Freedom Memoirs – Day 31

Today marks another day of extreme bloodshed again in our 31 day-history of resistance against the 2021 coup. The first mass slaughter of the peaceful civilians was February 28, a month after the coup, where we saw at least 18 people dead. We mourned over the loss of lives for days, but like a phoenix, we are ready to rise from the ashes again to fight for justice. Even when our lives are so much at stake, many young people go out to various protest sites again. We are determined to risk our lives to end the military violence once and for all. For our future. For our next generation. We have nothing but hope and each other for this people power movement against the evil force.

We had our makeshift barricades and shields prepared. We had our blankets soaked in water to kill the teargas from emitting the gas to the crowds. We had our brave young men and women who are at front lines to protect and fight together with us. Despite all our preparations, the news we received across the nation tore our hearts into pieces. The death toll today is estimated to be at least 20 across the nation with more than 10 deaths in Yangon. The high death tolls were seen particularly in the towns with the names that start with the letter ‘M’ which led the social media users in Myanmar speculating the military’s using astrology to oppress and kill. The townships that were violently cracked down leading to several deaths today were Mandalay, Myingyan, Monywa, Magway, Mawlamyine and Myaut (North) Okkalapa of Yangon. The youngest victim of the violence was a 14-year-old boy from Myingyan. 

On the state-owned TV channel and newspaper, the military’s justification of controlling the violent protest crowds is utter nonsense. Their “controlling the crowds” to many citizens is a mass slaughter. They loot and rob people’s properties. They kill bystanders and shoot the civilians’ homes. Just this evening after 5pm, this terrorist group was seen violently shooting at unarmed civilians and their homes after the protest hours in North-Okkalapa township of Yangon. Netizens report that a least 11 civilians including children under 18 were killed in North-Okkalapa township alone in Yangon. People on the ground also claimed that the type of machine the terrorist group used was close to machine guns. 

A video widely-shared on social media also proves that the terrorist group is intentionally attacking the medical cover, where 4 volunteers were brutally beaten up and dragged by the police. They even destroyed the ambulance. This is a mass slaughtering of the civilians and violating international human rights law by not letting the people receive the treatment. Our people are dying. Our children are dying. We feel very powerless today.

Today, more than a hundred people were arrested from a large protest site in Tamwe township of Yangon. Family members rushed police stations and prisons to ask their loved ones’ whereabouts. Some of them still do not know where their loved ones are. 

At the same time, the acting minister appointed by the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) issued a statement that says the ward/township/village administration committee consisting of 11 members form the general public now holds an official mandate to govern the affairs of their particular ward/township/village. However, it seems to most of us that with so much lives lost, we are no longer sure these administration committee would be effective against those brainless terrorist group with guns.

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