Beyond the Headlines: Final Suu Kyi sentences expected by year-end

Junta affairs

Court decisions on the last five charges facing ousted State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi will be reached by the end of this year, according to a source familiar with the legal proceedings against her. Suu Kyi, 77, has been in junta custody since the military overthrew her party’s elected civilian government nearly two years ago. Since then, she has been convicted on 14 charges and sentenced to a total of 26 years in prison. 

The remaining charges are related to alleged corruption in connection with her administration’s rental and purchase of helicopters for disaster relief. She and her co-defendant, ousted president Win Myint, have pleaded not guilty on all five charges. According to the source, Suu Kyi will likely be moved from the Naypyitaw Detention Centre, where she is currently being held, after the verdicts are reached. It was unclear, however, whether she would be placed back under house arrest or transferred to another prison.

(More on Aung San Suu Kyi)


Kyaw Moe (Supplied)

A junta-controlled court in the town of Pyapon in Ayeyarwady Region found a 39-year-old man guilty on two charges of terrorism and sentenced him to 15 years in prison on November 30. Kyaw Moe was arrested in his home in September of last year and accused of attending military training under the anti-regime People’s Defence Force (PDF).

Kyaw Moe took part in anti-coup protests after the military takeover in February 2021 and went into hiding two months later as the regime intensified its violent crackdowns on pro-democracy activists. He was visiting his family at the time of his arrest, according to a family friend, who added that he suffered injuries to his ears while being interrogated. Ten other men who were arrested with him and are also facing terror charges for their alleged PDF involvement, said the friend.


Myanmar’s military bombed a mine in Karen (Kayin) State’s Kyainseikgyi Township for the third time in recent weeks on December 1, according to local sources.

The attack targeted a lead mine in Thapyu, a village about 35km north of the Thai-Myanmar border town of Payathonzu, in territory under the control of the Karen National Liberation Army’s Brigade 6. It was unclear if there were any casualties.

On November 16, a junta airstrike on Block No. 6 of the mine killed three miners and injured six others, including a Chinese national. No casualties were reported during a second attack on Block No. 1 that took place on November 21. The latest attack targeted Block No. 5, sources said.

The mining site near Thapyu after the aerial attack on December 1 (Supplied)


Prak Sokhonn, the special envoy of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to Myanmar, delayed a recently planned visit to the country due to “time constraints,” his office told Myanmar Now on December 1.

Sokhonn, who is also the foreign affairs minister of current ASEAN chair Cambodia, planned to visit Myanmar for the third time November 29-30, but was unable to “materialize the plan,” said ministry spokesperson Chum Sounry. No new schedule for the delayed visit was provided, but it will be “at another opportunity in the near future.” 

Sokhonn announced his planned visit following last month’s ASEAN Summit. As special envoy, he has been tasked with mediating between all concerned parties in accordance with the regional bloc’s highly criticized Five-Point Consensus for Myanmar’s crisis.

Prak Sokhonn, ASEAN’s special envoy to Myanmar, holds a press conference in Phnom Penh on August 6, 2022. (EPA)


The Ayeyarwady (AYA) Bank, owned by Myanmar tycoon Zaw Zaw, is in the process of becoming a public entity in order to expand its capital and services, according to Min Sein, a lawyer acting as a legal consultant for the company. He told Myanmar Now that the change would strengthen the bank’s financial capacity, regulations, and management. A government gazette announcing the bank’s request for public-entity status, dated November 18, emerged late last week.

Under Myanmar law, a company with more than 50 shareholders is eligible for listing on the Yangon Stock Exchange (YSX) after a vetting process. However, Min Sein said that a decision on YSX listing would be made at a later date. The bank’s chairman, Zaw Zaw, was regarded as close to ousted State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi. He also owns many other businesses as part of his Max Myanmar Group, and he was one of five cronies reportedly questioned by the military after it seized power in February 2021.

AYA Bank was founded in 2010 with 140 billion kyat in capital.  It currently has a total of 165 branches across the country, more than 3.2 million customers, and assets worth 7 trillion kyat, according to its website. An industry observer remarked that Zaw Zaw’s recent move may be a response to the difficult situation that Myanmar’s financial institutions have found themselves since the coup due to the erosion of public trust.

The Aya Bank building on Yangon’s Mahabandoola Road (Giulio Andreini/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Urban violence

Three traffic police were killed and two others were injured when when two explosives went off in Yangon’s Shwepyitha Township on December 4. Two groups,  the Yangon Urban Guerrilla Army and Yangon’s Northern District People’s Defence Force, claimed responsibility for the attack. Myanmar Now was unable to independently confirm casualty figures.

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