Freedom Memoirs – Day 104

Brave fighters of Mindat have resisted the regime soldiers for the past four days. They managed to block the military from sending more troops and fought back the soldiers at the town’s entrance and exits. Fighting intensified last night and even early this morning. The cowardice military sent more troops and reinforcement with choppers, used excessive force against the small town and its fighters with traditional weapons. Heavy artillery attacks were launched to residential areas of Mindat town from 7am to 3pm today and many civilians were injured but were not allowed to get treatment. Civilians were also randomly abducted and were used as human shields. This evening, Chinland Defense Force of Mindat announced that it had temporarily retreated due to the incomparable forces and inhumane acts against civilians, but promised to return. Dr Sasa, Minister for International Cooperation of the National Unity Government (NUG), requested strategic actions from the international community but the people of Mindat are in life and death situation. 

Around 3am this morning, a massive fire broke out at the municipal market of Shwebo town in Sagaing Region. The whole market was in ruin as the fire lasted for hours. Although a fire station was quite close to the market, fire fighters did not manage to extinguish. Images of devastated shop owners and vendors were quickly spread on our social media. Local netizens also said that shop owners showed up at the market as soon as they heard the news, but the junta’s soldiers did not allow them to enter and put out the fire. So the shop owners and vendors couldn’t do anything but watch as their shops and goods turned into ashes, on top of the hard time given by COVID-19 last year. Later this evening, Shwebo People’s Defense Force announced that the fire was an arson committed by the junta’s soldiers, and that they would make junta’s soldiers pay the prices for destroying people’s livelihood.

In Monywa, another part of Sagaing Region, Poet Sein Win was thrown gasoline at him and then set fire by an unknown man yesterday. The poet was visiting the noodle factory to raise funds for internally displaced people since he was also a longtime politician and philanthropist. He passed away later in the day and the culprit was still on the loose. U Sein Win is the third poet that Monywa lost in this revolution. Although junta holds heavy weapons, it can’t seem to withstand the powerful words and beautiful souls. Speaking of beautiful souls being targeted, junta’s soldiers raided a Jivitadana Sangha (charity) hospital in Mandalay’s Aung Myay Tharzan township last night, arresting two volunteering doctors, one patient and the patient guardian. Today around 3pm, the patient guardian was released but three others are still in detention. In Bhamo, Kachin State, a Catholic monk Fr. Columban La Di was abducted by junta’s soldiers for supporting the CDM staff members. 

Explosions news kept coming in. This morning, junta’s soldiers found six bombs planted in the compound of No. 5 high school in Kamayut Township before the explosions. Again this evening, an explosion blasted at Denko gas station in North Okkalar Township, injuring three employees from the station. In Mandalay, BBC Burmese reported that at least 10 explosions were heard in Chan Aye Tharzan, Aung Myay Tharzan and Chan Mya Tharzi townships last night. This morning, an explosion blasted in front of Myanmar Economic bank, and then a handmade grenade exploded in front of a restaurant this afternoon. 

Despite the potential danger, Myanmar people are still staging protests agains the military coup. In Yangon, about 300 protesters from various townships came out in the street to protest, however, seven protesters in Yankin township were arrested. Marching strikes were seen in almost every region and state of the country — Mandalay, Kachin, Taninthayi, Sagaing, Mon, Kayin, Shan to name a few. The strikers encountered crackdowns and abduction but they continued their defiance regardless. 

As a part of Civil Disobedience Movement, Myanmar public reject the COVID-19 vaccination process laid out by the junta. As they refuse to get vaccinated, the threat of COVID-19 and the new variant remains undealt with. New positive cases are reported every day despite the limited testing capacity. We must stay alive and well to take down the evil military for good, so comrades, wear masks, practice social distancing, stay safe and keep resisting. 

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