Freedom Memoirs – Day 27

Hi folks, Mohinga Matters checking in to report day 27 of the illegal military coup. 

Myanmar’s permanent representative to the United Nations U Kyaw Moe Tun revealed an unexpected plot twist that wowed many people last night at the UN General Assembly informal briefing. In his speech, he read out the statement by the Committees Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), sided with Myanmar people and requested the UN to take “strongest possible measures” against the Myanmar military for its illegal coup and organized crimes against innocent people. With his cracked voice and the three-finger salute, U Kyaw Moe Tun has won our respect and ignited the spark of hope in us. Myanmar people witnessed an extremely rare experience of having a civil servant who actually stood with them on the world stage. Many shed tears. With his heroic move as an example, we hope many Myanmar civil servants working in diplomatic missions all over the world choose side with the people, not with the junta. 

However, day 27 began with a chaotic start. Not giving a chance to gather, the security forces already chased and arrested peaceful protesters, and opened fire since 10 in the morning. Unlike protests in other countries, the police didn’t give time to stir up tension among the protesters, straight up chasing them as soon as they saw. Dispersing into residential areas, many houses managed to take in the protesters on the run, and protected them from getting caught. We saw images of police trying to intimidate a pregnant woman, holding a medic at gunpoint, and throwing teargas to the crowd. There were also plain-clothed thugs beating up protesters as if they were undercover police.

The morning crackdown did not threaten or slow down the protesters. They came out stronger with various of personal protectives throughout the day -from gas mask and goggles, makeshift barricades and shields- to defend the brutal attack from the police. A comical attempt to stall the riot police was carpeting the street with vinyl prints of the dictator which the police hesitated to set foot on. Although it did not stop the police from coming, it sure did take awhile for the police to remove the vinyls. Despite the creative ways of defence, the police managed to arrest many people today. More than 10 prison trucks, filled with hundreds of detainees from today’s protests, arrived at the infamous Insein prison, instead of respective township police stations, around 6 pm. Family members of arrested people gathered in front of the prison gate, waiting for the release of their daughters, sons, mothers and fathers. Yet, the prison guards told them to return the day after tomorrow according to a news report.

Yangon was chaotic, so were Mandalay, Monywa and Myeik. A woman protester from Monywa was shot in the morning and is currently in a critical condition. Initial news reported that she was already expired, yet we still cannot verified the news as of writing this. The armed forces all over the country are using intense forces, and it will only get worse in the coming days. 

Since the coup, the junta has repeatedly mentioned “democratic values” in speeches, meeting agendas, in newspapers and television programs. Yet, it has committed a series of violations against said democratic values. Today three reporters in Yangon and one in Hakha, Chin State were arrested while covering the protests. Mohinga Matters would like to acknowledge media people risking their lives to report cruelty of the military to the world everyday. We thank you for your effort and bravery. 

In other news, Myanmar has officially joined the Milk Tea Alliance, an online democratic solidarity movement initially formed by Hong Kong, Taiwan and Thailand. It is heartwarming to see supportive posts on social media from our alliances in Hong Kong, Taiwan and ASEAN countries. The Milk Tea Alliance has planned both online and offline protest tomorrow. While a massive rally is expected out in the streets of Myanmar, our Milk Tea friends will be online, joining our movement via social media. We are grateful for the solidarity of the Milk Tea Alliance. 

It looks like Myanmar people will not back down until the dictator steps down and returns the state power. Prominent journalist and writer Ludu Daw Amar once said that dictators never step down alive. So it’s a matter of when instead of how.

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