Freedom Memoirs – Day 59

Everyday is yet another fight for Myanmar people until the junta is gone for good. Today, we saw images of smaller protests in Yangon’s several townships, marching on the streets, burning car tyres on the streets to show the urban chaos in rejection of the coup. A village in Kawhmu Township, outskirt of Yangon Region and the constituency of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, boasted more than 500 protesters, peacefully demonstrating against the coup with a sit-in protest. However, at least five protesters were arrested in Insein Township according to Khit Thit Media. And around 5 pm in Tarmwe Township, a staff transport car of South Korea based Shinhan Bank was attacked by the junta’s soldiers, and a woman riding shotgun was was shot in the head. 

Our social media feeds were filled with the news of CNN correspondent Clarissa Ward’s arrival to Yangon. It could be a part of junta’s propaganda plan in twisting the truth since we saw her team cruising in Yangon’s rather quiet neighbourhoods with motorcade this afternoon. Refusing to comply with the junta’s scripted story, residents from the quiet neighbourhood started banging pots and pans, honking their cars and showing three-figure salute to show the resistance, which later spread all over the city. Over social network, Yangon residents quickly spread the news of additional pot-banging sessions at 1 pm, 3 pm and 5 pm so that the CNN reporters would know the defiance. However, the electricity was shut down all over the country started 1:30 pm this afternoon, resulted in the shortage of our last resort to internet – cable wifi. Yangon Electricity Supply Corporation quickly announced on its Facebook that the blackout was due to the cable fault, and it was restored after four hours. Whether it was junta’s deliberate effort to disrupt the communication or not, residents from more than 10 townships banged their pots and pans in the daytime.

In other parts of the country, protests and the resistance did not slow down. We saw media reports of protests and marching in Depayin, Ye-U and Kyun Hla townships in Sagain Region, early morning protest under the rain in Moekaung township, more protests in Myitkyina and Hpakant in Kachin State, a marching strike in Hsipaw township, Shan State and many more. When it comes to strength, courage and unity, the people of Mandalay never let us down. Although the junta uses excessive forces on them on a daily basis, at least 2-3 marching strikes by monks, students and civilians come out everyday. 

In Kalay and Gantgaw townships in Sagaing Region, things were intense as the protesters formed a protest camp and fought back with makeshift weapons. Initial reports said that one civilian died and two were injured in Gantgaw. And four members of police forces, who entered the camp in disguise, were arrested by the people and detained in the camp. Rumour has it the junta’s forces plan to use airstrikes on Kalay-Gantgaw area. We sincerely hope it is not true. 

Down south, Karen National Union (KNU) has officially announced that it will confront the junta’s forces to defend their territory which was harshly attacked by the military in the past few days. Up north, Kachin Independence Army (KIA) attacked Kyaukkyi police station in Shweku district, Kachin State, and collected weapon and food supplies around 3 am this morning. 

Ahead of the court hearing on April 1, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s lawyers managed to meet the detained state counsellor via video conferencing for 15 minutes. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi questioned the breach of client-lawyer confidentiality since police officers were present at both ends of the video call. After two months of arrest, she has finally transferred power of attorney to the two young lawyers. However, she made a request to the authorities present to let the originally assigned lawyer U Khin Maung Zaw and team to represent her at the court. She also reiterated for in person meeting with her legal defence team. 

Today would have been the end of President Win Myint’s Administration and a new president would swear in tomorrow if the coup never happened. Members of the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) said that a new coalition government will be announced on April 1. They said the new government will abolish the 2008 Constitution, and it will use Federal Democracy Charter during the interim administration. A glimpse of silver lining in the storm. Wherever it may lead, we are hopeful for tomorrow.

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