Summary of News

1. Union Minister Dr. Sasa attributes the international recognition of the Spring Revolution to the support of everyone involved

On September 17, NUG Union Minister Dr. Sasa made the following statement during his opening remarks at an online music concert organised by the CDF-Kanpetlet and Guys from Chin, a group made up of Chin musicians P Thawng Bawi, David Lai, and Benjamin Sum. The concert was held in support of the CDF-Kanpetlet’s fundraising campaign called “Victorian Hero Collective Reinvigoration.”

Union Minister Dr. Sasa said, “The ongoing revolution is as clear as white opposing black or light challenging darkness, which is why we have been thoroughly engaged in it from the very start. Now, it has garnered international recognition. In the United States, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which includes the Burma Act, was approved. Similarly, at the United Nations, UN Security Council Resolution 2669 on Myanmar, an unprecedented occurrence in history, was passed. All of these developments underscore the recognition of this revolution and are the result of everyone’s support.”

Right now, the National Unity Government (NUG) has opened representational offices in Japan, Norway, France, the Czech Republic, the Republic of Korea, Australia, and the United States of America.

2. Deputy Defence Secretary U Maung Maung Swe asserts that junta soldiers have already lost faith in their leader Min Aung Hlaing

On September 17, in a Facebook post, U Maung Maung Swe, Deputy Secretary of the NUG’s Ministry of Defence, stated: “Why are there so many watermelons [inside the military]? It’s because they have lost faith in Min Aung Hlaing, the military is disintegrating, and they want to secure guarantees for their family lives.”

Watermelon” is a term used to describe individuals within the military or government staff who, despite being under the control of the military junta soldiers, secretly support the revolution. This term symbolises a green military uniform that conceals a red interior, representing their hidden allegiance to the revolution.

As per the Ministry of Defence, over the course of two years in the People’s Defensive War, approximately 9,900 battles occurred nationwide, resulting in the elimination of approximately 30,000 enemy soldiers.

3. Support rally at UN Headquarters for Ambassador U Kyaw Moe Tun’s continued UN position raises $25,000 for PDF battalions

The UN Credential Campaign Rally demanding the UN Credentials Committee to officially recognise incumbent Ambassador U Kyaw Moe Tun as the Ambassador representing Myanmar was held outside the UN Headquarters in New York on September 16. Ambassador U Kyaw Moe Tun also attended the rally and delivered remarks.

At the rally, the Big Funds (North Carolina) donated $25,007 in funds for the People’s Defence Force (PDF) battalions. In recognition of this donation, Ambassador U Kyaw Moe Tun presented a certificate of appreciation on behalf of the Ministry of Defence, as stated in the release from the National Unity Government’s Ministry of Defence on September 18.

4. Approximately 1,600 displaced in Mone Township following the terrorist military’s arbitrary arrest of three individuals and the destruction of 12 houses

According to the press release of the Karen National Union (KNU) News and Information Department dated September 18th, the terrorist military council forces invaded villages in Mone (Mu) Township of Bago’s Nyaunglebin (Kher Lwee Htoo) District, arresting three residents arbitrarily and burning down 12 houses. Approximately 1,600 residents were forced to be displaced as a result, and 70 of them are facing flooding.

On September 14, 2023, military junta troops invaded Nga Htway Soke village in Mone (Mu) Township of the administrative territory of the KNU Brigade 3 Nyaunglebin (Kher Lwee Htoo) District. When the troops entered the village, only eight residents remained. Upon realising the military junta troops’ presence, these residents attempted to flee the area. However, three of them, Naw Doh Gay (60), Naw Deri Soe (50), and Ma Mya Than Sein (30), were arbitrarily arrested, and a total of 12 houses were set on fire. After invading, the military junta troops stationed themselves in Nga Htway Soke village and Myet Ye village, forcing 1,534 residents of nearby villages—Yae Le (Karen) and Yae Le (Bamar)—to flee for their lives. Additionally, 70 residents of Yan Myo Aung and Ta Maw Ma villages are currently experiencing flooding, as stated by the KNU statement.

5. Due to labour shortages, raw tea leaf availability drops, forcing factory closures

Due to a shortage of labour, factories in the northern Shan region, where the majority of the tea industry is located, are being forced to shut down. This labour shortage is due to the fact that tea leaf pluckers from central Myanmar cannot travel to the Northern Shan State, where the industry is primarily situated, because of ongoing military junta attacks in central Myanmar.

A tea leaf businessman from Namsan Township in Northern Shan State described the situation as “In a tea farm, for example, one acre typically yields 200 visses (a Burmese unit of measure for weight) of tea leaves. However, if only half of these can be plucked, both the tea farmers and manufacturers suffer losses. For us, manufacturers, our production costs rise when we can only process 5,000 tea leaves instead of the usual 10,000.”

Because the decreasing availability of tea leaves has severely impacted business operations, some tea leaf businessmen from Northern Shan State have relocated to Southern Shan State, specifically areas like Pindaya and Ywangan, to obtain tea leaves for their operations.

A tea industry expert said, “In certain regions, including Northern Shan State and other conflict-affected areas, tea leaf production has declined. Typically, during the tea leaf harvesting season in Northern Shan State, labourers from central Myanmar, like Sagaing, would come to Northern Shan State to pick tea leaves. However, a labour shortage has emerged because labourers are unable to come due to conflicts and war-related displacements. Consequently, some areas are unable to harvest tea leaves, leading to a halt in tea production. This situation is occurring in various places.”

Following the military coup in 2021, to address the currency crisis related to the U.S. dollar, trade operators were prohibited from benefiting from the market-driven exchange rates for their export earnings. This policy, combined with the devaluation of the kyat, had a significant impact on domestic products.

Myanmar has approximately 240,000 acres of tea cultivation across the country, with the Northern Shan State accounting for the largest portion, covering 140,000 acres. Since tea serves as a reliable source of income for mountain residents, concerns have arisen about the potential harm to the traditional tea industry.

#Credit : Radio NUG


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