Freedom Memoirs – Day 101

After resisting junta’s attacks for nearly 24 hours, civilian fighters have had to retreat from their fortress in Talokmyo village according to reports. Villagers have defended their position with makeshift weapons and whatever arms they had their hands on. Even with significantly less resources, the people force did manage to take down two of junta’s soldiers and injured at least seven before the opponent called for reinforcements. DVB reported about 500 terrorist soldiers had cornered the area and attacked from all sides, using heavy artillery. Consequently, the people’s stronghold fell and at least 100 civilians have been abducted. 

Talokmyo, located in Myingyan Township, is formed of four villages with 1500 households, accommodating 10,000 residents. Since early April, children and older people from the area have gone into hiding and only people between the age of 18 to 50 have stayed behind to defend the village. Junta’s forces carried out many attacks during last month and they eventually used excessive force to occupy the area today. We cannot be any prouder of Talokmyo and its people. We believe they will come back stronger.

More combat news came from Tamu, Sagaing region that terrorist army has already lost at least 15 bodies during the battle against People Defense Force (PDF) during last night and today. Tamu, the border of India and Myanmar, is known for staging protests continuously against the coup and putting up good fights against junta’s army. The locals have used Tu Mee guns as usual during the battle, and also brought out more powerful weaponry such as AK 47 and M16. Still, compared with the opponent, the people side is unquestionably less equipped. So, battles news between the people force and junta’s army are equivalent of David fighting Goliah in many areas of the country and somehow managing to claim victory frequently.

Just because junta’s forces have been occupied with warfare, don’t expect them to reduce the oppression on unarmed civilians. Last night in Sagaing region, terrorist soldiers shot a civilian dead in his own home. According to locals, the victim named Ko Kyaw Myint, aged 35, was suffering from mental illness that had led to his random yelling and cursing at times. At the time of the crime, he had called terrorist soldiers a few names that flipped them to raid his house and pulled the trigger. The incident took place in Thamin Chan village of Kanni township, where junta’s forces and the people forced had previously fought in March, resulting in the exodus of residents. Only about fifty people have remained in the aftermath. And one fewer now due to sensitive armed thugs.

On a related note, junta’s forces are not slowing down on abducting and looting, either. Right after its departure, the general strike of Mandalay was violently cracked down near 118 Street (72th x 73th) this morning. Terrorist soldiers had allegedly used private cars and motorbikes in disrupting the peaceful rally. At least 30 protesters including teachers were beaten and abducted in the process according to an article from Myanmar Now. Terrorists also stole and looted several motorbikes up to sixty vehicles including those that were parked in front of the nearby market by those who were shopping inside. If some people are still wondering what motivates armed terrorists to hurt the innocent and the unarmed, these events can assure there is a big incentive of committing daylight robbery without charges. Soldiers, they don’t make much after all.

Junta’s oppression on freedom of press has also continued. DVB’s reporter Min Nyo who is based in Pyay, have been sentenced to three years under the charge of Penal Code 505A. He was abducted violently by terrorist military on 3 March. Another reporter from DVB called Aung Kyaw was also abducted in Myeik and facing the same charge. Recently, three of DVB’s reporters too were detained in Chiang Mai, Thailand and international journalists have called for Thai government not to deport them back into Myanmar. We have yet to receive more news on the incident.

As a slightly good news, there is a report on Myanmar Now that the sales of Myanmar Beer have now declined 46% compared with previous three months. Myanmar Beer, a product of a joint venture between junta-backed Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited (MEHL) and Japanese Kirin, used to be the best-selling beer brand locally. Its sudden fall in the sales is the result of boycott campaign against military businesses and as much as 46% is encouraging, we believe we can do a lot better. While a number of people in many areas have taken up military training and preparing for proper battles against the military, the rest of us can at least avoid consuming certain products and brands while we are too busy queueing up at the ATMs.

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