Motorbikes banned in Kawhmu after attack on administrator and wife

A ban on riding motorcycles has been imposed in Yangon Region’s Kawhmu Township following the shooting of a junta-appointed village administrator and his wife on Monday.

The ban, which applies to more than 60 villages in the township, will remain in effect indefinitely, according to local sources. 

“They no longer allow people to ride motorcycles in the western part of Kawhmu Township. The announcement was made by the administrators under the military’s orders,” a resident of the area told Myanmar Now.

The move comes after unknown assailants on a motorcycle shot Aung Min, the administrator for the village of Nghat Aw San, and his wife, Mya Mya Moe, on Monday.

Mya Mya Moe was killed instantly in the attack, but her husband survived and is currently receiving treatment at the military hospital in Yangon’s Mingaladon Township, according to the Kawhmu resident.

A local resistance group called 5 Brothers Younger claimed responsibility. 

Another Kawhmu local said that most people living in the area depend on motorcycles for transportation, and that many will have difficulty making a living without them.

“They’re just simple farmers. How are they going to be able to sell vegetables or go to work on construction sites in other villages if they can’t use motorcycles?” he said.

Nghat Aw San was also the scene of an attack on a military convoy in early May. 

The military also banned motorcycles in a number of villages, including Nghat Aw San, for several days after that incident. Hundreds of local residents were also detained for questioning.

Similar bans have also been introduced in other parts of the country in response to attacks on junta officials.

In November, rules forbidding men from riding together on the same motorcycle were imposed in Tanintharyi Region’s Dawei Township, Sagaing Region’s Monywa Township, and Taungtha, Kyaukpadaung and Meiktila townships in Mandalay Region.

The rules also stipulated that if men and women share a motorcycle, the man must be the driver.

The military also warned civilians that they would be shot if they failed to abide by the law.

Buildings at Camp Victoria destroyed in the airstrike on 11 January, as reported in local media (Supplied)

CNF spokesperson Salai Htet Ni pointed out that while his organisation did not have access to anti-aircraft weapons, they would continue to “respond as best we can, within our capabilities.”

“It doesn’t matter what strategy or technology the military council uses to attack us. The people are always on our side, and that is the driving force for us,” he explained. 

Two military aircraft also bombed a frontline base of the CNF/A around six miles from Hakha on November 7 last year. 

The CNF was founded in 1988 and later signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement with the now ousted National League for Democracy government and the military. The group opposed the 2021 military coup and offered combat training at Camp Victoria to youth who were willing to take up arms against the junta.

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