performed the drone strike. Apart from the five dead, 10 other junta forces were wounded.

Still in Sagaing, two junta forces were killed and many were wounded in three separate raids on detachments and police stations. Two others were killed and many wounded when armed people ambushed a 60-man unit of the Tatmadaw using 18 landmines.

Armed citizens also used landmines in operations in Magwe and Mandalay.

Meanwhile, the military junta treacherously extended its reign for six more months. This is contrary to its earlier promise to hold elections to re-establish the civilian government a year after its coup d’etat to seize state power on February 1, 2021.

The coup put to power its leader Gen. Min Aung Hlaing. The military once again imprisoned then leader of the civilian government, Aung San Suu Kyi.

Even if elections were to be held, many fear that this will only be used by the junta to legitimize its military rule. This is because it sentenced opposition Aung San Suu Kyi to 33 years imprisonment on charges by the junta. Suu Kyi was convicted in secret and anomalous trials.

Under the brutal military junta, the people of Myanmar experienced extreme terrorism and harassment. In the past two years, almost 3,000 civilians mostly peaceful protesters were killed by the junta. More than 18,000 were arrested because of their resistance to the coup d’etat and demand to reinstate elected officials and restore people’s civil rights.

In the countryside, aerial bombing is widespread, killing even children and senior citizens. One of the most brutal is Tatmadaw’s bombing of a school in September 2022 which killed at least 11 school children. This was followed by the bombing of a concert of the indigenous Kachin which killed 50 people and injured 70 others.

Razing of houses and expulsion of communities are also widespread. Thousands of people, most from national minorities, are forced to cross borders to Thailand and India to seek sanctuary.

Despite the junta’s brutal violation of human rights and the international humanitarian law, it continues to be supported by imperialist corporations, including oil giant Total.

Armed struggle in Myanmar intensifies