New corruption charge announced as military forces launch new attack by burning down as many as 400 houses in northwestern Sagaing region.
Myanmar’s military government has filed an eleventh corruption charge against removed leader Aung San Suu Kyi, the latest in a variety of indictments against the Nobel laureate who faces more than 150 years in prison.
The new case was announced on Thursday, as the military reportedly launched fresh attacks on the civilian population in the northwestern Sagaing region, with troops allegedly burning up to 400 houses, forcing thousands of residents to flee.
Police filed a further corruption charge against Aung San Suu Kyi for allegedly receiving $550,000 as a donation for a charity foundation named after her mother, the military’s information team said in a statement.
The statement gave no details on when court proceedings would begin.
Aung San Suu Kyi, 76, has been detained since the February 1 coup last year that triggered mass protests and a bloody crackdown on dissent with more than 1,500 civilians killed, according to a local monitoring group.
She has already been sentenced to six years in jail for incitement against the military, breaching COVID-19 rules and breaking a telecommunications law – although she will remain under house arrest while she fights other charges.
Each corruption charge carries a possible 15-year jail term.
The 45-year-old woman told AP by phone that the soldiers told them that Mwe Tone is known for supporting members of the People’s Defence Force — armed resistance groups also known by their acronym PDF — and the village would be torched that night.
Two of the Mwe Tone residents said the troops also engaged in looting, including stealing a 200-year-old, 15cm-tall (6-inch-tall) gold Buddha image with an embedded ruby from the village monastery.
The government has not issued any reports about the incident.
However, the state-run Myanma Alinn Daily newspaper claimed that 200 houses of Ma Htee village, about 15 kilometres (9 miles) west of Mwe Tone and Pan villages, were burned by members of a resistance defence force during fighting with army troops on Sunday.
Satellite images from the company Planet Labs showed about a third of the village had been damaged at about that time.
The Mwe Tone villagers said helicopters came to pick up the soldiers early on Tuesday morning, but residents of both villages were still fearful about their return.
“I want to say to international governments that if you are still standing and looking without taking any action against the military, Myanmar will soon be reduced to ashes,” said the villager from Pan.
“The people have nowhere to run and the army is killing everyone.”
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES