Freedom Memoirs – Day 55

A Day of Shame — shame on the armed forces who swore to protect the citizens but did not fail to brutally kill at least 91 people across 40 towns by 16:30 pm Myanmar time according to a tally recorded by Myanmar Now. Among many children under the age of 15 who were killed today, the latest was an 11-year-old girl from Mawlamyine as children continue to be victims and even a one-year-old girl was shot with rubber bullets to the eye. At least 20 children under the age of 18 have been killed since the coup on Feb 1.The death toll is rising as this entry is being written and it is getting harder to record with the mobile internet cut and usual internet cut from 1 am to 9 am.

It seems that killing unarmed civilians who defy the coup is how the junta celebrated the 76th anniversary of Myanmar’s resistance day. The junta calls it ‘Armed Forces Day’. We call it ‘Anti-Fascist Revolution Day’ to honor our courageous ancestors resistance to the fascist Japanese occupation in 1945 and to reflect our reality today in 2021. This is our people’s fight against the fascist military. 

The terrorist military celebrated the day by spraying their bullets around unarmed civilians from people out on the streets to the children playing at home or around the neighborhoods. International community responded in their condemnations with the strongest possible words as the UN, EU and embassies continue to condemn the use of extreme violence and extrajudicial killings including children. EU’s statement deplores that “This 76th Myanmar Armed forces day will forever stay engraved as a day of terror and dishonor”. Yes. It is a day of shame. A day of terror. A day of dishonor. But, a day of celebration for terrorist thugs whose ‘Armed Forces Day’ parade in Naypyidaw was attended by eight countries. Including their usual allies China and Russia, attendance from delegations of six countries disappoints us. Our ASEAN friends and neighbors Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan were also present. 

Just yesterday, we were prepared for the general strike and encouraged everyone to join what would be another significant nationwide general strike that could resemble a human ocean of the ‘22222’ strike of Feb.2.2021. We know it is harder to organize a large protest rally like 22222 and we know our lives are at stake, especially with a recent threat to kill from the junta-controlled state media that they would shoot protesters in the head or the back. Yet, our streets were filled with people again in the morning across the nation. Some of us had started very early. In Insein, protesters had started their protest since 2:30 am in the morning and several townships in Yangon and towns across the country also continued with pre-dawn protests. 

Meanwhile, the terrorist military continues committing crimes under the cover of darkness and internet cut, resulting in at least 4 deaths and more than 10 injured in the Dala, a town separated by the Yangon river across from downtown Yangon. The town residents went to the police station to demand the two young women detained by the police and the police started opening fires to the crowd yesterday. Netizens on the ground reported they couldn’t stop shooting until 4am in the morning in Dala. If their strategy to win this fight is to shoot, kill and to hide their crimes by snatching the dead bodies, our strategy is to continue resisting with resilience, persistence, creativity, media and power of the people.

In Lashio today, when the families of the victims asked their loved ones’ bodies from the terrorist military, they said they would only give back their bodies when the families signed a paper that says their cause of death was not the bullets from the military. And in Tamwe today, we heard reports that armed thugs used hand grenades on residents, killing at least one young protester but they tried to act those grenades belonged to the deceased. Little did they know their crimes are exposed daily with our brave journalists and citizen journalists no matter how hard they try to hide and manipulate. 

Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) said they are almost 80 percent there in their discussion with forming a federal army for the new federal democratic Myanmar. And the news of the Karen National Liberation Army, armed wing of Karen National Union (KNU) that occupied Min Aung Hlaing’s small unit in KNU’s brigade No.5 territory and captured 8 soldiers alive brought joy to many of us today. This is a day after KNU declined the invitation of Min Aung Hlaing to attend the ‘Armed Forces Day’ parade saying the KNU would only attend ceremonies that reflect dignity, humanity, justice and freedom for all. Furthermore, two more prominent ethnic armed groups, Arakan Army and Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS), officially denounced the coup and the use of violence on the unarmed civilians. 

Today clearly reflects that Min Aung Hlaing and the terrorist military ceremony was a ceremony of dishonour and disgrace that most of us will never be able to forget and forgive their fascist actions against their own civilians.

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