Freedom Memoirs – Day 54

It always pains us to begin our daily reports with casualties from the previous night but here we go again. Last night, two men were shot dead by the junta’s forces in South Dagon Township, Yangon as they cracked down peaceful protest against the coup. About ten protesters were also injured from the same incident. In Tamu, a small town at India-Myanmar border, the terrorist army planned to raid a jewelry shop but when the shop owner did not let them enter, the gunmen randomly shot at anyone on the street around midnight, resulting in a man killed and eight people injured. Pure terroristic acts exercising by a country’s “military.” 

It has been quite awhile that Yangon’s protesters rallied in the heart of the city, Sule area, but today protesters took Sule back. About 50 protesters marched and chanted for democracy and the end of dictatorship, demanded the release of detained people. Thirty minutes into the protest, the protesters had to disperse because the junta’s forces showed up. Although the protest was brief, it resurrected the anti-coup spirit which was fading in downtown Yangon in the past few days. Smaller protests in Ahlone, Sanchaung, South Okkalar, Bahan and Shwepyitha townships were also organised in Yangon as well.

Taunggyi, in which four heroes were lost yesterday, rose above the cruelty of terrorist army and organised anti-coup movements today. We saw many protests all over the country — railway staffers’ protest in Myit Nge Township in Mandalay, protesters from nearby villages marching to Demoso Township in Kayah State, housewives’ protest where vegetables and condiments were placed on a riverbank with protest signs in Nyaung-U Township in Mandalay, and youth protest in Thanlwin River in Mon State. The more brutal the junta gets, the more creative protests the people organise. With our intelligence, resilience and creativity, we will hack our way through freedom and democracy. 

Unfortunately, ongoing protests mean ongoing bloodshed under the military rule. Today, we lost 4 people in Myeik in Taninthayi Region when the junta’s forces drove along in an ambulance and shot at the people. About 6 people were injured and 10 people were arrested. The ambulance was owned by the town’s fire service department but firemen were arrested by the junta’s forces according to a local resident. 

On International front, six professors from University of Oslo has proposed Myanmar’s Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) to the Nobel Peace Prize Committee to recognise the “anti-coup resistance that is working for peace and democracy through non-violent means.” Our various attempts to resist the military coup are highlighted in the nomination letter —  from general strikes, boycotts, peaceful protests to the banging of pots and pans. The letter also notes that the proposed CDM movement acknowledges millions of Myanmar people who fighting for their freedom and democracy. Some 30 years ago, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi won the Nobel Peace Prize, the same category of Nobel Prize that our entire nation is now proposed for nomination. We believe that every citizen who is defying the junta in any possible mean should be celebrated. The whole world is watching us, our collective efforts, struggles, courage and our fallen heroes.

Two months ago, Myanmar received the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines from India and healthcare workers got vaccinated as priority. The NLD government rolled out a vaccination plan which would have been carried out in early February but the plan was wrecked by the junta. Now the coup leaders are using COVID-19 vaccinations to gain support from the public. We saw images of a large crowd queuing in front of Inya Center where vaccinations took place, causing traffic congestion around the area. Although getting vaccinated is a personal choice, those who got vaccinated were largely criticised by netizens for they were complying with the junta’s plan and disrespecting the lives lost in this revolution. Medical doctors are also warning that the cold chain system, vaccination process, and the availability of second dosage cannot be guaranteed because many doctors join the CDM movement. Those in the queue in front of the Inya Center entered at their own risk.

Tomorrow is Armed Forces Day. The coup leader & co will be hosting parades and celebrations in Naypyidaw to commemorate the armed forces. What would they be celebrating though? Shooting and killing innocent lives? Raiding houses and stealing prata? The day was originally called as Anti-Fascist Resistance Day to commemorate the beginning of Burma Army’s resistance to the Japanese occupation in 1945. To reignite the anti-fascist sentiment and to condemn fascistic acts of soldiers, people will be going out in the streets. If the safety allows, massive protests are expected. So we will see you on the streets, and see you online. Be safe.

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