Myanmar Junta Starts Seizing Properties of Activists’ Families
By The Irrawaddy 7 March 2022
In a bid to intimidate opponents, Myanmar’s junta is targeting the homes and other property belonging to the relatives of its opponents.
One victim, Daw Khin Win, was made homeless by the junta and died a few days after being forced from her home. Her funeral was held in the street as the junta had sealed off her house.
The mother-in-law of National League for Democracy (NLD) regional lawmaker U Moe Ma Kha was forced from her home in Taungoo Township, Bago Region, on Feb. 12. The regime seized her two houses and her clothes shop.
BBC Burmese quoted U Moe Ma Kha, who has been in hiding since the coup, saying his mother-in-law was targeted because of him. She fell ill and died on Feb. 22 as a result of the junta’s repression, the MP said.
The family was forced to hold the funeral rituals in the street, U Moe Ma Kha told the BBC, adding that he worried for the safety of his remaining relatives.
In another case, the 80-year-old mother of NLD lawmaker Daw Phyu Phyu Thin has been told to leave her house in Yangon by March 18 after the junta failed to find her daughter.
“Her mother lived alone. She told them this is her house asked why can’t she just stay. But they told her to leave by March 18,” a family source told The Irrawaddy.
Daw Phyu Phyu Thin is a member of the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), formed by elected lawmakers who were prevented from taking their seats when the military staged a coup on Feb. 1 last year.
The CRPH formed the parallel National Unity Government (NUG) in April last year to challenge the regime’s legitimacy at home and abroad.
The junta accused Daw Phyu Phyu Thin of high treason for taking part in the CRPH.
“I feel sorry for my family members who stood together with me and citizens since I became involved in politics … but I feel more sorry to Generation Z who paid their lives in this revolution, the hero people defense forces who risk their lives to defend the nation and those children and women who were shot dead, and whose homes were set on fire,” she posted on Facebook.
Daw Phyu Phyu Thin pledged to fight until the military dictatorship falls.
Since the Feb. 1 coup last year, hundreds of properties owned by anti-regime activists have been seized by junta forces.
The NUG’s foreign minister Daw Zin Mar Aung told The Irrawaddy that the seizure of property belonging to opponents of the junta and their relatives showed that the regime was becoming desperate.
“It is a sign that they are suffering. Since the start, we have expected this,” she said, adding that deeper repression would only create stronger resistance.
The NUG last week described the regime’s daily property seizures as acts of cowardice and repression against civilians.
“Everyone involved in such illegal activity shall be held accountable,” it added, calling on people to report all property seizures and details of those responsible to the NUG’s Home Affairs Ministry.
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