Freedom Memoirs – Day 16

Another night of Internet shutdown. We wonder if the military is trying to normalise it, like the way they did to electricity back in the day. We were so happy when the power resumed after a few hours of shortage. Did you feel the similar joy at 9 am this morning? Please remember that it is our basic human right to have access to information at all times, that include our 3 am Twitter scroll. It is extremely important that we must not get used to it. We saw a few posts on calling to complain service providers, and refusing to pay the full amount of Internet bill. With any possible means, let us all resist.

The peaceful protests continue, in smaller groups in front of embassies, UN office, banks and government offices. However, in Myaung Mya, police cracked down on a group of protesters by shooting rubber bullets and water-cannon, and in Thantwe, three students were arrested during a peaceful protest. In the past few days, we noticed that violent crackdowns occurred in Naypyidaw, Mawlamyine, Myitkyina, and Mandalay. Nothing major has happened in Yangon, probably because media coverage will be tremendous if anything happens in Yangon. Wherever the violence takes place, we share the pain. What the junta still hasn’t realised is that, regardless of our differences in ethnicity, faith, or gender, we share the disgust and hatred towards the military regime. To our brothers and sisters in other parts of the country, we are in this together.

Despite having control of all state-owned/military-owned TV channels and newspapers to disseminate propaganda, the military called a press conference today in Naypyidaw. While many media agencies decided to boycott the presser, there were counter-discussions in the name of “balanced reporting”. The military has enough infrastructure and communication channels to do the balanced reporting on their own, actually. Anyway, we tuned in to watch briefly but as soon as we saw the former military spokesperson in white taikpon (traditional Burmese jacket), we decided to stop. It gave us a traumatic flashback of the time when military men took off their uniforms, dressed up like civilians and pretended to give us democracy. 

Suggestions were made to “negotiate” with the military by a couple of people from the 88 generation. With all due respect, Mohinga Matters has a question to them: what good do you expect from discussion with a group of lawless, shameless putschists? Merely two weeks into the dictatorship, most of our human rights are stripped away and our nights become unsafe. Don’t you feel a little bit of shame when you say “negotiation” while the younglings are out in the heat, demanding for pure democracy. Is “negotiation with putschists” a lesson learned from the 88 uprising? Unless it’s federal democracy, thank you next.

We learn that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has now been charged with Natural Disaster Law, in addition to the possession of illegal walkie-talkie. Without the presence of her lawyer, she had met with a judge via video-conferencing, having informed about the new charges. The new court date is set on March 1, 2021. It was only yesterday that we were told the court hearing would take place on February 17. Many speculated that the detainment of Sean Turnell and the raid on Daw Khin Kyi Foundation could mean that the bad guys are trying to cook up more serious charges against her. Is that why they need more time? 

It’s been more than two weeks since the coup. We have experienced the most exhausting days, filled with anxiety. No matter how tiring it is, we must not give up on this fight. We must go on. We must resist. And if we burn, they burn with us. 

This is Mohinga Matters reporting the day 16 of military coup. 

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