Myanmar: Ongoing Updates

17 December 2021
Hard to do a detailed update. Yeah on the gas, nice to see this finally gaining more broadly. It’s mentioned in the just-passed US national defense appropriations act so technically the state dept needs to report on it to congress in a couple of months. These things don’t usually happen so the movement is going to have to exert a great deal of pressure to see that it does. There’s some leaked documents that Justice For Myanmar got their hands on and provided to WSJ indicating personal concern by the dictator Min Aung Hlaing for updates on revenue. Sifting through some sources I learned that there’s only maybe 2 years left of gas in the Yetagun field so it is as important for the democracy movement to have it not delivering $$ as it is to the regime to try to see if they can extract as much as possible as quickly as possible. These are tied to $$ from PTT, the Thai petro partner.

Speaking of the legislation, there’s also newer language on the global banking system. The initial drafts from Rep. Maxine Waters did not specifically mention the World Bank as her researcher learned that the bank typically follows whatever policy/guidance is tracked by the IMF. However, now it actually, also, calls out the World Bank by name, as well as the International Monetary Fund and the Asian Development Bank - all are very strongly discouraged and informed no US monies should be going into anything that would be directly handled or supervised by the Tatmadaw leadership. That cuts them off from a significant source.

Elsewhere today and tomorrow will be demonstrations outside of Cambodian consulates as Cambodian leaders have been reaching out to the dictator which threatens to further legitimize his rule, and Cambodia is set to take over chairmanship of ASEAN which, while it has utterly failed the people of Burma, has also kept the military at arms reach, so to speak.

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20 December 2021

Ugh.

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24 Dec 2021
A lot of Burmese who are not Christian have embraced Christmas. Its global reach (okay, marketing) is kind of beyond the religion.

There’s a bit of a discussion among different groups approaching the US legislation. Some hope that more can be leveraged with the symbolic McConnell NDAA amendments and suggest the BURMA Act can be abandoned, but ultimately it’s the latter. The BURMA Act allocates a great deal of money that otherwise wouldn’t be, to organizations that can really use it to improve the lives of people who’ve been caught in the crossfire. It also more pointedly covers the entire junta with sanctions compared to a limited list that has only gradually been rolled out.

To be clear though, I feel quite strongly that Biden took more decisive action right after the coup (cutting off the military to from tens if not hundreds of billions of dollars) than any world leader since the coup of 1962. The team who architected that from within the State Dept. really know what they’re doing and, anonymous as so many of them remain, they deserve a round of applause.

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27 Dec 2021

Min Aung Hlaing should write a handbook for bad decisions.

There was a disgusting Christmas massacre, everything burned to the ground and foreign aid workers from “Save the Children” have gone missing. This is going to move Burma up the decision tree State Dept. and other nations.

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Son of a bishop. Yangon Catholic Archbishop Charles Bo seen here in DECEMBER 2021 smiling in a cake cutting photo op with the architect of Myanmar’s horror show, General Min Aung Hlaing (who donated $11K to the church just now, and I gather Bo accepted it).

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3 Jan 2022
News summary in short: Grisly attacks by tatmadaw on innocent people continue in retaliation for the acts of small bands of self-armed people, in numerous locations. A large number of harsh prison sentences have been handed out across the main spectrum of charges which boil down to either talking trash about the coup regime, or plotting to overthrow it. The rest of this is background and helpful links.

I had prepped a NYE post after stumbling across a video file that the BBS won’t accept for format and had no energy to convert it. Very short clip and not necessary as I’ve described the moment previously. I noticed in the BBS system’s year in review, this thread landed in top 5 in terms of hours read. It is fair to chalk much of this up to my posts last year being much too wordy. I’m grateful for each of you whose had to wade through them. It may prove a resource for future, better organized, writings.

I’ve been listening to the audiobook of Charmaine Craig’s (pretty much non-) fiction novel about the life of her late mother Naw Louisa Benson, Miss Burma, read by Charmaine herself. It better situates the world of DASSK’s father and the Thirty Comrades who received training in WWII Japan then invited the Japanese armed forces to invade Burma. It became such an obviously bad idea that most of the Comrades switched sides and struck a deal with the British. But I think that training left a permanent imprint on the Tatmadaw. These barbaric acts that the top generals have been so blasé about are really something they haven’t stopped doing since the 1930s - as many similar acts are described in the novel.

So too is the story’s backdrop of Burmese nationalism, the seeds of which were formed in Aung San long before he went to Japan.

In a trump MAGA thread, @Papasan’s sharing of the signs of rising fascism is quite suitable for what is happening now in Burma/Myanmar:

There’s more news that I’m skipping and may catch up with in coming days, so as a refresher to kick off the year, some great sources. I may return to these to append or repost it every month or quarter:

News
-The Irrawaddy
-Frontier Myanmar
-Mizzima
-Myanmar Now
-Tea Circle Oxford
-Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB)

Advocacy & Detailed Reports/data:
-Justice For Myanmar
-Assistance Association for Political Prisoners
-Progressive Voice Myanmar via this link has a long list of important reports from nearly every organization working on Burma/Myanmar.

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5 Jan 2022

One group mentioned in this Guardian article about the risks to aid workers was co-founded by several people who had learned about Burma from me. Thankfully none of them have died while delivering medical aid but it is very risky work - hence they identified a need for “medical backpackers” and, as part of their charter, have trained people on both sides of the Thai-Burma Border.

Evening adds. The fact that it was Save The Children likely has reporters now looking at just what horrors children are being subjected to under the coup regime. Here’s one angle: children arrested and/or killed because of their parents’ political activities.

The Karenni community is protesting the Christmas Eve Massacre worldwide. They say it’s now 40 people who were burned alive.

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8 Jan 2022

On Jan 7, Min Aung Hlaing met with Cambodia’s eternal Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen (a meeting of deep concern as another coup legitimizing photo op). Hun Sen has assumed chairmanship of ASEAN and is promising a “different approach” which smells to pretty much everyone as more of the same. For example, during this meeting MAH supposedly “declared a five month ceasefire” (this article is garbage btw) but one must always read the fine print on these. So far it’s always proven to be a lie.

Over the 24 hours that followed this announcement, attacks against the Karenni people continued in full fledged military action that could only have been carried out at the orders of the top brass:


Here’s a summary of the pressures Karenni have been under (“IDP” = Internally Displaced Person, basically refugees from their own townships who are in hiding or IDP camps):

As a reminder, not one of the five points previously agreed to have really been met. ASEAN leadership has a habit of blowing up the smallest signs of progress. Hun Sen brought up the case of Sean Turnell, according to Hun Sen’s Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn. Look where Sokhonn took this:

“Hun Sen raised the issue with Min Aung Hlaing directly and he responded that the case is now before the court but he said that once it is completed, the senior general will consider the case. That means he promised that he would get back to Hun Sen with positive news,” Prak Sokhonn said.

No. That only means that at this particular moment, MAH said he will “consider the case” when it is through. The quote above illustrates the clumsiness of the ASEAN partners in being able to assess who exactly they’re dealing with and how to hold him accountable.

Yet, it may indeed be a positive sign for Turnell. Historically, this is how it has tended to work. The generals like to get their kangaroo court conviction before offering any leniency. That way they can later deny a visa or re-imprison the foreigner should they come back during better times. This is how they handled Danny Fenster. Possibly they accelerated his case as they began talking with the Richardson team.

The coup regime still detains at least two American citizens. There is some hope of release after conviction. But there are no promises that can be trusted. There is a great capacity through the entire history of the Tatmadaw to break promises that others believe you have made. Many business partners have called it quits because it was not possible to do business in Burma or Myanmar without violating the laws of their own countries against corrupt practices.

On to US news: the brand new appropriations proposal from Biden/State Dept. includes a number of provisions for Burma. Per organizer Mike Haack, the current draft of the State Department’s 2022 budget allocation includes “not less than $136,127,000 shall be made available for assistance for Burma” and includes things like funding for groups on the border and even CDM and particulars ministries of the NUG.

Search the word “Burma” for full text.

Here’s the main Burma appropriations section.

I also wanted to share some interesting pieces in Nikkei Asia. I’m not having any fun with firewall and cookies options which seem inordinately complex. I’m only able to see full articles after suspending ghostery and there’s a limit of three which I blew through before getting to all of these. If blocked, you’ll only see the first paragraph. Having said that, they are good writers (gwen robinson is very well informed) and these three may be of interest.

Norway’s Telenor to divest from mobile banking, selling stake to a Singapore company, as they can no longer protect user privacy.

The past three months in Myanmar documented by photog who’s decided to leave.

2021 year end review of “a year in darkness.”

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10 Jan 2022

In a trial characterized by Human Rights Watch as a “courtroom circus of secret proceedings on bogus charges… so that (Aung San Suu Kyi) will remain in prison indefinitely,” DASSK gets Four More Years added for possession of walkie talkies and maybe not wearing a mask 24/7. Of note, they are saying she violated the covid rules “while campaigning” before the November 2020 election which she and her party won by a landslide (even in towns populated by the military), but didn’t see a need to bring charges against this public health menace until after the Feb 1 2021 coup.

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14 Jan 2022

I may have mentioned finding that the new NDAA had made some changes to earlier sanctions law led by the late Tom Lantos including, significantly, dropping ASEAN as a potential partner to resolve things in Burma. I feel it’s a mixed bag, in that ASEAN has made none of the progress they had, with great fanfare, promised in bringing Min Aung Hlaing to the table with them - but at the same time, the signal raised by denying the regime access to ASEAN after that was unprecedented, really their strongest stance against the Burmese military since they had brought Myanmar into ASEAN when it was still under military rule in the late '90s. Earlier administrations, and early in Biden’s own dealings with this situation, the US has continually trotted out ASEAN as a key to fixing Burma (led by think tanky ASEAN boosters who show genuine ignorance to the culture and nature of the Tatmadaw and its leadership).

So the status kinda went like this since the coup:

  1. Outsiders including US/Biden: ASEAN can fix it.
  2. ASEAN insiders: ASEAN’s reputation depends on fixing it, and we can fix it.
  3. ASEAN meeting, which excluded the National Unity Government and only talked to the dictator: 5 point plan we all agree to. Min Aung Hlaing didn’t spit in our faces or get up and walk out so this was a resounding success. We’re fixing it!
  4. Post ASEAN meeting, none of the plan is implemented, massive roundups of anyone who says a word against the coup, warrants are no longer being issued and people are still being murdered or by the Tatmadaw in the streets and by torturers in the jails and prisons.
  5. The US distances itself from ASEAN with respect to Burma.
  6. ASEAN turns its back on Min Aung Hlaing, denying him another place at the table.
  7. Bill Richardson visits twice in a week and a half to talk about the health epidemics with Min Aung Hlaing and to ferry two endangered prisoners, first a former employee and then Danny Fenster, out of the country. There’s criticism that this could legitimize MAH, but a case to be made that Richardson is in a unique position to persuade MAH to lift his boot off the people of Myanmar due to Richardson’s public spat with DASSK. I only mention it here because of the timing which may have provided one excuse for what has transpired immediately after that via ASEAN:
  8. ASEAN gets a new chair who has tenaciously held the same leadership post in Cambodia since 1985 and is described by Human Rights Watch as a “fully fledged dictator.” (Hun Sen’s official title is “princely exalted supreme great commander of gloriously victorious troops.”) He sets about engaging with Min Aung Hlaing.
  9. The US responds that this is a bad idea, exemplified in this morning’s statement by the House Foreign Affairs committee:

January 14, 2021

Meeks, McCaul, Bera, Chabot Raise Concerns Over Appropriate Burmese Participation in ASEAN Meetings

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representatives Gregory W. Meeks (D-N.Y.) and Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and U.S. Representatives Ami Bera (D-C.A.) and Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, Central Asia, and Nonproliferation today released the following joint statement in response to reports that ASEAN may invite senior members of the Burmese military regime to participate in official meetings.

“We are troubled by reports that Cambodia is considering including the Burmese military junta in the ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting. ASEAN must not bestow credibility to a military that illegitimately overthrew an elected government and wantonly tortures and murders its own people.

“We remain supportive of the decision made by the previous ASEAN Chair not to invite a political representative from Burma. The Burmese military has refused to adhere to ASEAN’s Five-Point Consensus. Its continued violence has killed over 1,400 people in less than a year and worsened a humanitarian crisis with severe repercussions for the region. We hope that, as Chair, Cambodia abides by the previous ASEAN decision that Burma is not entitled to political representation within ASEAN until the Five-Point Consensus is implemented.”

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16 Jan 2022 (night before)
Sixty seven organizations representing people of the Karen nationality around the world have written a damning letter to Presidents Biden and Macron over the continued payments going to Myanmar Oil & Gas Enterprise from Chevron and Total.

The hundreds of millions of dollars provided to the Burmese military by companies from your countries are being used to buy the bombs and bullets being used against our people. They are funding war crimes and crimes against humanity.

I’ve alluded to someone close to me several times. It is still being handled discretely… actually erasing the rest of this.

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20 Jan 2022
Significantly there are signs that Total is cracking on the MOGE issue. Human Rights Watch (to whom they wrote) is proclaiming it a complete endorsement of withdrawal. Others expect them to continue to manipulate governments to prevent it and also point out that Total doesn’t need anyone’s permission to drop a business venture or stop paying their Thai partner. So they are dodging the political heat and putting it on world leaders. You can decide. Check out the differences between the HRW statement and the actual letter from Total’s CEO.

Dominant conversations/questions from the community leading up to the Feb 1 anniversary:

  • How to get the NUG recognized. The US has been moving closer to the NUG in recent months and saying more. Though unlikely to equate to recognition (it is EXTREMELY unlikely that Biden will be the first world leader to recognize them)… each time it is made public that they’ve had a new conversation with NUG it increases MAH’s insecurity.

  • ASEAN was supposed to meet in Cambodia but in short there has been a “sick out.” All of the leaders from ASEAN nations who had previously moved to bar MAH and who have expressed the strongest disappointment in his failure to rise to the 5 point plan have declined to attend citing concerns about Covid. Repeating, I think it is also very significant that the US Senate REMOVED ASEAN as a potential partner in resolving Burma from the original Lantos Act, which was still technically in place. The first full meeting with Hun Sen as chair has been postponed. They are very pissed off with him for meeting with Min Aung Hlaing without consulting ASEAN. Very bad optics, and also their referring to MAH as a proper head of state has left a bitter taste.

  • Philippines says 'indispensable' Suu Kyi must be involved in Myanmar peace process

  • The International Court of Justice just announced, the last week of February there will be public hearings at The Hague over the Rohingya genocide. The US is not a party to the Rome Statute, but the National Unity Government has agreed to be and in private communications, outlining future strategies, they have put this almost front and center to support the case filed by the Gambia.

More on the resistance: There’s some fresh video on FB of resistance drones modified to drop homemade bombs. (search for “Karenni Generation Z Army (KGZ)” or “Aung San Force”) Really a lot of this kind of thing circulating. I am not posting about every time I read of an assassination of an informant (“Dalan”) or member of the military. Suffice to say, it is happening on the regular now. Also for many months now, since the military is occupying the cities, the CDM has gone from mass marching to flashmob protesting. Great example from just this week.

Finally a friendly reminder that Mohingya Matters is a terrific source for daily Burma news.

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The Rome Statute is for the International Criminal Court, so US non-membership doesn’t affect the International Court of Justice. All UN member states are parties to the statute of the ICJ.

P.S.

The US’s Chevron and France’s Total, two of the world’s largest oil producers, announced they would cease operations in Myanmar on Friday following almost a year of intense campaigning to shame the companies into ending their financial support for the junta.

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21 Jan 2022

Thanks for clarifying. This is not an element I follow very closely but everyone else is pretty obsessed with it.

Re Chevron/Total, we’re excited of course but also internally asking “Now What”? Or I am at least. I think we have got to get the MOGE stuff removed from the bill, because it handcuffs Biden into having to report to congress and give them a 30 day heads up before sanctioning MOGE (this is sorta poison-pill-ish and was probably crafted by Chevron). And yeah, maybe there’s nothing more he could sanction there but maybe he can cut off the money transfer mechanism or seize accounts as he had done with the regime/government $$ parked in Singapore.

The Blood Money Campaign deserves much credit. That includes many people inside of Burma, or people abroad who are still Burmese citizens. So this will be a HUGE morale boost to the Myanmar people fighting the regime.

I campaigned intensely for about 7 years and pretty consistently off and on after that. Early on, it was extremely difficult to get any traditional human rights organization to say anything about this issue. Privately we had their individual moral support but they felt structurally obligated not to target the corporations. Which, honestly, sucked. Because so much of this misery going back decades, was really financed by Unocal, Chevron and Total. So I’ll let the tiny group that sued Unocal say it their way:

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25 Jan 2022

Human Rights Watch has done a follow up release to the Chevron/Total announcements. Here’s the action item:

The US and EU in particular are in key positions to impose sanctions since payments in the gas sector – even those handled by non-US and non-EU companies – are typically made in US dollars and involve correspondent US and EU banks. Sanctions by the US and EU can stop payments made in US dollars or Euros even by banks in Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, and other locations, since those banks always ultimately need correspondent US and EU banks – which are subject to US and EU law – to finalize, or “settle,” large dollar or Euro transactions.

Bertil Lintner has been one of the most detailed Burma chroniclers in the English language. A couple of weeks ago he provided an historic comparison of the events of 1988 vs. 2021 in The Irrawaddy.

The third Silent Strike is being called for the anniversary of the coup on Feb 1, 2022. Junta is warning people they will be treated as “traitors” for doing that. What ever.

There’s deep concern about a revamped effort by the regime to shut down VPN’s, which are now criminalized.

Someone cleverly tracking flights has identified trips by a US sanctioned Iranian airline to the military’s capital stronghold of Naypyidaw. I believe there are so far only guesses as to the nature of these visits but found some very specific information from someone I’ve never heard of and to be fair I haven’t dug for other sources:

Iran deputy commander of Quds force, Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Fallahzadeh visited Burma and met with Deputy Commander in Chief, Deputy Senior General Soe Win. The meeting lasted for nearly 2 hours. Some Quds force personnel stayed behind in Naypyidaw to train special forces. However, this is not the whole story. The junta was in secret talk with Iran to purchase 3rd of Khordad (Surface to air missile) which was used to shoot down US RQ-4 drone. The idea is to use these missiles to protect possible US drone strikes and more advanced drone strikes from PDF(People Defence Force under the command of National Unity Government). It is highly likely that these missiles were transferred in second flight from Iran. This is in violation of UNSC resolution 2231, paragraph 6b, Annex B. In addition, the junta Min Aung Hlaing has acquired some unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The inside source closed to Naypyidaw said that there are about 3 tons of arms each flight. It is bit strange that why regime is getting arms from Iran while they can get it from Russia and China. However, China is bit reluctant to involve in it and the junta wants some allies in the Islamic world and the junta wants Iran to influence others in Rohingya case. In addition, they need some expert help to fight PDF and they believe that Iran can help them like in Syria.

First to say this out of the gate, I find it extremely unlikely that the US will monkey around in Myanmar’s airspace, drone strikes or anything at all. This would give China an excuse to do things we really don’t want to see done there and could ignite a full proxy war. But it doesn’t mean the junta doesn’t fear that.

Second, the headline is misleading. Don’t expect Hezbollah to play into it at all. The Tatmadaw have purchased a lot of gear ("…rifles, military training, battleships, observation and surveillance UAVs, and a mobile phone hacking system") and probably new surveillance drones from Israeli firms. The back scratching is mutual and not just monetary: Myanmar is far and away the largest nation to fully recognize Israel and not recognize Palestine.

NUG is saying victory in 2022 is inevitable. I say, stay tuned.

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26 Jan 2022

Significant warning to all businesses here from the US Government. Worth a read, even just the 2 page summary. In some ways more powerful than just doing sanctions - an explicit warning under a six-agency banner of the executive branch:

Businesses and individuals with potential exposure to, or involvement in operations or supply chains tied to, the military regime that do not conduct appropriate due diligence run the risk of engaging in conduct that may expose them to significant reputational, financial, and legal risks, including violations of U.S. anti-money laundering laws and sanctions.

That may sound like a velvet hammer but in my experience this is very heavy handed. It paints, for example, a much riskier picture for future business there than the guidelines the NUG had laid out in July. Perhaps that one will be revised to convey the real threat now. Chevron’s intent to leave the country also leaves every other operator highly exposed.

Evening update:
Bo Hla Tint, an old hand who was part of the former exile NCGUB government, is now the NUG’s (aspiring) ambassador to ASEAN (if they will have him). Speaking for 30 minutes straight, he presented a very comprehensive picture of the current status inside the country as keynote speaker of a CSIS Indonesia-sponsored webinar just now.

He describes the NUCC, an advisory council formed with the ethnic groups inside of Burma who helped assemble the new Federal Democracy Charter. They are working very hard on solidarity within the multi ethnic society.

Because of how much of the world has felt about support for Burma through the lens of the Rohingya issue, my antenna is always up for what individual NUG ministers have to say about it. So I found this to be significant (timestamp here):

…We are also closely working together with the leadership of the international Rohingya freedom campaign to ensure an inclusive future for Myanmar that does not repeat its past mistake again.

To characterize or even merely hint that what was done as part of the power sharing (NLD/Tatmadaw) government of the past with respect to the Rohingya, and that approach was a mistake, that is significant. It is a good way of putting it without directly criticizing NLD or DASSK but also in a sense owning up to it. That is very different than only blaming the Tatmadaw, only calling for justice against the military, or worse (as some want to recast the world’s perspective) simply blame all of the Rohingya’s misery on some ARSA attacks of 2016. It is true that the events took a massive downward spiral after those ARSA attacks. It is also true that the civil society Rohingya organizations have almost universally condemned and created distance from ARSA. For more on this history, see a lightweight version from BBC (Sept 2017) and/or this deep dive from the US State Dept. (Aug 2018). Of course if you haven’t seen the online Holocaust Memorial Museum exhibit “Burma’s Path to Genocide”, that is much more visceral.

Among additional points in Bo Hla Tint’s presentation, PDF ambushes against the Tatmadaw are so frequent now that the Tatmadaw can no longer rely on ground transport and need helicopters to get to their wounded. NUG has recently claimed a number of Tatmadaw casualties since that D-Day announcement at 2x or 3x the civilian casualty count since the coup (they didn’t make this comparison, I do).

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Well damn. I hadn’t caught this. When Chevron and Total announced they were going to cut and run, the junta tried to distract the world from that news by sentencing to death Ko Jimmy (who I’ve talked about more than once and who they already tried to kill) and… well here’s the story:

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31 Jan 2022
Technically it’s the anniversary of the coup in a few hours.

In recent days and hours, the US, UK and Canada have added new sanctions. I suspect more to come. The Myanmar community in DC have targeted the Norwegian consulate. Derek Chollet who is US State Counselor just met with the NUG. Lots of behind the scenes meetings are going on (I know of SEVERAL) between advocates and elected reps. This will result in statements from the Senate and House and maybe some other things. Still TBD is locking up that MOGE income.

I’m hearing GOP reps may sit on the BURMA Act until the reports described in the Burma related provisions of the NDAA are issued by the State Dept. This sucks because it sets the BURMA Act (>$100M) which has been pushed for since the coup in February 2021, back to after March 2022. NDAA contained no monetary provisions. Nothing where congress is signing off on specific funds has been passed yet after the coup. This is a real shame. State Dept has proactively provided quite a bit of $$ but more is needed.

Revisiting what I wrote six days ago about Iran, I am not sure about what will happen but I know the State Dept is concerned about it. In terms of it being a headscratcher that an Islamic state would cozy up with a non-Islamic regime accused of very recent genocidal acts against an Islamic population… It is worth looking at through the lens of US foreign policy. Iran and the tatmadaw are in a sense two peas in a pod. Iran was sanctioned in October and December.

Likely the coup leaders reached out to Iran and sold them on the idea that if Iran provides equipment to Myanmar, it will be a thorn in the side of the US. Plus there’s no doubt some $$ or trade involved. Additionally I wouldn’t be surprised if there were weaponized UAV’s from Iran to Myanmar in the mix. Israel sold them surveillance UAVs. Helicopters, a primary instrument of terrors, may be very vulnerable to military drones but also to homebrew militarized over the counter drones that could be designed and launched by the Peoples Defense Forces. So the regime is definitely in the market for weaponized unmanned drones. The PDF are likely already on that anti helicopter tech trajectory, as they are rapidly upping their learning curve on improvised weapons in general. I don’t know how easy it is to weaponize those Israeli surveillance drones. Imagine this, Israeli and Iranian drones flying side by side to kill Buddhists, Muslims and Christians because they voted you out.

Afternoon update:

I found a description I’d cut/pasted on this very issue about ongoing drone experiments. I know many BB’ers avoid FB and it has been a bit of a challenge to direct you to other links from a community that almost exclusively expresses itself on FB. So here’s the video.

RESISTANCE FORCES GETTING DEADLY WITH IMPROVISED DRONES
This video shows six strikes carried out by drones; it was taken during operations in Sagaing Region. Over the Christmas and New Year period, two videos were posted by two separate groups, each showing makeshift explosive munitions being carried and dropped by small drones. In the first video, posted by the Karenni Generation Z Army (KGZ), a small team is shown launching a DJI Phantom drone modified with a release mechanism and armed with a small munition. The second video, posted by the Aung San Force-MPDF, shows six strikes, as well as footage from drones observing indirect fire attacks. The KGZ is a resistance group active in Kayah State. The Aung San Force, meanwhile, is a self-organising resistance group. Both formed in the aftermath of the February 2021 coup, which resulted in peaceful protests and a brutal military crackdown.

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