Freedom Memoirs – Day 69

We woke up this Saturday morning praying that we would still have access to the world when the clock struck 9 this morning. We are grateful that we’re still here and darkness hasn’t descended upon us. That’s the thing… the fact that we all have to feel grateful that we somehow still have a partial right to information, or that we still have partial rights to everything that everyone is entitled to… that’s how the military junta have tried to normalize life for people of Myanmar for years.

Yesterday, we reported that Bago, a city in the north-east of Yangon, was heavily cracked down by the military terrorists from morning till late at night. Even after a day, the exact number of fatalities can’t be still confirmed, but it is reported by Myanmar Now that more than 82 people were killed by the junta’s thugs. It was a massacre. Many reports also came out this morning that people who were injured but still alive were also piled up together with the dead bodies on the streets of Bago.

And if you think it was a difficult news to fathom, last night, MRTV announced on 8pm news that 19 people from Yangon and 4 from Bago are sentenced to death. These are the first death sentences declared by the military junta since the coup. This is how surreal the on ground situation in Myanmar is right now. People are given death sentences for fighting for their rights; protesting and defending against the system that is rigged!

But people are resilient. Bago is resilient. Yesterday, the eastern Bago was under attack, so today, the residents came out to continue holding anti-coup rallies in western Bago. Never underestimate the will of people who have nothing else to lose more.

There are less protests and rallies occurring across Yangon, but people still tried their best to hold tributes and campaigns to honor our fallen heroes and the plights of people who have risked their lives and livelihoods during this revolution. Residents in Thingangyun and Kyimyindaing respectively held a Padauk Strike and bloody helmets tribute to honor the loss lives of our fallen heroes, and the street in front of the eastern entrance of Shwedagon Pagoda was painted red to showcase that the pain of the people will never be forgotten. There are also online campaigns such as Umbrella Strike, organized by the General Strike Committee of Nationalities (GSCN). Across the nation, the protests continued as well, from Mandalay’s Mya Taung Strike, Monywa’s motorcycles rallies to Taunggyi’s human-less strikes.

Every night, more warrants were issued, more “arrests” were made and more people were abducted from their homes. The state channels displayed a new warrant list every night at 8pm, and it has become a list that bring more panic among the people — a déjà vu for the people of Myanmar when we all had to wait for the list of Covid-19 positive cases every night at 8pm last year from the Ministry of Health and Sports.

More battles are erupting in the northern Shan State as well. Three Brotherhood Alliance of ethnic armed organizations launched an attack against the military this morning. This is the first attack since the three members of the Brotherhood, the Arakan Army (AA), the ethnic Kokang Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), announced a joint statement on March 30 that they would reevaluate a unilateral ceasefire with the Myanmar military.

Another news from last night was the meeting of the UN Security Council. Myanmar Ambassador to the United Nations, U Kyaw Moe Tun pushed for a strong action against the junta, proposing a no-fly zone, an arms embargo and more targeted sanctions against members of the military and their families. He explained that time is of the essence for the people of Myanmar, and a proper action is needed as soon as possible. Of course, as usual, China and Russia wielded their veto power at the Security Council and opposed every international sanctions. As usual, nothing new or anything concrete came from the UN Security Council.

With the barbaric attacks by the military on its own people, unarmed civilians have to give their lives as this coup drags. While our people are determined to resist and fight back with whatever we have – with makeshift weapons and our strong spirit, a stronger support and more concrete actions from the international community would be nice, instead of more statements that condemn the military’s atrocities. 

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