Freedom Memoirs – Day 40

It’s been 40 days since our country was jeopardised by a group of power-hungry generals. In the hand of their terrorist army, death tolls and arbitrary arrests are increasing everyday. As if daytime crackdowns on protesters are not enough, the late night raids have become more frequent these days. This morning, we woke up to the news of two night guards from Mingalardon Township, Yangon, were shot with live ammunition, resulting in one death and another was taken by the terrorist army. 

With the increasing numbers of shootings and raids, it has been widely discussed on social media whether the protesters should start defending the terrorist army by using homemade weapons, but the public is greatly divided at the idea of using violent tactics. To many’s surprise, the Committee Representing Sagaing Hluttaw last night shared the Community Security Handbook for civilians-led township/ward administration committees. The handbook includes security management, conflict and post-conflict management tactics. 

Despite the massacre from the day before, people went on to protest in the streets nationwide: from Putao in Northern part to Dawei in Southern part, knowing that bullets and gunfire were inevitable. Several areas in Yangon and Mandalay, smaller towns such as Mogok, Twante were cracked down by the junta’s soldiers, using tear gas, rubber bullets and live rounds in some cases. In Yangon, a group of protesters defended the armed thugs by using homemade smoke bombs and firecrackers which stalled the armed thugs from approaching and arresting them. Images of terrorist soldiers in hiding were widely shared by the netizens. This afternoon, we received reports about the terrorist army arresting random people on a car, but released them after a few hours. In one case, young boys were arrested and beaten up, but one was released later for being underage. The armed thugs are uncontrollable at this point.  

Together with the protests, we saw funeral and memorial services for fallen heroes as people laid flowers and candles at the spots where protesters were shot dead yesterday. In Mandalay, terrorist soldiers refused to give back the body of a 19-year-old boy to his family members, denying they did not have it although several witnesses saw the body was taken by the soldiers. Similarly on March 5, the body of a 21-year-old young man was not returned to his family members as well.

Amidst all the bad news, the Peace Process Steering Team (PPST), consist of 10 signatories of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement, managed to find solutions to prevent horrendous crackdowns on protesters in its two-day meeting. Ethnic leaders from the PPST will also hold dialogues with respective stakeholders including the CRPH to resolve the country’s political crisis. Meanwhile, non-NCA signatory Kachin Independence Army (KIA) ambushed a Myanmar military camp in Mohnyin District and the terrorist army used fighter jet to respond KIA’s attack.

An expat who claimed to have worked with the parliamentarians tweeted yesterday that newly appointed Vice President Mahn Win Khaing Than successfully fled from house arrest in Myawaddy, a Thai-Myanmar border town. Whether it’s fake news or not, many people are now hopeful for next moves of the CRPH and “Super Mahn.” 

The nighttime has come, so has the darkness. While we watch out for ourselves tonight, let’s not forget that there are about 300 students who have been detained in Insein prison since March 3 and still not released or charged. Let’s pray and fight for them and for all of us.

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