Freedom Memoirs – Day 111

Today is a three-months-anniversary of a protest themed ‘22222’ that fell on February 22. Many protest rallies were held commemorating the ‘22222’ protest. In Monywa township, they also held a banner that said “KIA, Welcome to Sagaing Region”, showing solidarity to the ethnic armed group. Many townships also came out on the streets. In Hpakant, Kachin state, locals, parents and students showed up in front of a school demanding a call to reform the education system. In the same township, a different group of residents held a multi-ethnic coalition protest despite the junta’s armed forces keeping a close watch. A wreath-laying ceremony together with a protest was held in Kale, Sagaing, this morning for the martyrs who were killed in the resistance movement. Residents of Mogaung township,Kachin, also held an anti-coup rally.

Youths in Launglon Township, Tanintharyi region, denounced the ‘military slavery educatution system’ which people in Myanmar say would perpetuate military rule even as the junta continues its push to reopen schools. Mohnyin, Kachin, students held a home strike against the military slavery education. Motorcycle rallies were also held. Not letting the rain deter them, youths in Dawei donned rain coats and carried umbrellas to stage a motorcycle rally today. Namti township of  Kachin also joined motorcycle rallies from the north. Shwebo township, residents from Sin Inn village and residents of Wundwin, held a home strike against the coup. A special strike to call for no fly zones in Myanmar to stop the military’s airstrikes was held across the nation. No fly zone paper plane campaign by youth at Pansodan overpass in Yangon was also held to show solidarity to villages and towns in Kachin, Chin, Kayin and Kayah states which have experienced air attacks by the junta’s forces.

Armed resistance has shifted to another level. Junta’s forces have been fighting in the battles from many fronts across the country. This morning, it is reported that KIA destroyed four junta’s outposts of Nam Tsit Bum village in Hkamti township, Sagaing region. Junta’s forces had also launched airstrikes that destroyed and burned five civilians’ homes to ashes, injuring two. In Chin state, as fighting spread to other townships from Mindat, violence was reported from different areas. In Welaung area between Matupi and Phaneng village, the junta’s armed forced stopped and shot people who were seen carrying food and other basic necessities. The soldiers also looted rice from the people. In Pukun village of Mindat, a six-days-old boy died due to lack of medical treatment in the jungle where his parents took him to flee from the clashes between Chinland Defence Force (CDF) and the junta’s armed forces. In Kanpetlet township, 12 police have publicly announced they have started participating in the CDM and joined the CDF. The junta’s forces together with Border Guard Force (BGF) were again fighting with soldiers KNU brigade 5 in Hpapun district, Kayin state. The fighting lasted for an hour.

Since yesterday and today, many civilians were worried that Kayah state, especially Demoso and Loikaw, would become the next Bago or Mindat where the junta’s forces would commit brutal crimes against humanities. Kayah-PDF has been fighting the junta’s forces since yesterday’s morning employing guerilla tactics in the fight to protect the people and city. Today Kayah-PDF was able to attack and occupy the junta’s Dawtawi outpost. As expected, the junta’s forces have been heavily deployed in the area to put Kayah-PDF under control. Due to the fightings, many civilians including children have been forced to flee their homes and hide in the jungle. When two villagers attempted to go back to their villages to get some food, the junta’s forces killed them. People haven’t been able to retrieve their dead bodies. Kayah-PDF also reported the use of grenades, mortars and artillery in Demoso and Loikaw. This afternoon, heavy artillery shelling by the junta’s forces set fire to the construction office and damaged the Daw Ngan Khar bridge used by the public in Daw Ngan Khar ward, Demoso Township. The rest of the country prays for the safety and security of the Kayah state hoping violence won’t escalate.

As usual, the military continues with the playbook of killing, abducting and lying. Abductions took place from the north to south between late last night and early morning today. Last night, the military attempted to arrest two NLD members from Bhamo township, but failed. They took many young boys from Yangon: two brothers in their final year of university from South Dagon township, and two boys from Htandapin township were arrested last night. In Bago, a young boy was beaten up and taken into custody this morning at 2am, and a 15-year-old boy from Demoso township, Kayah state, was also abducted. Six civilians including two CDM doctors were arrested from Paung township, Mon state, and two CDM teachers were abducted this morning at 1 am from Myeik. Family members of a young boy who was taken together with 3 other boys from Pyay township were informed of his death this evening. In Shan State, Kyaukme township, two civilians coming home from work were shot, but luckily they were just injured and escaped death. 

Today, for the first time, the coup leader Min Aung Hlaing was on his debut show of attempting “legitimacy” by appearing on the first foreign TV program where he was interviewed. He was seen smiling in the interview of Phoenix TV program, a China state-affiliated media. On Twitter of a Chinese reporter, Shen Shiwei, he was referred to as Myanmar’s top “leader” where Myanmar citizens rushed to bombard with negative statements and corrected the reporter to refer to him as a liar and a killer instead.

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