Freedom Memoirs – Day 47

It’s been 47 days since the Myanmar military has illegally taken control of the country, and everything that Myanmar has worked hard for in the past decade has either come to a standstill or the military has completely reversed the progress of it within these 47 days. 

The illegal military junta has again arrested two more journalists today in Naypyidaw, adding up the number of journalists being arrested since the February 1 coup to be 40 today. BBC Burmese journalist Aung Thura and former Mizzima News reporter, Than Htike Aung were arrested in front of Dekkhina District court while covering the hearing of NLD’s patron U Win Htein case this morning. As we have reported before, the coup has put an end to 8 years of daily newspapers in Myanmar, and with mobile internet blackout since March 15, news is harder to circulate and information flow has slowed down significantly. Now with the pressure on the remaining news outlets for the safety of their journalists, the illegal military regime has set back the progress of press freedom in Myanmar to more than a decade. In more arrest news, U Kyi Toe, Central Information Committee member of NLD, who has been providing updates from the party in the days after the coup, and another member of NLD were detained by the military junta. 

With the internet blackout every night till 9am in the morning, we are always waking up to surprises in the morning. Today, we woke up to news of the military thugs setting fire to a sportswear store in Tamwe, Yangon, and to news of a heavy crackdown against the protesters in one of the major trading towns of Shan State, Aungban. At least 8 people are reported to have been killed during the crackdown with many still in critical condition, so the death toll could possibly go up as we are writing this. In the capital of Kayah State, Loikaw, the uniformed terrorists also fired live rounds into the protest crowds, and two people got shot with one reported to have died. 

In Yangon, some townships are still going strong despite the martial law being imposed, or the constant threats from uniformed terrorists to shoot up entire neighborhoods. Hlaing Tharyar township has been heavily crackdown by the military thugs in the past few days, but the tenacity of Hlaing Tharyar residents should be well-honored and applauded by all of us ‒ the military has imposed martial law on the evening of March 14, but they haven’t stopped resisting against the military junta till today. This is not to say other townships haven’t resisted also. Many protests could still be seen in Thaketa, Tamwe and Hlaing townships. And of course, the military thugs also showed up to violently attack the protesters. In some neighborhoods, military thugs are forcing people to remove barricades at a gunpoint. Today, we saw videos of military thugs violently hitting an unarmed person for not carrying the sandbag from the barricade, and also making that person kneel and crawl as another soldier kicked him/her from the back while crawling on the street. The list of crimes that the military and their uniformed terrorists have committed just keep on adding up, and we hope that these videos will serve as evidence to dismantle them for good. 

On the CDM front, the illegal military junta has been firing civil servants who have been joining in the Civil Disobedience Movement, and they have given the deadline of March 25 for the CDM participants to leave their homes in the government housing premises. 

Hospitals are also being terrorized almost every night. A few days ago, we saw photos of Grand Hantha Hospital being attacked with gunshots, and last night, SSC Hospital’s Women’s Center that provides maternity and newborn care was attacked by the military thugs. We saw news going around on social media that clinics and private hospitals are being sent letters, barring them from treating any patient without permission from the military junta. This is a new low for the military junta. Then again, we shouldn’t be surprised as they are committing every crime against humanity at this point, and fail to have any sense of morality. 

The international community seemed to be standing more and more on the side of the people of Myanmar, and just this evening, ambassadors to Myanmar from the Delegation of the EU and European Union Member States, the United Kingdom and the United States released a joint statement condemning the atrocities of military regime in Hlaing Tharyar township and across Myanmar, and also the violations of human rights the military has been committing against every civilian of Myanmar. With this news, we are now just looking forward to more updates from the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) on the development of the federal army. 

None of us are going down without a fight, and that is even when we had no weapons, support of the international community or an army behind us. Just imagine the intensity of the fire within us now. 

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