Freedom Memoirs – Day 94

On Day 94 of the illegal coup after 769 lives loss, the National Unity Government (NUG), the rightful government, has formed People Defence Force (PDF) in order to protect from junta’s atrocities, to end the 70-year-long civil war and to reform the security sector. The PDF will serve as a forerunner for the much anticipated Federal Army. The NUG announced that the four vows of allegiance of the PDF which included loyalty to the citizens and their best interests. Following the announcement, Sagaing residents announced that it formed Sagaing People Defence Force (SPDF) with cooperation from the NUG. Netizens welcomed the news overwhelmingly, but what Myanmar people need is more than a statement or announcement — a real protection from assaults and crimes committed against innocent civilians by the terrorist military every day. We hope the PDF provides this need as soon as possible.

We don’t know if the constant explosions are PDF’s doing but people are getting familiar with the sounds of blasting. Last night, two time-bombs blasted in front of the newly opened maternity and children hospital in Yankin township, Yangon where the coup leader Min Aung Hlaing personally attended the ceremony. This morning, a bomb blasted on a bus near Dagon University, which was reopened this week under the State Administration Council (SAC)’s directive. Around 8am, an explosion blasted near a police car parked outside the soliders recruitment center in Pyinmana township, close to the capital Naypyidaw. Locals witnessed that junta’s forces were injured. Around 9am in Kachin State, the sound of a blast was heard by locals on Namati-Myitkyina highway road.

These days, assaults and clashes against the regime’s forces were reported frequently. Last night in Khin Oo township, Bago Region, the deformed body of junta-appointed village administrator U Nyi Pu was found in the cemetery compound. In Kyaukse township, a group of unknown men attacked junta’s soldiers who were providing security for China’s gas pipeline, and three members of the security were killed instantly. As retaliation, junta’s forces raided nearby villages and looted private properties. Fighting continued in Hakha town of Chin State between Chinland Defence Force and terrorist army. The fight began on May 2 when the terrorist soldiers arrested about 60 local residents and refused to release, and since then, at least nine members of the terrorist army were killed. Today, Karen National Union (KNU) announced that 194 soldiers from the terrorist army, including a colonel were killed and 220 were injured due to the confrontations since late March. Respectively, nine KNU soldiers were killed and 10 were injured according to Brigade 5’s Lt Colonel Saw Kalel Doe. In Kutkai, Shan State, fighting between the terrorist army and the Northern Alliance resulted in injuring five civilians as well.

Looking back at the past three months, it’s saddening how highlights of our daily reports shifted from the news of peaceful protests to armed clashes and deaths but it doesn’t mean protests stopped. Everyday, from northernmost to southern most regions, people show their defiance with marching strikes, people-less strikes, and motorbike rallies. In Myitkyina this morning, a motorbike rally was cracked down by junta’s forces with private cars ramming into the rally. Four women were abducted at the incident. 

In Rakhine State, leading political party Arakan National Party (ANP) with its member holding  a seat at the SAC announced that the party considered putting an end to its cooperation with junta. ANP Chair U Thar Tun Hla said that the junta had not fulfilled demands made by the ANP, and that the party no longer believed the cooperation with junta would make effective improvements for the people of Rakhine State. Recently, ANP has been working together with junta on repatriation process of Rakhine IDPs. Until the official announcement to part its way with junta, we have to wait and see. 

Despite people’s massive defiance against the coup, junta has been working desperately to make people submit to its power. Three additional news agencies from ethnic areas were banned, PSI satellites were also banned to cut the information flow, yet the news agencies announced that they would continue their operations. Universities were reopened amidst the global pandemic, but only very few students showed up. Whatever the junta does to restore normalcy, people are determined to disobey and defy no matter what. 

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