More Than 40 Tanintharyi Civilians Detained by Myanmar Junta in Week

By Hein Htoo Zan 25 May 2023

Myanmar’s junta troops have detained more than 40 civilians within a week over alleged links to resistance groups in Tanintharyi Region.

Resistance groups have stepped up attacks on regime forces in Myanmar’s southernmost region, leading to retaliation against civilians.

On Tuesday Guerilla Dawei and Dawei Dragon People’s Defence Force raided Launglon Township police station, the regime’s military intelligence and immigration offices.

The groups issued a statement saying the operations did not involve the Launglon community.

But the junta later detained four Launglon civilians, Ko Hlaing Nay Oo, Ma Swe Zin Htet, Ma Thet Thet Aye and her husband, according to residents.

On Tuesday a junta convoy was attacked with a bomb near Kyauk Ka Nyar village in Yebyu Township, injuring an officer. On Wednesday troops raided homes in the village and detained 20 residents.

Arrests were also reported in Palaw, Tanintharyi, Dawei and Thayetchaung townships.

Seven Kyauk Kar villagers in Palaw Township were detained on May 19 after a junta-appointed administrator was killed by a resistance bomb.

At the weekend 10 owners of food and grocery stalls and tea shops in Yay Phyu village, Tanintharyi Township, were detained after junta informants reported that resistance groups bought food from them, residents said. Only five have been released.

A man and couple in Tanintharyi Township were detained after at least five junta troops were killed in a resistance bomb attack, a resident said.

Six Pa Nat Nge villagers were detained in the township and they remain in custody, a resident told The Irrawaddy.

In Dawei, 12 people were detained as human shields after resistance groups in the township ambushed troops on their way back from burning down houses in U Yin Gyi village on Saturday.

A 17-year-old was held after the others were freed when the troops reached safety.

The teenager reportedly remains in detention because of what the troops found on his phone. His condition is unknown.

On Sunday Maung Kyaw Htet Aung, 17, and a female 15-year-old were detained in Thayetchaung Township after their phones were inspected by junta troops at a checkpoint.

“Their parents are very concerned for them. Now they are still being detained and interrogated,” said a relative of Maung Kyaw Htet Aung.

Wai Yan Soe, a student activist in Dawei. said the junta was now behaving in Tanintharyi Region like it always had in Myanmar’s ethnic-minority states.

“People must be careful and should stay alert to the dangers at all times,” he added.

Southern Monitor, which researches the conflict in Tanintharyi Region, reported that at least 394 people have been killed and over 28,000 displaced since the 2021 coup.