Freedom Memoirs – Day 41

Before we recap on anything, let us all take a moment to remember all of the fallen heroes, and innocent civilians who were taken so soon from their loved ones since February 1. With a revolution, there are bound to be fallen heroes, but we need to remember that these fallen heroes aren’t just a number. They were someone’s families and loved ones. They had families depending on them; they had hopes and dreams, and futures that they were all looking forward to, and all of these are unjustly taken away from them.

Last night, we saw Facebook live video of residents in Thaketa at the police station, demanding the release of the three young detainees who were snatched during the night protests right before the Internet shutdown. This morning, we woke up to the news of two men killed by gunshots, and three arrested from Thaketa. 

Every day is a dark day in Myanmar since the military seized power illegally, but for some reasons, today seems harder for us to report on the number of innocent lives being taken so violently for standing up for our rights. Protesters in many places around Myanmar were hit hard with horrific violence – we saw death toll going up in cities such as Mandalay and Pyay, and small towns of Twante in Yangon Region and Chauk in Magway Region

At least four were confirmed to have been killed in Mandalay’s Sein Pan ward crackdown this morning, including a heartbreaking passing of a lady who hid the protesters inside her house that was shot to death in her head. At least 20 protesters were beaten and arrested with 9 people also shot with live rounds in Mandalay. In Pyay, four young protesters were hit with live rounds, and among them, a 19-year-old student was shot to death. In Chauk, one was killed during the crackdown with at least 10 injured, and 13 arrested. In Twante, as many as 9 people were injured, and some who were in critical condition couldn’t even get to the hospital because the uniformed terrorists wouldn’t stop shooting. 

So far, we have received reports about total of 9 deaths today, and at least 84 people were killed since the coup. It is very clear that almost every day since the beginning of March, Myanmar military and their uniformed terrorists and thugs are murdering innocent civilians. 

In many neighborhoods in Yangon, people have begun to hoist a black flag up. The message is clear. People are not going to give up and will fight back in whatever means possible. In Hlaing Tharyar township, one of industrial zones in Yangon, people are holding up signs that said, “If the blood of one Hlaing Tharyar resident touches the ground, one Chinese factory will be burnt to the ground.”

In the midst of all of the ground actions, the media in Myanmar are also targeted by the military. Last night, the Irrawaddy media group was charged under 505 (A) – publishing material that might encourage soldiers to mutiny or fail to do their duty. It is the first media to be sued by the military council since the coup. The five journalists that were arrested are also charged with 505 (A).

On top of this, the state media also ran a disgusting article today. Remember the news about the NLD official, U Zaw Myat Linn, whose irrevocably beaten body was returned to his family the night after he was arrested? The article claimed that he died as a result of him “jumping off a house”, and threatened anyone who said otherwise would be faced with “severe action”. 

Yesterday we mentioned Interim Vice President elect Mahn Win Khine Than had possibly escaped from house arrest and it’s been confirmed by his appearance in a video speech shared on Facebook tonight. The newly appointed VP says that the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) will enact laws and regulations that would allow the public to defend themselves from the terrorist army while the general administration will be conducted by the civilian-led local administration committees. He encourages the civil servants to continue joining the CDM and warns the security forces to work for the public, instead of working for a handful of coup leaders. Repeatedly mentioned the unity, he finishes the speech by promising to work together with respective stakeholders to build federal democracy.

At the end of the day, we know we have the spirit and support of over 50 million of Myanmar people living inside and outside of the country. And with that, we are going to do everything in power to win this revolution. 

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