This is Mohinga Matters tuning in for Day 12!
As much as we would like to think that the military is running out of ideas besides resolving to violence, it is still using the same old tricks from the book of Dictatorship 101.
Last night, we witnessed a number of people being taken for “questioning” by police across the country. Those people were identified to be either members of the former Union Election Committee or participating in CDM and encouraging peaceful protests. There were at least four cases that took place almost at the same time around midnight in areas such as Mawlamyine, Pyay, Nyaung Shwe and South Oakkala (Yangon). In most cases, “authorities” who came to fetch the people were not in their uniforms nor carrying any warrant. But they had guns and “special orders” from above. So, family members resolved to utilize the only help – they started banging pots and pans and thankfully, that prompted neighbors to gather around the houses and pressure the police to leave. Two people escaped that way while the whole country witnessed on Facebook Live.
In the Mandalay case, police who were supposed to be patrolling on thugs, instead climbed over a fence without permission and tried to take away a prominent doctor. When hundreds of people started gathering outside, they backtracked and begged to open the fence door so they could go home safely. Forced their way in and still expect a proper way out. That will eventually sum up this military coup.
Another trick right out of the dictatorship manual is the release of over 23,000 prisoners from Myanmar prisons as ‘state pardon’ this morning. In every previous major demonstrations, the same strategy was used to send out thugs into protest groups and cause chaos.
On a bright side, Union day could not have arrived in any better timing. More people than any other day can be seen on the roads protesting against the dictator. Remarkably, fans of English football clubs gathered and joined the protest as one unity which is a rare thing among so called hotheads when it comes to football. In a more pressing news, shooting restarted today when a rally of university students were blocked and attacked by police with rubber bullets in Mawlamyine.There were speculations that junta would now focus more on night arrests instead of cracking down the protests violently but seems like they will utilize both options to the full effect shortly. No dictator in history kills just one innocent person after all.
Now, demonstrations are everywhere across the country and in Yangon, while large populations still merge towards Sule Pagoda and Hledan junction everyday, several small groups target the UN office and various embassies, notably Chinese Embassy and Russian Embassy. It’s quite clear now that international help may mainly come in social aids, we are all we have in fighting for our own freedom.There is fear among military camp that general public could play their game and use force to destroy their resources, like the gas pipelines owned by China, a full security squad has been assigned for safety. We wonder what we as rightful citizens have to do in order to have that level of protection our own military would provide to China’s economy.
Here’s to another weekend under dictatorship where we are likely to see more protests and less internet. Stay safe and stay tuned!