Myanmar junta extends state of emergency, delaying promised elections

Regime chief says military will always be country’s ‘guardian’ regardless of who is in power, as streets empty on anniversary of army takeover

Myanmar’s military regime has announced an extension to its state of emergency, effectively delaying elections the junta had pledged to hold by August, as it battles anti-coup fighters across the country.

The junta chief, Min Aung Hlaing, acknowledged that more than a third of townships were not under full military control, in comments reported by state media on Wednesday.

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Revealed: how world’s biggest fossil fuel firms ‘profited in Myanmar after coup’

Leaked tax records suggest subsidiaries of international gas field contractors continued to make millions after the coup

In the two years since a murderous junta launched a coup in Myanmar, some of the world’s biggest oil and gas service companies continued to make millions of dollars from operations that have helped prop up the military regime, tax documents seen by the Guardian suggest.

The Myanmar military seized power in February 2021 and according to the United Nations special rapporteur on Myanmar, it is “committing war crimes and crimes against humanity daily”. More than 2,940 people, including children, pro-democracy activists and other civilians have been killed, according to Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.

US oil services giant Halliburton’s Singapore-based subsidiary Myanmar Energy Services reported pre-tax profits of $6.3m in Myanmar in the year to September 2021, which includes eight months while the junta was in power.

Houston-headquartered oil services company Baker Hughes branch in Yangon reported pre-tax profits of $2.64m in the country in the six months to March 2022.

US firm Diamond Offshore Drilling reported $37m in fees to the Myanmar tax authority during the year to September 2021 and another $24.2m from then until March 2022.

Schlumberger Logelco (Yangon Branch), the Panama-based subsidiary of the US-listed world’s largest offshore drilling company, earned revenues of $51.7m in the year to September 2021 in Myanmar and as late as September 2022 was owed $200,000 in service fees from the junta’s energy ministry.

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Myanmar junta hit by western sanctions as ‘silent strikes’ mark coup anniversary

The UK, US, Canada and Australia have announced a range of measures aimed at punishing Myanmar’s military

The UK, US and Canada have imposed fresh sanctions against Myanmar’s military, including some measures aimed at stopping the supply of aviation fuel to its air force, which is accused of indiscriminately bombing civilian areas.

The sanctions were announced two years on from the 2021 February coup, in which Myanmar’s military ousted the democratically elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi, detaining her and plunging the country into turmoil.

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‘Monster from the sky’: two years on from coup, Myanmar junta increases airstrikes on civilians

People across the country now live under constant threat of attacks from the skies

It was early evening, and people had gathered at a local pandal in Moe Dar Lay village, in Myanmar’s Sagaing Region, to prepare for a Buddhist novice ordination ceremony the following day. Just as they began to cook, fighter jets appeared in the sky. Then the sound of explosions boomed through the air.

“The jets dropped the bombs out of nowhere,” said Naing Ko*, who was just a few houses from the pandal when the attack happened on 19 January. He recalled grabbing his wife and son and rushing to see what had happened. His parent’s home, a few kilometres away, was engulfed in flames. His mother, 68, was among eight people killed. She died instantly.

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Myanmar opium production surges since coup, UN finds

Conflict and economic hardship force farmers to rely on opium, with poppy cultivation rising by 33% in 2022

Production of opium has flourished in Myanmar since the military’s seizure of power, with the cultivation of poppies up by a third in the past year, according to a UN report.

In 2022, in the first full growing season since the military wrested control from the democratically elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi in 2021, Myanmar saw a 33% increase in the cultivation area to 40,100 hectares, according to the report by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime released on Thursday.

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Rohingya and Myanmar coup survivors launch legal complaint in Germany against junta

Survivors of alleged abuses at hands of military unite in universal jurisdiction case over atrocities they say amount to genocide

A criminal complaint against individuals linked to Myanmar’s military has been filed in Germany by survivors from ethnic groups across Myanmar, in what activists say is a show of unity that once seemed unthinkable.

Sixteen survivors and witnesses of military abuses joined NGO Fortify Rights to file a criminal complaint with the federal public prosecutor general of Germany under the principle of universal jurisdiction, which allows the prosecution of mass atrocities in one country, even if they happened elsewhere.

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Sea ‘a graveyard’ as number of Rohingya fleeing Bangladesh by boat soars

UN figures show number of those attempting to escape horrendous conditions in refugee camps increased from 700 in 2021 to over 3,500 in 2022

The number of Rohingya refugees taking dangerous sea journeys in the hope of reaching Malaysia or Indonesia has surged by 360%, the UN has announced after hundreds of refugees were left stranded at the end of last year.

Rohingya in Bangladesh refugee camps have warned that human smugglers have ramped up operations and are constantly searching for people to fill boats from Myanmar and Bangladesh headed for Malaysia, where people believe they can live more freely.

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Western firms facilitating production of Myanmar junta’s weapons, says report

Independent experts find western-supplied materials are still finding their way into military’s hands

Companies in 13 countries across Europe, Asia and North America are assisting Myanmar’s junta – either indirectly or directly – by supplying materials to the stated-owned entity that produces the military’s weapons, a report by the Special Advisory Council for Myanmar (SAC-M) has found.

The weapons are then being used to commit human rights atrocities.

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Myanmar junta hit Indian territory during strike on rebel camp, say witnesses

Locals in Farkawan village said that two bombs were dropped on the Indian side of the border but no one was hurt

The Myanmar military launched an airstrike on a prominent training camp for pro-democracy forces close to the Indian border, with jets dropping at least two bombs inside Indian territory according to eyewitnesses.

The Myanmar junta, who seized power in a coup in February 2021 and are engaged in a bloody battle to crush pro-democracy insurgents, began bombing Camp Victoria in Myanmar’s Chin state, on Tuesday afternoon, a rebel commander confirmed to the Guardian.

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More than 100 Rohingya refugees jailed for trying to flee Myanmar camps

Children among those arrested last month as they waited for transport to take them to Malaysia

More than 110 Rohingya have been sentenced to prison by a military-backed court in Myanmar for attempting to escape refugee camps without the proper paperwork.

The group, which include 12 children, was arrested last month on the shores of the Ayeyarwady region as they waited for two motorboats they hoped would facilitate the start of their journey to Malaysia.

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On the frontline with the rebel army fighting Myanmar’s brutal junta

Villagers-turned-pro-democracy fighters rely on ‘brothers and sisters’ in India for guns and food

With a loaded cartridge holder strapped to her back and a shotgun gripped tightly in her hands, Rose Lalhmanhaih looks far older than her 17 years. Just two years ago, she was studying at school; now she is a rebel soldier on the frontlineof Myanmar’s revolutionary war. Only her nails, flecked with a bright purple polish, hint at the girl she once was.

Crouching behind sandbags and holding binoculars, Lalhmanhaih scans the dense scrub of the surrounding valley, then speaks decisively into her walkie talkie. “Clear … clear,” she says. A garrison of the Myanmar military lies only five miles away and an exchange of fire rings out now and then. But for today at least, the soldiers of the brutal junta regime will leave the tiny village of Haimual in Chin state in peace.

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Rohingya refugees bet lives on boat crossings despite rising death toll

Woman recounts suffering on perilous journeys taken to escape oppression in Myanmar and squalid Bangladesh camps

Hatemon Nesa recalled hugging her young daughter tightly as the cramped, broken-down boat they were sitting on drifted aimlessly. They had set off on 25 November from the squalid Cox’s Bazar refugee camp in Bangladesh, where they had lived since 2017, when a brutal crackdown by Myanmar’s military forced more than 700,000 Rohingya to flee over the border.

The 27-year-old, like many other Rohingya refugees, was hoping for a better life in Malaysia. But about 10 days into the journey the boat’s engine stopped working and food and water supplies began to run out.

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Thai police accused of ‘sham’ inquiry into alleged forced labour at former Tesco supplier

Exclusive: Burmese workers say officials took one day to conclude no laws were broken at VK Garment factory

Thai police have been accused of conducting a “sham” investigation into potential forced labour at a garment factory formerly used by Tesco after officials took one day to conclude no laws were broken.

The Guardian revealed last month that Burmese workers who produced F&F jeans for Tesco in Thailand reported being made to work 99-hour weeks for illegally low pay in terrible conditions.

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Myanmar court jails Aung San Suu Kyi for extra seven years in final closed trial

Nobel laureate found guilty of corruption as rights groups say array of charges fabricated to keep her detained

In the last of a long list of closed trials that have spanned over a year, a military-controlled court in Myanmar has sentenced ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi to an additional seven years of prison time.

She was found guilty on five charges of corruption pertaining to the misuse of state funds for the purchase and lease of a helicopter.

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