Freedom Memoirs – Day 32

Every time the armed group used excessive force resulting in several deaths, protesters came out even stronger the next day. The number of fallen heroes varies from different news reports but the protesters make sure that the lives lost do not go wasted by going out in the streets in various parts of the country. 

Despite the brutal crackdowns, protesters came out in many townships of Yangon in order to give various fronts for the troops. Similarly, tens of thousands of protesters were seen in Mandalay, Monywa, Bagan, Bogale, Taunggyi, Loikaw and even in Kyaukme, Shan State and Tamu, a India-Myanmar border town. Brief memorial services were also organised for those who lost their lives yesterday. Police and military troops were deployed to disperse the crowds, using tear gas and sound bombs. We have to go through and grow through the darkest times to get to the dawn. 

Nationwide, we saw many police joining the Civil Disobedience Movements (CDM) in news reports with their photos posing with three-figure salute. While we welcome their support to the CDM movement, some of us, after witnessing the police brutality, have trust issues whether they are really on our side or doing it just for the show. We understand that the risk police and military forces have to take in joining CDM could be greater than ordinary civil servants and they will earn our genuine respect for their courage and integrity when they eventually see the light. Meanwhile, we will continue our fight with whoever we have on our side and will not hold our breath for anyone else.

Speaking of the CDM, the acting minister Dr Zaw Wai Soe has announced the final call to join the CDM for all civil servants in the country with the deadline at midnight of 7 March. Starting 8 March, the CRPH-appointed minister will announce a 10-day nationwide holidays to remember the fallen heroes of 2021 Spring Revolution, and enhance the nationwide CDM to halt all government functions. He also mentioned that the civilian government will denounce those who failed to join CDM as “those who ignored the public’s interest.” Tick tock, tick tock. 

Comical scene we saw today was soldiers removing women’s longyi (sarong) hang as if banners in the streets. Traditionally, women are regarded not as noble as men, so women garments are not allowed to hang in higher places. Using any possible method to defend, residents put up women’s longyi hanging in the sky. Many women were concerned if Myanmar society still degrades them but evidently the hanging longyi worked. While the misogynistic soldiers took their sweet time to remove the hanging longyi instead of going below them, open-minded freedom fighters were freely roaming under them. We truly hope this coup brings both the political and cultural changes in our society. 

In other news, the coup leaders have sent their message to the world via the UN Special Envoy Ms. Christine Burgener, who has been engaging with the army’s deputy chief Soe Win since the coup. When Ms. Burgener warned about the sanctions and isolations, the second-in-command said that they are used to sanctions, and “they survived,” and that they would learn to walk with only few friends. The message is loud and clear. We are at the climax. No negotiation and no retreat from both sides. Next days and weeks will be more difficult to live. Brace yourselves, comrades.

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