Myanmar Resistance Targets More Junta Election Offices

By Hein Htoo Zan 21 January 2023

Resistance groups have attacked six Myanmar junta offices in Yangon, Sagaing and Magwe regions in two days to disrupt plans for a general election later this year.

The junta regime started updating voter lists on January 9, sparking attacks from resistance groups.

Tamu People’s Defence Force (PDF) and the All Burma Students’ Democratic Front on Thursday carried out an arson attack on the township election commission office in Tamu, Sagaing Region, according to Tamu PDF.

“The terrorist military is pressuring the election commission to hold a sham election. To prevent the election and deliver a warning against taking part, we have burned the election commission office where all the documents collected for the sham election are stored,” Tamu PDF said in a statement.

It said it will target anyone or any building involved in the election.

On Thursday the People’s Army to Fight Dictatorship and its allies set fire to the regime’s immigration office in Myinmu Township, Sagaing Region, where staff were compiling voter lists.

“The staff were secretly working at the office on the voter lists. We destroyed all the documents and burned down the office,” said a spokesman for the group.

The staff were ordered to leave the office before the fire was started, he added.

Junta troops have been used to collect election data.

Resistance groups in Magwe Region on Thursday attacked troops guarding staff collecting Kaing Taw Ma villagers’ details in Myaing Township.

Several groups attacked for about 30 minutes. No casualties were reported.

Yangon groups also attacked immigration and election offices on Thursday.

An urban guerrilla force threw a bomb at an immigration department office in Mayangone Township, according to residents. The bomb did not explode and it was destroyed by junta troops.

Soldiers, police and immigration officers collect the population list in Naypyitaw on January 13 to update the voter lists. / Naypyitaw Council

On Friday, the Dark Shadow guerilla force said it attacked the Yangon Regional Election Commission office with a remote-controlled mine and the National Reconciliation and Peace Center in the city.

“The attack was to prevent the illegal and sham election being staged by the terrorist military and to break the regime’s administrative mechanisms to uproot the junta that is trying to seize the country,” said the group’s statement.

Groups in Yangon, Mandalay, Monywa in Sagaing Region, Launglon in Tanintharyi Region and Thaton in Mon State have attacked election preparations.

During the first week, five junta personnel, including two police officers and a ward administrator, were killed in the attacks.

Duwa Lashi La, the acting president of the civilian National Unity Government (NUG), this week said protecting civilians is as important as eliminating the military regime.

“The NUG sees the elimination of the military regime as the first priority but the protection of the lives and property of the public is our first priority too,” he told his cabinet on Tuesday.

The NUG, revolutionary groups and democracies around the world have denounced the junta’s general election plan as a sham.

Both the US and UN have said that any election held by the regime would be neither free nor fair.