The people of Myanmar say that Myanmar citizens are struggling with a shortage of food and other necessities after 65 days of rule under the military junta, their army has knocked down cargo trucks at the latches and steals goods and cash from vehicles, shops and homes, residents said Tuesday.
The coup on Feb. 1 toppled the country’s elected government after a year of deeper economic recession caused by economic inactivity to control the spread of coronavirus. Myanmar is Southeast Asia’s poorest country, with a nominal GDP per capita of about $ 1,300.
Measures to combat the pandemic broke out last winter, affecting households and businesses, including those in the agricultural sector, which account for one-fifth of GDP and more than half of jobs. do. The coup and popular disobedience against the government further undermined economic activity.
Military restrictions on transportation and nationwide security barriers have clogged the flow of food and other goods in the country. Soldiers stationed along major roads often confiscate goods and cash from motorists and motorcyclists in Sagaing and Mandalay regions – two of Myanmar’s largest population centers – traders say. with RFA.
All traffic passing through most towns in the two areas is being stopped and vehicles are inspected, they said.
“[Our] The car was stopped last night in Kyaukpadaung, Mandalay, and 500,000 kyats [U.S. $350] was taken from a bag on the dashboard of the car, ”said one person who witnessed the theft but wanted to remain anonymous. “We told them we were civil servants, and they said they didn’t care and just took the money.”
Similar incidents were reported in the Sagaing region in the northwestern part of the country, where police and the military seized food from market stores and shopping malls without paying, merchants. know. They also steal cargo from the vehicles they inspect, resulting in fewer trucks carrying cargo in the area.
A trader in Monywa, the largest city in Sagaing, said: “Transporting goods is not easy now because (the army) is everywhere, and we don’t know if we can do it. , ”Said a businessman in Monywa, Sagaing’s largest city. “The cars can only go when they say that. Even then, sometimes they will pick up. ”
The dealer said he recently saw security forces grab a box of snacks from a vehicle during security checks.
“Life is quite difficult,” he added.
Only about two out of 100 truck drivers are currently transporting goods, the trader said.
The security forces not only check every part of the truck, they also ask if there’s a lot of cash, ask where the money is and who will get it, and sometimes take it for themselves.
Prices increase ‘double, triple’
Economic hardship is also being felt in Yangon, Myanmar’s most populous city, where residents rely on deliveries from outside the urban center to their homes and businesses.
A housewife in Yangon said the disruption of consumer goods meant that neighboring markets had little meat or vegetables to sell and the prices for these products had doubled.
“In Yangon, only the big supermarkets like City Mart and Metro are operating normally, and the smaller shops and shops are closed,” she said.
“Only about half of the normal amount of meat and vegetables is provided, and you have to buy them whether you like it or not because we don’t have a chance to choose what we want. Prices have doubled, tripled, or more ”.
A rice seller in Yangon said that the number of trucks entering the mall’s biggest wholesale markets has fallen by two-thirds, while the prices of essential goods are skyrocketing daily.
At the Bayinnaung Wholesale Warehouse, rice deliveries have decreased by about two-thirds although the shops are still open as usual, a rice trader said.
The food market will remain stable for now, but if the flow of basic foods and commodities stops and supplies are depleted, prices will skyrocket, traders said.
The struggle to get fed and fed takes place amid life-and-death battles on the streets, when powerful armed security forces suppress protesters and ordinary citizens, often shooting indiscriminately at the crowd or house.
At least three civilians were injured by gunfire within 24 hours until mid-Tuesday, and some unidentified people have been arrested since early morning, including four medical doctors in Mandalay.
Soldiers and police arrested doctors as they prepared for a demonstration on 73rd Street to commemorate their fallen colleagues. A man was beaten in the hand when police fired live bullets during the suppression, and the police arrested two pediatricians and two other doctors, and confiscated motorbikes and cell phones from protesters, witnesses said.
“They arrived in a truck while we were preparing to hold a protest in the morning,” said an unnamed doctor. “They fired a stun grenade five times near the university campus. After that, two pediatricians and two other doctors were arrested, and three motorbikes were taken away.
Although local health department officials and other anti-government protesters held early morning protests, it was the first time the police had acted against them, who were present at the scene for know.
The woman was hit by a bullet
In the town of Mogaung, Kachin state, a woman was hit by a bullet in her hand on Monday night while counting the day’s earnings at her shop, witnesses said. She was shot by the army and police stationed on a bridge over the Nangyin River near her neighborhood.
Security forces also shot another man on a motorbike as he tried to make a U-turn at the bridge, witnesses said.
A local resident said: “There were five or six shots, and one of the first shots hit the woman. “The last shot hit the man on the motorbike, slightly injuring him.”
A family member of the woman who was shot said a military officer apologized for the shooting on Tuesday morning and offered to take her to the military hospital in Kachin’s capital Myitkyina.
Local residents said they want the army to leave the bridge.
When police in Thayarwaddy, a city in central Bago, could not find Jar Lay, an anti-coup protest leader, they arrested his family of six, including a four-year-old daughter. , a toddler and a 13-year-old child. -the brother-in-law.
Six people were released on Tuesday, but Jar Lay told RFA from his hideout that police beat his teenage brother-in-law for his head during an interrogation.
“An informant told police that we have hidden explosives and weapons in the house is not true, and the military came looking for them around 3 a.m.,” he said. “My entire family, including my children and my husband, has been taken to a military camp.”
The teenager, who was hit on his temples and ears, was asked why he shared posts and pictures on social media from his mobile phone, ”Jar Lay said.
“Then he was taken to the police station and forced to sign a confession,” he said.
Before being released, their loved ones must sign a pledge that they will help the police arrest Jar Lay, and if he is not found, they will be backed up, Jar Lay said.
Red paint on the streets of Yangon
Across the country, protests against the government continued to take place in various forms in Mandalay, the suburbs of Yangon, and in other cities and towns.
Anti-government protesters colored their marches Tuesday by smearing red paint on the streets and sidewalks of downtown Yangon to signal their opposition. with the military regime’s bloody repression of the protests that left about 570 dead and many others injured, Agence France – Press reported.
Soldiers and police arrested famous comedian Zarganar in the Yangon town of Tamwe on Tuesday morning, according to Facebook posts by colleagues Ngapyaw Gyaw and Kaung Gyaw.
Zaganar was not on the list of wanted police, so it is not clear what charges he was charged with or where he is being held, they said.
Meanwhile, Burmese youth are calling for a boycott of the annual Thingyan water festival next week in spite of the military regime and honoring those killed by security forces, online newspaper The Irrawaddy reported. Last year’s holiday celebrations, including splashing water on people in public places, were shut down by the government due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Military authorities have shut down the office of the National League for Democracy (NLD) of deposed leader Aung San Su Kyi and are continuing to track down and arrest party officials and lawmakers, according to people in many regions.
Security forces detained Aye Khine, a member of parliament and a member of the local NLD executive committee in the Mandalay region on Tuesday, according to a colleague.
“He escaped home for a while when he was arrested while on the phone in the city. His phone was also taken, ”the NLD member told RFA on condition of anonymity.
Ye Kyaw Thwin, an NLD lawmaker representing the town of Mawlamyine in the Ayeyarwady region, was arrested by authorities on Tuesday afternoon while fleeing a village after a complaint from a military informant, said one of his colleagues.
Reported by RFA’s Myanmar Service. Translation by Khin Maung Nyane and Kyaw Min Htun. Written in English by Roseanne Gerin.