Freedom Memoirs – Day 60

A new day of the month – Day 60 under the illegal coup, two full months have passed. On April 1st at 12:30 am sharp, we joined the ‘clapping campaign’ to welcome the abolishment of the 2008 constitution created by brutal military generals to ensure the military has the power in the governance of the country. A constitution rejected by the people, not written for the people, has finally been abolished with an official statement issued by the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) on March 31, 2021. 

Prior to the abolishment of the constitution, the CRPH also issued the Federal Democracy Charter consisting two parts on the Declaration of Federal Democracy Union and on Interim Constitutional Arrangement respectively. While it is a big move taken by the CRPH to officially issue a charter recognizing all the political actors that play an important role in Myanmar’s politics, who were often ignored in the past such as strike committee groups, CDM staffers, civil society organizations, ethnic groups, there are already those who rushed to criticize whatever efforts taken. We need to first acknowledge that this is still in the infant stage and will be improved continuingly. The charter should be a living document and will be improved upon feedback and suggestions by the political actors involved. Nevertheless, some of Myanmar’s online users have started using a new pronoun — the United States of Myanmar. 

Today’s theme of protest suggested by the general strike committee was burning the 2008 constitution as a symbol of the end of the military-drafted constitution, and it is a beautiful day to witness that this unfair constitution has come to an end. But, of course there are a lot more to do for the country, and ending the constitution is just one of them. We need to strive for a country that is created based on equality for all, and build a country that respects human rights of all regardless of who. 

Talking about human rights, our rights to information, and internet access has been violated- scheduled nationwide internet shutdown for more than 40 days, block on cellular mobile internet for over 2 weeks and the latest news we received is that the junta will suspend all the wireless internet broadband data services- only allowing fiber internet. This will only make things worse as most of us now do not receive news from remote and social-economically lower areas where most cannot afford fiber internet. Under the cover of darkness and internet shutdown, the junta will continue to abuse our rights brutally cracking down the peaceful protests and raiding neighbourhoods destroying properties and spraying their bullets into homes. And we will receive no or little evidence about their crimes coming from all across the country.

Despite the junta’s announcement of unilateral ceasefire with the ethnic armed organization (EAOs) but not to peaceful protestors, the ethnic armed groups said the junta has not stopped its operations on Kachin and Karen states where they even launched airstrikes. More than 7000 civilians are affected in Karen state leaving them to flee to Thailand. Both Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and Karen National Union (KNU) have continued with numerous offensives against the military and police stations in Kachin and Karen states, and claimed victory. 

Junta continues to attack the whole population from north to south. Today, the death toll is at least 9 claiming 3 deaths with over 20 injured in Mandalay, 1 death and at least 5 injured in Monywa, and 3 deaths in Kalay and return of dead bodies of NLD member from the interrogation and a civilian from South Dagon as of 8 pm Myanmar time. They at the same time continue with arbitrary arrests. Yet, protests were carried out in various creative ways by the brave people of Myanmar. 

This morning, the military-owned Gandamar Wholesale mart and Ruby Mart were burned down around 2:15 am in the morning. Netizens reported that when the residents nearby tried to extinguish the fire and when they tried to call the firefighters, they were stopped with bullets. Later today, CNN correspondent Clarissa Ward was escorted to the sites that were burned down by the “unknown people”. People argued that, with the 8 pm to 4 pm curfew imposed, it was impossible for members of the public to start the fire. Many discuss that it was the military’s attempt to twist the peaceful protestors narrative so they could justify their use of extreme violence. Only God knows the truth! But we know who is more liable to twisted truth. 

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