Freedom Memoirs – Day 122

What many parents worried happened on the second day of school reopening. Today in Yinmabin township of Sagaing Region, a bomb blasted in the compound of Yinmabin High School around 10am. Luckily, no injuries were reported according to DVB News. An explosion took place in front of No. 6 High School in Bago this afternoon, but there were also no injuries. Local people’s defense force denied that it was not their doing, and that it would not target a school. In Sanchaung township of Yangon, a suspicious-looking black plastic bag was found in front of a primary school, but it turned out to be a random trash bag. In Talokhtaw village of Twante township in Ayeyarwaddy region, an explosion took place in front of a primary school. Around 5pm this evening, Taungtwingyi township in Magway Region saw two bomb blasts in front of two high schools. Later today, UNICEF Myanmar released in a statement that at least 45 attacks against schools and school personnel were reported from February 1 to May 31, and 141 incidents of military use of education facilities. 

Situations in Kayah (Karenni) State is not getting any better. This morning around 10am, Myanmar military launched heavy artillery shelling to Demoso township according to Khit Thit Media. In Moebye township, junta’s soldiers carried out indiscriminate shooting, injuring a civilian who was on the motorbike. In an IDP camp in Demoso township which shelters about 2000 people, access to clean water is limited so people at the camp have to drink and use the unclean water, causing diaherra among 30 people especially children and elderlies. Although volunteers and donors plan to deliver drinking water, a local told 74 media that transportation is not safe at the moment. On another note, Myanmar military did not collect dead bodies of its soldiers who were killed in Demoso township in previous days so the Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF) had to burn the bodies today.

Following the clash between Border Guard Force (BGF) and an armed group separated from Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) yesterday in Myawaddy township of Kayin State, the day started early with attack on Waw Lay police station around 4.30am. Local villagers told Khit Thit media that the sound of heavy artillery were heard since 6am this morning. Later today, it was reported that one of the artillery shelling fell into Mae Sot in Thailand’s side, injuring two displaced people and one Thai solider. This is the second time, artillery shelling fell into Thailand’s side of the border.

This evening, Sagaing People Defense Force (SPDF) announced that four batches of short-term military training has completed. In Sagaing Region, clashes between junta’s forces and people’s force broke out in the past month since the resistant fighters defended the military terrorists with Tumi guns. Now, with completion of military training, more fighting is expected in the region. 

In Tonzan township, Chin State where junta imposed stay-at-home order, 134 people are infected with COVID-19, and more people are expected to be infected according to Chin World media. In Falam township, another part of Chin state, a woman in her 50s passed away with COVD-19, and about 10 positive patients are isolated. Township hospitals in Chin State face insufficient medical support such as oxygen and ventilators to provide treatments to patients.

On junta’s warfare against free press, DVB reporter Ko Aung Kyaw from Myeik township who was arrested on March 1 and Mizzima’s freelance reporter Ko Zaw Zaw were sentenced for two-year imprisonment with the infamous sedition law section 505A of Penal Code. Ko Min Nyo, DVB’s reporter from Pyay, was also sentenced for three-year imprisonment back in May. So three journalists have been jailed under the regime while some 50 remain detained. Three DVB journalists who were arrested in Chiang Mai last month were also sentenced for seven months imprisonment, and a 4,000 baht fine each for illegally entering Thailand.

The increasing battles and clashes mean more displaced people. Dr. Win Myat Aye, Minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management of the National Unity Government, said in an online meeting today that discussions and negotiations are being made with Thai government to open Korea Safe Zone, a camp for refugees who are fleeing from conflict zones, with support from the Korea government. With new clashes broke out everyday under the military rule, there is a high chance that Myanmar’s humanitarian crisis will soon become a regional crisis. 

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