02/14/2022, 17.06
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People in Sagaing protest against the military torching villages

Soldiers torched more than a thousand rural homes. More and more people are being displaced every week. A high-level government delegation is expected in Islamabad to buy weapons from Pakistan.

Yangon (AsiaNews) – Despite the harsh military crackdown, the people of Myanmar continue to oppose the junta that overthrew the civilian government led by Aung San Suu Kyi on 1 February 2021.

Recently, residents of four villages in the Sagaing region, where more than a thousand homes were torched by the military, marched together against what they called “the fascist army”.

Since the start of the conflict, government troops have attacked the country’s rural areas out of revenge for reprisals by local anti-government ethnic militias.

Radio Free Asia (RFA) reports that satellite imagery shows the destruction inflicted on number of villages in Pale township, where protesters come from.

In once village, an aerial photo shows the golden dome of a Buddhist stupa surrounded by the burnt-out remains of houses. Still, “Only the village can be burned down, not the spirit!” chanted some of villagers.

A video showing the protest was posted on a Facebook account that used to carry local news before the start of the civil war and now documents protests and attacks against government forces.

Meanwhile, the government’s scorched earth policy reached Mingin township, in the north of Sagaing region, where at least four people were killed by a pro-junta militia called Pyu Saw Htee, which is now preventing aid from reaching the few remaining civilians.

Between late January and early February, about 1,500 houses were razed to the ground in the villages of Bin, Mauktet and Moktha, forcing about 10,000 people to flee Mingin, this according to eyewitnesses who spoke to RFA.

Local sources say that the number of refugees is rising by the tens of thousands every week across the country.

According to The Economic Times, a Mumbai-based paper, Myanmar’s ruling junta now plans to buy weapons from Pakistan. To this end, a government delegation will soon travel to Islamabad to inspect a cargo before it is shipped.

In September, a delegation from the Pakistani Ministry of Defence travelled Myanmar. The visit was not announced anywhere and discussions remained secret, but several sources claim that it was made in connection with a possible sale of weapons to Myanmar.

In December, when government forces attacked Loikaw, the capital of Kayah State, about 60,000 residents fled, taking refuge mainly in nearby Taungoo and Taunggyi.

Faced with this situation, the Fondazione PIME set up an emergency fund, S145 Emergenza Myanmar, to support initiatives by local churches, many of which were founded by PIME missionaries before the expulsion of foreign missionaries in 1966.

The goal is to provide immediate help to thousands of people, boosting the relief network set up by the dioceses of Taungoo and Taunggyi.

Many local religious groups have responded to the emergency, showing the most beautiful face of Myanmar, that of a people who, despite the suffering that has marked its history, choose the path of solidarity.

Aid will be sent to them, starting with basic needs, like shelter, food, and a school for children deprived of an education for the past two years because of the pandemic and the war.

Donations can be made out to S145–Emergenza Myanmar:

- directly online at this link (in Italian) choosing S145–Emergenza Myanmar among the projects (progetti);

- by bank transfer payable to Fondazione Pime Onlus IBAN: IT 11 W 05216 01630 000000005733 (it is recommended that a copy of the transfer be sent by email to uam@pimemilano.com indicating name, address, place and date of birth, plus fiscal code if in Italy or equivalent social insurance number in other countries)

- to the postal current account n. 39208202 made out to Fondazione Pime Onlus via Monte Rosa, 81 20149 Milan

- in cash or check by going in person to the Centro PIME in Milan, via Monte Rosa 81 – business hours Monday to Friday: from 9 am to 12.30 pm and 1.30 pm 5.30 pm)

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See also
Military strike at two churches in Chin and Kayah states
15/10/2021 13:09
Soldiers attack a Christian village in Sagaing
13/05/2022 15:52
Myanmar, where the Church suffers in silence
Ban Ki-moon in Myanmar to seek Aung San Suu Kyi’s release
Exiled monks urge new anti-regime protests


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