Freedom Memoirs – Day 76

Happy Myanmar’s New Year to all of our courageous and resilient fellow brothers and sisters who are still refusing to bow down in their own ways to the stronghold of the military junta. Today is the beginning of a new year in a Myanmar calendar, and may this new year bring more peace, stability and a better united federal nation ahead. 

Yesterday, we reported Shan and Rakhine representatives are still missing in the newly formed National Unity Government (NUG). On that note, Major General Twan Mrat Naing of Arakan Army tweeted last night: “They respectfully reached out to us. We did not join due to our own visions. They’re not to be criticized.” Federal Union means respecting each other’s beliefs and choices without condemning each other. We do have a long road ahead, and an uphill battle, but we know the announcement of NUG by the CRPH injected more positive hopes into the people, and here’s to a better, diverse and fair future for every individual living in Myanmar. To welcome the new year and the newly appointed cabinet, most of the young people are participating in Thapyay Leaves Strike today.

There was a wave of excitement in the air yesterday with the formation of NUG, but it was also the last day of Thingyan, so people were taking to the street to commemorate the last day with night protests — Depayin township and Monywa of Sagaing region came out with beautiful candle lights tributes. At that time, in Yangon, residents in several townships were dealing with thundering explosion sounds. There were reports of bomb blasts in front of Grand Hantha Hospital; at the Military Archives building in Yankin, and the Administration Office in Sabwargyigone. Nobody can confirm the source of those explosions, but residents in Yangon are starting to get used to these blasts now. At least three bombs exploded also today around afternoon time. One was reported near the Township Administration Office of Yankin township, and another was at Revolution Park in Myaynigone.

The bullseye of the Myanmar military’s uniformed terrorists today is the town of Mogok. This is not the first time Mogok and its residents are violently bullied by the uniformed thugs. But today, many photos and footage came out of Mogok residents that showed the military’s despicable crackdown. A member of the armed forces was heard on a video saying that he wanted five dead people today. Media reported that at least two people were shot in the head and killed after the regime forces opened fire on the civilians. Another video showed a wounded man trying to crawl away to safety as the thugs continued shooting. Some local residents believed that the forces weren’t really there to crackdown the rally of the National Unity Government (NUG), but rather to put pressure on the residents’ youth for expressing their support for the Kachin Independence Army with the message of “Welcome KIA” painted on the street.

Around 23,000 prisoners from across the nation are also released this morning under a New Year amnesty. Members of Peacock Generation thangyat troupe, Ko Zayar Lwin, Paing Ye Thu and Paing Phyo Min are among around 800 prisoners released from Insein Prison, but Myanmar Now reported that the other four members of the troupe were arrested today. It’s important to note that almost all of our brothers and sisters of the Spring Revolution and many political prisoners are still detained inside. Latest numbers updated by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) showed that 3141 are currently in prison since the illegal military coup, and the junta has issued 832 warrants. On top of the 20-civilian arrest warrant lists that the state media announced at 8pm every day, they are also announcing the arrest warrant list of 20 doctors every night now. 

In spite of these fear-instilling acts by the military junta, people are still coming out to the streets to protest, rally and demonstrate their voices. Protesters in Monywa were seen wearing t-shirts with “We are Wai Moe Naing” printed on the back to honor the protest leader, Ko Wai Moe Naing who was violently detained the other day. In the southern region of Myanmar, protesters in Dawei could be seen marching through the heavy rainstorms. These showed to the regime forces that whatever they do, nothing can stop the will of the people in unity. 

The terrorist leader, Min Aung Hlaing is confirmed to attend the ASEAN Summit in Jakarta on April 24 — ASEAN, as usual, continuing to show everyone that they are a lowkey fan of various kinds of military juntas. In non-disappointing news, the National Unity Government held its first cabinet session this morning, and Vice President, Duwa Lashi La, said that instead of 100 days, the cabinet will try to fast-track their operations and will try to accomplish as much as they can in a month. Lwin Ko Latt, appointed minister of home affairs and immigration told Myanmar Now that in the coming days, several countries will announce their official support of the National Unity Government as the legitimate administration of Myanmar.

Myanmar protesters were also honoured in a mural in Idlib, Syria by Aziz Asmar with the message, “The people will win”. Syrians know very well of the experiences we are facing in Myanmar today, and they understand how solidarity knows no borders. Thank you, Syria for your support. The power of people can and will never be stopped.

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