Freedom Memoirs – Day 70

We heard this morning that a security guard was severely wounded during a bomb blast outside the Myawady bank branch 1 in Mandalay. Myawady bank is one of the well-known military-owned businesses now boycotted by many and hence people queue up in front of its branches every weekday to withdraw their money. Since it’s a Sunday, there was no line of customers otherwise the bomb would have injured many more people. Recently we have started hearing ‘explosions’ here and there in many areas of Myanmar, although there were not many fatalities reported yet. Those responsible for the explosions remain unknown and only junta can conduct investigation currently so we better not get our hopes up about finding out the actual truth. 

Massive firings broke out yesterday in Tamuu, Sagain region when terrorists tried to crackdown a protest area, shooting randomly and killed an innocent civilian. Students, CDM staffers and civilians joined forces along with Kuki National Organization – KNO/KNA(B) against junta’s thugs and shootings lasted all day that resulted in 18 deaths from junta’s side and one from civilian’s. Likely as a retaliation, thugs burned down a house at nighttime and tried to shoot everyone who came out to put out the fire. This afternoon, two civilians were shot in front of a state’s office, one was killed on the spot and the other one is put in critical condition. And according to Mizzima’s news, four more trucks carrying thugs and food are moving from Kalay to Tamu so it’s likely to see another bloodbath in the small town near India border in the coming days. The whole country stands with the brave people of Tamu and its army. 

Meanwhile, protests continued to rally in many parts of the country in different themes and styles. ‘Green day strike’ was carried out in many cities including Taunggyi and Monywa where people wrote protest slogans on leaves, trees and vases, ‘Red movement’ took place in Yangon and Pathein where red color was sprayed in public areas and posters were put up with warnings that “we will never be governed by junta’. And indeed, two months on and junta has not been able to run this country in its intended way. According to ‘We Support Heroes” page on Facebook, 83% of the education sector, 90% of healthcare, 97% of railways and 80% of private banks are still on CDM and many sectors are following suit. There is no plan beyond violence in junta’s game and on the other side, people come up with newer strategies to fight for their own freedom. 

Protests continued not just in the country. Myanmar people all over the world have also been staging demonstrations wherever they are. Today in Tokyo, two thousand people including Japanese citizens and monks marched in the city and in front of Myanmar embassy to protest against the coup and to show support for CRPH.  Our people in Australia also chanted protest songs during a rally from Federation Square to Melbourne parliament. On April 10, another protest was organized in Washington DC and two thousand people from many ethnic groups joined. People are joining the fight wherever they are and however they can. So, the question is “does the junta want the power more than we want our own freedom?”. We doubt it. And we must keep defying. 

Fights also continued between KIA and armed thugs near Moe Mauk, Kachin region. We heard two trucks from the terrorist army were ambushed by KIA and there were fatalities. The news of terrorists killed during these days is celebrated across the country, especially on social media but we are also reminded constantly that there are people who are on the run every day in ethnic areas to avoid their homes and lives destroyed by bullets and rockets. This is an ultimate fight to end such tragedies and when we win, the reward must be equality and justice for everyone across the country, not just for the majority.

Last year, Myanmar New Year water festival was cancelled due to Covid 19 and obviously, no one is going to be in celebratory mode this year as well. However, junta might still try to portray ‘all is well’ narrative by putting people on the streets and show them having fun on state-owned channels, so the strike theme for the next week would be “no celebration of water festival”. Over 700 people have died fighting for democracy, at the very least the rest of us should be able to take no part in junta-sponsored events or anything that remotely looks like celebrating its presence.

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