Freedom Memoirs – Day 72

The junta continues with their fear tactic of abducting and killing even on the auspicious day such as today where we would be welcoming the first day of the new year festival with traditional Ah-Tar-Oh, which translates as Thingyan (water festival) flower pot. Many Buddhist households across the nation would prepare Thingyan flower pots to welcome the arrival of Thagyamin (the king of the celestials/the king of Devas Sakra in Hindu myth) with seven types of flowers and leaves that represent seven days of the week. The pots are positioned at the special place, particularly entrance, in front of every house. But this year, Thagyamin found we are on strike. Three-finger-salute was on our pots, and we let him know that it is time he punishes the terrorist armed thugs. Everyone says “No” to Thingyan and continues to take a strong stand against the coup.

Yangon roads were silent, Mandalay roads were silent, Myitkyina was silent, Bagan was silent and so were most of the towns in the country. Since the country is in communal mourning, no community is celebrating any sort of festivals this year. Hindu community has cancelled the Holi festival, Buddhist community has cancelled Thingyan festival, and Muslim community has called for Sad & Quiet Ramadan. We all have one purpose — that is to honor the fallen heroes in silence and to continue with our defiance. Though our voice is loud and clear that we don’t play their games of divide and hate, the junta still uses the same old playbook to incite fear and hatred against each other. They deliberately burnt down the Muslim neighbourhood in Aungmyaytharzan township of Mandalay early this morning leaving at least 21 houses burnt to ashes. This morning, a Hindu-Buddhist Gurakha couple on their way to deliver milk were shot dead in Tamu township, Sagaing region. To their divide-and-rule game, we say enough is enough.

The junta’s only strategy continues to be killing and abducting. The body of a 40 years old man was found in a garbage dump in Monywa this morning today and there were many cases where civilians were abducted and tortured to death. Another civilian was killed brutally and his family was contacted to collect his dead body this morning with a note that said the cause of death was a motorcycle accident. In Tamu township of Sagaing region, another person was abducted this morning after firing live rounds in the wards. A CDM supporter couple was also arrested in a night raid yesterday. A house in Tedim, Chin State, was raided to arrest a NLD member though the person on warrant was luckily not there. A hardware store owner, U Thet Maung, was arrested by police in plainclothes for leading the protests and has been charged under 505 (A) – sedition law. Many similar cases of abductions happened today in other townships.The terrorist armed thugs continue with their raids to abduct anyone whom they think can influence or sustain the resistance movement as they rage their wars against people.

Today in Yangon, several explosions reportedly struck in Yankin, Bagan, South Okkala, Myaynigone with no fatalities reported. However, on U Chit Maung Road in Yankin township, a civilian near the bus stop was shot dead when the terrorist forces tried to shoot down the car that didn’t stop at their order. This is the second case where a traveling car was shot. In fact, all the traveling cars were stopped and checked by the forces throughout today. Rumor has it that the junta’s forces heard that deadly weapons to launch attacks on them are being delivered today. It is widely speculated that there will be people coming back from underground training in the jungle to the urban areas to launch attacks on the terrorist thugs.

In the jungle battles, junta forces seem to be losing every battle they fought with the ethnic armed groups, Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in the north and northeast and with the Karen National Union (KNU) in the south. These battles have resulted in many deaths of terrorist armed thugs. However, this is not without a price. Our Kachin and Karen brothers and sisters continue to suffer from displacement and deadly airstrikes leaving more than 30,000 people to flee their homes. An 11-year-old girl was wounded by mortar attacks on a village in Papun district, Karen state and thousands are hiding in the jungle. UN Human Rights Chief, Michelle Bachelet, warned that Myanmar is heading towards a full-blown conflict, and states should take immediate actions to avoid past mistakes in Syria to be repeated.

As of writing this, there is a deadly crackdown on Myit Nge, Mandalay, as junta terrorists stormed the town and opened live ammunition from 5pm today. Although the exact number of casualties is unconfirmed, it is reported that at least five people have been wounded and many have been arrested. The same pattern of fear-mongering is repeated everyday. Violent crackdowns, arbitrary arrests and torture, burning down religious sites and civilian homes, indiscriminate shooting of bypassers, raiding homes of opponents and ordinary civilians to incite fears and to stop the anti-coup movement continue everyday across the country.

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