BIRMANIE EXPRESS – NEWS: What to remember from the Burmese news from 14 to 20 March?

Gavroche has selected for you some important news from Burma over the past week. An essential news review for anyone interested in this Southeast Asian country.

COVID-19

Burma On March 20, 227 new cases and two deaths were reported, bringing the total number of cases to 608,990 and 19,425 deaths.. A total of 562,905 patients have been discharged from hospitals to date, with a daily positivity rate of 3.04% on Friday, March 18.

Over the past week, the number of COVID-19 cases in Burma has decreased from 487 cases on the day of March 13 to 227 cases on Sunday, March 20, according to data released by the Myanmar Ministry of Health. Ministry data show that the number of deaths from COVID-19 in the country last week did not exceed three cases per day.

Politics

A junta court this week sentenced former Religious Affairs Minister Thuru Aung Koh to 12 years in prison for corruption, more than a year after he was arrested during morning raids during a February 1 military coup. A 75-year-old man was sentenced on Tuesday, March 15, by a court in Insein prison after the junta accused him of giving people religious titles in exchange for bribes and keeping a golden tablet that was supposed to be donated to a pagoda.

Expressing concern about the situation in Burma, India and Japan called for an immediate end to violence throughout the country and a return to the path of democracy. Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi reaffirmed their position on Burma and called for the release of all political prisoners in a joint press release on Saturday March 19. “They reaffirmed their support for ASEAN’s efforts to find a solution in Burma and commended Cambodia’s active participation as ASEAN Chair to break the impasse. They urged Burma to urgently implement the ASEAN Five Point Consensus.

Economy

The Department of Commerce has just added 12 new product groups that require a license to export (corn, cereal grains, corn kernels, corn powder) from April 1, 2022. These products have been added to the list, which includes 1224 products, mainly related to live animals and animal products, rice and legumes, metals and wood.

The Government of National Unity (NUG), the shadow cabinet formed in response to the coup, has just published its budget recommendations for 2021/22. Three priorities have been identified: support for civil disobedience movements, support for vulnerable populations, pandemic management and the health sector. If multiple quantitative elements are proposed for spending as well as resources, the NUG announces that it has nevertheless raised US$17 billion to fund its defensive efforts.

Society

In many parts of Burma, power outages are worsening, affecting water supplies and interrupting online classes, exacerbating the suffering of residents in the wake of the economic upheaval that followed the military’s rise to power last year. Photos circulating on social media show people queuing for water from a water tank in several districts of Yangon.

As Russia’s war in Ukraine draws worldwide attention, Myanmar’s armed forces are striking civilians from the air and ground on a scale the country has not seen since World War II, according to a longtime aid worker who spent almost three months in the war zone. action in the southeast. Asian nation. David Eubank, director of the Free Burmese Rangers humanitarian relief organization, told the Associated Press that military planes and helicopters frequently attacked areas of eastern Burma, where he and his volunteers operate to deliver medical and food aid to civilians stranded in the area. military operations. conflict.

The military-linked conglomerate will own 80% of Telenor Myanmar. Norwegian Telenor’s Burma unit, including data on its 18 million subscribers, will be transferred to a majority-owned joint venture by Shwe Byain Phyu, a company with ties to the Burmese military.

On the evening of Tuesday, March 15, prison authorities shot and killed seven and wounded twelve others at Kalai Prison in the Sagayn region (western country). According to the junta, it was a hostage-taking and an escape attempt provoked by the detainees. Local residents and local resistance forces rejected the army’s claims and condemned the shooting.

Tourism, culture, sports

Burma will resume international passenger flights from April 17, the military announced on Saturday, lifting a two-year ban on the entry of foreign tourists. The Southeast Asian country closed its borders to visitors in March 2020, at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, in an attempt to prevent a rise in infections.

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