Freedom Memoirs – Day 81

Last night around 8pm, residents near the notorious Insein prison said that they heard an explosion sound from the prison compound. Again, around 9pm, another explosion blasted in the residence of U Thein Nyunt, one of the State Administration Council (SAC) members, in Thingangyun Township. And today, three bombs exploded consecutively near the clock tower of Muse, Myanmar-China border town around 11 am. No casualties were reported from all three incidents, and the culprit was unknown. Again this evening around 6pm, C8 News reported that an explosion blasted in North Dagon township police station, where martial law was imposed. Five civilians were arrested as suspects.

Nearly three months into the illegal coup, Myanmar people all over the country still refuse to submit to the military rule. We saw various kinds of protests nationwide — from marching protests, guerrilla strikes to awareness-raising online campaigns, people from both urban and rural areas were showing their resistance with any possible mean. Consequently, four student protesters from Mandalay got abducted by junta’s forces. Another four protesters were also abducted in Kalay township, Sagain region.

Desperately trying to restore normalcy, junta gears up to reopen schools and universities in the coming months. Junta appointed Ministry of Education announced that all lectures and administrations staff members would be expected to return to work by May 3 in order to halt the Civil Disobedience Movement of the teachers. Naturally, many students plan to boycott the new academic year, rejecting the education system under the military regime by forming interim administration unions/councils in universities. So far, Yangon University, Dagon University, and Technical University (Sagaing) formed interim administrations. Yenanchaung University Students’ Union announced that students would join the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) by not going to classes.

Speaking of CDM, many civil servants who joined CDM movement were arrested, imprisoned, fled from staff housings and in hiding. With no regular salaries, these CDM staff members are struggling for their livelihoods. Generous citizens have been making donations to CDM support groups for the past three months, but now with economic collapse, even normal citizens are losing jobs or incomes, so their contributions to CDM staff are shrinking. Many are now worried if CDM staff give up, and the government mechanism resume, then all our efforts would end up in vain. We can’t let that happen. The newly formed National Unity Government (NUG) must accelerate their supports to CDM staff.

Among the six charges that that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was facing, she was supposed to attend a court hearing for one of the charges – Official Secrets Law 3(C) today. However, the hearing was postponed to May 6 since the court didn’t have wifi internet according to her lawyer Daw San Malar Nyunt. The lawyer also continued that she already had the power of attorney from the ousted leader, but still didn’t know the reason why Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was charged with this law. Yet again, State Counsellor was also not allowed to meet with her legal counsel in person even for once since she was detained on the first day of coup.

Remember the prominent protest leader Wai Moe Naing who was violently abducted by junta’s forces while protesting? As expected, he was charged with the popular sedition law 505A of Penal Code, but he was also charged with homicide for two deaths of two Monywa policemen according to his lawyer. The lawyer wasn’t allowed to meet with the protest leader yet. There was neither remand nor court hearing proceeded for Wai Moe Naing. The lawyer worried that more charges would be pressed against him. 

In other news, today at the Southeast Asia People’s Summit for Myanmar, NUG’s Minister for Women Children, and Youth Affairs Naw Susanna Hla Hla Soe apologized for “neglecting the voices from ethnic areas including Rohingya brothers and sisters” in the previous government term, and admitted that the NLD-led parliament and government did not do well in human rights sector. We welcome the minister’s apology, and hope more government members do the same. With that, we will create a better, more understanding and resilient society in our new federal democratic country. 

Lastly, we heard that NUG requested INTERPOL to arrest coup leader Min Aung Hlaing once he lands in Jakarta for the upcoming ASEAN Summit, with hundreds of evidence on crimes against humanity provided. We don’t know INTERPOL can actually pull it off but we are certainly delighted to hear the news once again as if we have not been let down by the lack of proper action from ASEAN/international community. 

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