Freedom Memoirs – Day 115

Chaung Zin Village in Myaung township, Sagaing region has become the latest battlefield as there is an ongoing clash between junta’s forces and people defense force since this afternoon. According to Khit Thit news report, a well-equipped terrorist force came down to the village because a female pro-military supporter/informer was murdered yesterday. Instead of a proper investigation procedure, the junta’s forces decided to raid the village using guns and bullets as usual and locals have responded with Tumee guns and whatever available weapons they could grab. Although there was no confirmed news, both sides have reportedly suffered casualties and nearby villages could hear bombs and gun fires until this evening. Many residents have fled the scene while both sides have called for reinforcements – several villagers from close range have come for help on the side of the people.

In the same Sagaing region, junta’s forces had raided and seized at least 300 Tumee and air guns in Kyee Kan village back in 13 May. It was a terrible news then but today’s battle news prove that people still have access to weaponry and will not back down despite such setbacks.

Meanwhile, few verified news came out from Demoso township, Kayah today where major shootout between junta forces and Kayah People Defense Force (KPDF) took place in the previous days. There were some reports such as junta’s forces has retreated from the battlefield, KPDF have total control on the town etc but they have not been confirmed by major news channels. We also heard that there were two battalions monitoring the situation so it’s hard to believe that junta’s forces would give up easily.

During an exclusive interview with DVB news, a KPDF member said, “The fall of State Administration Council (SAC) is inevitable. We will keep on fighting; we will continue conducting guerrilla tactics. All the armed groups in Kayah must fight together with us, and we will win eventually. The people have to stay strong and be patient.” According to the experts, there are at least seven armed organizations in Kayah State which has a population of only three hundred thousand and it is difficult to assume they all share the same vision. That means we will just have to wait and see if they will fight on the same side.

Non-violent protests have also continued countrywide despite the increasing rate of people taking up arms in different areas. People from Hpakant where a high number terrorist soldiers is present every day, staged general strike which was joined by many different ethnics. Similarly, Tanze, Kawlin, Sarlingyi townships from Sagaing region, Pakokku, Monywa, Mandalay, Pyin Oo Lwin, Shwebo, Nyaung Oo, Mogok, Pegu, Kyaukme, Yangon, Htawei also saw peaceful strikes and protests as thousands of people embraced the risk of abduction, torture and ultimately death to defy the dictator.

Junta’s killings also continued. Last night, terrorist army with at least 70 soldiers stormed into Taw Saint village of Salin township, Magway region, firing indiscriminately and killing at least one woman named Ma Saung Hnin Mhone. According to a Myanmar Now report, Taw Saint villagers had participated in the previous days’ protests against education under dictatorship and that angered the village administrator who in turn informed his masters. Consequently, his masters sent armed terrorists into the village. At least seven people including a disabled person were abducted at the scene and Ma Saung Hnin Mhone was one of them. She passed away with a gunshot in the head and her body was returned to the family this afternoon. We also heard her six-year-old daughter is still missing.

On the same note about junta’s violence, today around 9 am, a man on a motorbike was shot dead by terrorist soldiers in Shwepyitha, Yangon. Apparently, the man was asked to stop for inspection and he refused to do so. As a result, he was shot and killed on the spot. Shwepyitha is one of the townships under Marshall law which gives the full power to the guard dogs to exert their authority to the fullest so this case will be just another story that blames the victim for his own death. Reporting the real event and sympathizing with the remaining family is the least justice we can give to the fallen innocent victims.  

Meanwhile, junta has whitelisted and shared with telecom services providers over 1,200 online services and domain names. According to Nikkei Asia, nearly all companies from banking and financial sector is included in the list which means users will be able to access payment services via mobile data or any internet service. Delivery services such as Grab and Foodpanda are also whitelisted while Facebook and Twitter remain blocked. It has long been a nightmare for people in Myanmar when whitelisting eventually takes place, it will be the beginning of the end for technology sector and every hope for development that comes with it. Experts also stress that when whitelisting is eventually put into effect, even VPNs will not be of any help trying to access the blocked sites.

Regardless, this is not unexpected of junta and while it will not stop its tactics in turning the country into totalitarian state at whitelisting websites, we will also not stop our fight just because we can now order some food online.

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