Freedom Memoirs – Day 108

Businesses and restaurants reopen since owners struggle in the rough economy but that doesn’t mean people of Myanmar have given up on the revolution. Today in Mandalay, a quick protest was staged inside a teashop where university students started the anti-coup chantings and other customers joined in. Protests continue even in the most unexpected way. Monks in Mandalay also commemorated their 100th Day of March against the military coup today. The march was successfully staged without any encounter from the junta’s forces. Guerrilla protests and people-less protests were seen in some parts of Yangon. Anti-coup protests were carried out in other parts of the country  such as Hpakant in Kachin State, Kalay in Chin State, Dawei in Thaninthayi Region, Myaing and Kamma townships in Magway Region, Yimabin and Salingyi townships in Sagaing Region to name a few. 

Ongoing resistance always means violence crackdown and abductions. This morning around 9:30am in Yangon’s Thaketa township, three protesters were arrested before even the strike began. Around 5am in Mogok township, Mandalay, three civilians were also abducted by junta’s forces according to locals. Two brothers in Demoso township, Kayah State were also arrested today. Again in Pathein around 2pm, plainclothed lackeys abducted three activists including a man named Ko Thu Nay Aung who was providing aids to COVID-19 patients. In Chaungson township, Mon State, 60-year-old U Chit Kyi was taken as a hostage because junta’s soldiers were unable to arrest his son Ko Zeyar Khine who was accused as an arsonist for the fire broke out in May 16. Last night in Pyay, an innocent civilian named Ko Ngwe Thein was shot dead by the junta’s soldiers for no apparent reason. A young man named Ko Htet Aung and two others were abducted in Yangon, and three young men in Bago were abducted last night.

Never a day we go through without the sound of explosions. Today around 9am, an explosion blasted near the office of USDP party, military’s proxy political party, then followed by another one near municipal office in Pyay township. Another USDP party office encountered bomb attack in Mogok town of Mandalay Region. The security guard from party office and a man who approached to take a look were injured from the incident. Around 11am, a bomb blasted at an elementary school in Shwepyitha township, Yangon. The culprit was unknown but junta’s soldiers were seen clearing the school compound yesterday according to the locals. This evening around 5pm, a bomb blast was heard and the body of a 10-year-old child was found on the street.

Lawlessness continued in many parts of the country. Last night, junta’s soldiers entered Thiri Yadanar Market of Bhamo town in Kachin State, and stole dried food and goods according to the shop owners. In Yangon’s Hlaing township, an arson attack was carried out to an ambulance owned by Myanmar Red Cross Society (MRCS). Due to the damage caused by the arson, MRCS announced that ambulance service in Hlaing township would be temporarily suspended. Attacks on junta-appointed administrators continued since a group of unknown armed men killed U Soe Nyunt, Shwepaukpin village administrator in Myaung township, along with his daughter and grandkid. The attacks on junta’s lackeys are always carried out by unknown people so many worries that junta strategically plans these crimes to pin on abducted young people and cause division among the public. 

When Mindat town fell under the control of the evil military, no one felt safe due to the barbaric activities by junta’s soldiers. About three thousand locals are taking refuge in camps near Mindat, many others flee to live with relatives from nearby towns or are in hiding, and some remain trapped inside the town controlled by the military with water supplies being cut off. Totalling up, about 10,000 people in Mindat are in need of humanitarian aids. A representative from local aid group said that four IDP camps will be opened, and requested international community to declare those camps as safe zones. Netizens who are connected with Mindat locals and aid groups raise funds to send food supplies and shelters for the resilient people of Mindat.

Speaking of humanitarian needs, more than 3,000 IDPs are taking refuge in Moemauk township, Kachin State due to the fightings between Myanmar military and Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in recent days. Four new emergency camps are being built in the compounds of Buddhist monasteries and churches to house these IDPs. Villagers who fled to Moemauk said that the military used heavy artilleries resulting in burning of their houses, injuring people and livestocks. Some villagers who do not experience the attacks personally also take refuge because they were not allowed to go to their farmlands, disrupting their livelihoods. 

Monsoon is approaching in Myanmar. Heavy rain in Kyaukme township of Northern Shan State resulted in a flood last night, and the flood didn’t even drain early this morning. Again on the highway of Mandalay-Pyin Oo Lwin, trees were fell and blocked the road due to heavy rain. Mizzima News reported that a storm is forecasted on May 23-24 in Bay of Bengal which could impact the country. Although some of us think monsoon hasn’t come soon enough because of the high temperature, heavy rain, storms, floods and landslides which come with monsoon, will not do any good to the increasing IDPs in many parts of the country. National Unity Government announced that weather reports for different states and regions will be regularly updated on the Facebook page of NUG’s Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management.

Lastly, Reuters news today published a report on how the military planned to install intercept spyware which would allow the authority to have access to our phone conversations and text messages. According to the report, USD 4 million was granted to purchase intercept spyware in the budget year 2019-2020 when NLD government was still in power, but Reuters couldn’t establish to what extent non-military politicians were involved in this doing. We have no knowledge on how many of us are being tapped at this moment but this news report reminds us that we must either win this revolution or live in Orwellian State for another 20 years at least. The latter is unthinkable so we have no choice but to keep on defying. 

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