Freedom Memoirs – Day 124

This morning started with yet another familiar news as a bomb had to be defused at an elementary school in the town of Hinthada. Observers said such bombings are merely the acts of the junta so as to denounce people defense force (PDF) as a terrorist organization. It has long been established that military government will go the extra mile to stay in power and destroy everyone on their way in the process; thus, it’s not a far-fetch theory that they will not be hesitant to sacrifice the innocent kids in the schools. In a related news, reports came from Sagaing that a retried teacher Daw Tin Tin Myint from Yinmabin towship, who was injured during a bombing incident on 2 June passed away today.

Meanwhile, junta has tried another attempt at putting more kids in school. They announced today that any form of online learning will be suspended since such systems are currently under maintenance for the “betterment”. Under the previous government, major education reforms had been implemented and online learning was one of the areas that had received a lot of attention. The announcement also instructed the teachers to close the existing Facebook/Viber groups for the “data security concerns” and open new groups under the department’s permission; to use new gmail accounts created by the department; to no longer use online management systems and digital learning resources, etc. While we find such instructions rather ridiculous, we believe they will help convince and push some parents towards education under National Unity Government (NUG) who promise online learning systems in the near future.

News came from Kalay region that at least five ward administrators have submitted resignation letters to State Administration Council (SAC) as they could no longer work in the current positions due to “family issues”.  Besides the junta’s soldiers, ward administrators have been most targeted by the unknown attacks and the fear may have spread across the country now. Just yesterday in Yangon, U Htun Yee, a ward administrator of Thaketa township was shot and killed inside his own car. He was asked to open his car door and was shot from close range according to netizens. A chilling video footage showed that the victim sat lifeless in driving seat while the engine was still running.

However, news came from Bogale township today that a ward administrator named Hla Myo Oo has been cooperating with terrorist soldiers to blackmail the local people in his territory. Apparently, he threatened the villagers who had participated in the protests that he will give their names to the military if they do not pay him money between 100,000 Kyat to 500,000 Kyat. We wonder if internet access is still limited in his area because he has not clearly learnt of fellow administrators’ fate from Yangon.

Kayah news reported that junta’s forces had tried to ambush an outpost of people defense force (PDF) in Demoso township today. Back and forth shootings went on for an hour long until two of junta’s soldiers were injured at which point, they had to retreat. Even then, we heard that terrorist military was still shelling artillery towards PDF until later on. Junta’s forces were also reported to be deployed heavily in Loikaw. And as they were shooting indiscriminately in the area, a civilian on motorbike was shot and killed on the spot near Mai Lone ward. During the battles between 19 March to 3 June in Kayah State, 37 from the people side have been killed and only nine were armed soldiers while the rest were unarmed civilians and peaceful protesters who fell victims of terrorists’ blatant firings, according to Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF).

This evening, we heard that shootings took place near zero mile on the Yangon-Mandalay highway road. According to the news online, junta’s forces were waiting at the check point to arrest young people who had taken military training which led to back-and-forth shooting. The incident resulted in one death from the people side and another one being abducted.

And as NUG was scheduled to give its very first press conference today at 5 pm, junta switched off internet access the whole country. While some people find it rather childish and stupid, some also argue that junta may be inspecting how many members of NUG are still in the country. Nonetheless, NUG held the conference successfully and discussed significant points; U Aung Myo Min, the minister for Human Rights, discussed to issue national registration cards to Rohingya people, Dr Zaw Wai Soe said NUG has been preparing to provide Covid vaccination to the public, Daw Khin Ma Ma Myo, deputy minister for defense, promised to collaborate with township level PDF.

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