Second day after the junta forced the universities to open, the classes remained empty. Only a handful of students were back in some university compounds, with some without students but only a presence of the armed forces. For the journalism department, the students’ strike of the “No school under the coup” campaign was a hundred percent successful. Many students feel that studying journalism is of no use when the future of journalism seems bleak under the dictatorship. It is also when increased numbers of journalists are being detained, abducted and faced outstanding charges. Increasing numbers of the licenses of local news outlets are being revoked. According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), there are 50 journalists in custody, 25 of whom have been prosecuted and arrest warrants are issued for another 29. Many students of other majors and departments share a similar view. Many young people including children joined a nationwide strike of the “No school under the coup”and “anti-slave education system” campaign.
Just like other days, people have not stopped taking onto the streets. More than 1000 protestors marched through Mandalay and through Demoso of Kayah state, and through Hpakant of Kachin state. Many flash mobs are continued despite tight security in Kalay of Sagaing, Pyinmana of Naypyidaw, Myeik, Magway and Yangon. Protests although smaller in numbers have continued across the country in a similar manner that chanted anti-coup messages, and support of the National Unity Government, and a day-old People Defence Force (PDF). In Naypyidaw today, it was announced that the People Defence Force (Naypyidaw) was formed, joining other PDFs of Myanmar’s regions. In Kani township of Sagaing region, clashes broke out between Sagaing PDF and the junta’s forces when the terrorist forces tried to invade and claim some territories of the township. The terrorist gang’s shooting spree also led one young child got severely injured. However, netizens reported the clashes between Sagaing PDF and the terrorist gang left many terrorists injured.
Early this morning, the junta’s forces launched offensive attacks on the Kachin Independence Army (KIA)’s outposts but to no avail, they were badly defeated. They had to leave the outposts after 30 of their soldiers died and more than 80 of them injured. They could not easily give in, embarrassing themselves, so they came back to attack by air, launching airstrikes. That is exactly their only coping mechanism to deal with defeat. Last night, clashes broke out between the junta’s forces and Northern Alliance (the alliance of three prominent ethnic armed groups: KIA, TNLA, MNDAA) after the terrorist gang attacked the staff quarters of a civil society group, stationed inside the military base. The area was hit by artillery shells. The terrorist gang’s strategy seems to start with provocations and then leave when they are heavily defeated but still come back with air attacks that they think are playing to their strengths. It is only a matter of days their attack helicopter was shot down by KIA. We pray more of their aircrafts are shot so that our people’s forces and civilians won’t have to suffer from air attacks.
At least four people were reported dead between last night and today. A young man who was accused of an explosion in front of Innwa bank in Pyay township was tortured to death according to his family member. In Meiktila township, the terrorist gang’s shooting spree caused a life last night. In Mandalay, a woman and a driver were accidentally shot when the soldier tried to shoot the motorcyclists. The woman died on her way to hospital. A deformed body of a woman, severely burnt, was also found this morning in Mandalay. A bomb explosion late last night at the Kandawgyi in Yangon also led a 36-year-old Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter Phoe Thaw “Bushido” severely injured. He was immediately taken to the North-Okkalapa public hospital. But, later it is reported that the military took him to the military hospital, refusing to give treatment at the public hospital he was admitted previously. Death tolls, numbers of detainees, clashes and displacement continue to be Myanmar’s new normal admits to the global health emergency.
Minister of Planning, Finance and Investment, U Tin Tun Naing, announced the formation of a “Finance Commission” today with the Vice President Duda Lashi La as the chairman and the Prime Minister Mahn Win Khaing Than as the vice chairman. The commission is a necessary part of governing the state, and will manage the financial aspect of the government body. We also hope that this commission will come up with concrete strategies to manage salary payments to the striking civil servants (CDM staff) whom the military continues to target.