Freedom Memoirs – Day 63

Since April 1, people have been incorporating themed protests to celebrate the major political development; to honor the fallen heroes, and generally just to unite everyone to participate in the protests in their own ways, whether online or offline. The most crucial thing is we keep on fighting, resisting and not letting the military regime normalize all of their war crimes and human rights violations as the “new normal”.

Today is Easter Sunday – a Christian holiday to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, and people of all religions are celebrating this holiday together with our fellow Christian brothers and sisters by launching Easter Egg Strike. Despite the military taking away almost all of our basic rights every day, all these themed strikes are showing the world that Myanmar people are still in high spirits and determined to continue protesting against the illegal military coup for as long as possible. Many people participated in this strike either on the streets or online, and major international news sites have picked up on this story as well. This was not the only themed protest that was going on today in Myanmar – many youths also protested in some neighborhood of Yangon with a football campaign where they wrote protest messages on the footballs and spread them out in the streets and on main roads. Another was the mask-themed protest in Kamayut township to protest against the influence of China in the United Nations on what has been happening in Myanmar.

In Mandalay, the protesters are showing the rest of Myanmar that fear is just a concept in our head. Regardless of being targeted by the military thugs since the beginning of this revolution, Mandalay has never backed down. We would always see massive crowds of protesters marching the streets of Mandalay every other day. 

With limited internet connection across Myanmar, we have less coverage of protests from other regions, but we believe in our people. No news doesn’t mean they are not resisting, we know people are still trying to voice out in their communities using their own resources. We just hope that there would be less casualty and violent crackdowns. 

With less coverage of protests from Myanmar going out to the world, many Myanmar people living in New York and London came out this Easter weekend to protest in massive crowds in support of the rest of us who are battling the atrocities of military tactics day in and day out in the darkness. 

The safety of people living in Myanmar also decreases day by day as long as the military junta is in power. Our days are not safe. Our nights are worse. People are still getting abducted from their homes whether it’s daytime or nighttime. Local journalists are being chased down. Influencers on social media have warrants issued for them with Article 505(a) – sedition law. CDM participants are being pressured to go back to work. CRPH supporters are constantly in danger. Just because we are not naming specific cases, it doesn’t mean these things have stopped occurring. 

Remember the five people we mentioned that were abducted for talking with CNN’s chief international correspondent, Clarissa Ward? Well, a CNN spokesperson said that they are aware of reports of detentions following their team’s visit to Yangon, and they are “pressing” the authorities for information on this, and for the safe release of any detainees. Today, we saw that CNN was interviewing the military spokesperson, Zaw Min Tun. Let’s see what kind of coverage will come out of this debacle. 

The military also announced that they would be conducting naval drills in the Bay of Bengal on the same days that the QUAD (Quadrilateral Security Dialogue – an informal strategic dialogue between the United States, Japan, Australia and India) will be conducting military exercises in the same region as well. We don’t know if this is just coincidence, or another trick from the military old leaders. Who really knows at this point?

On a worrisome note, last night, we had heavy rainfalls in Myanmar, and we are praying for the safety of our many displaced Karen brothers and sisters who are sheltering in the forests from the atrocities of the military junta.

In other news, a group of 10 major ethnic armed groups have released a joint statement that they support the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) and the new charter for federal democracy. We are really in need of some good news very soon, and we are hoping more implementations and actions will follow from all these statements, rather than just virtual discussions. 

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