Freedom Memoirs – Day 126

The tragedy of Kyonpyaw massacre has reminded people of Myanmar that the danger of military’s informants is still extreme in the time of revolution. But it doesn’t stop them. Courageous Myanmar people still marched down the streets to show their rejection towards the military junta. Marching strikes and guerrilla protests were seen today in Yangon, Mandalay, Amarapura, Monywa, Kale, Dawei, Myaing, Yinmabin, Kawkareik, Hpakant and many more townships. Last night, some protesters showed support to Kyonpyaw residents to stay strong by posting pictures of them holding protest banners on the internet. 

Following up the Kyonpyaw incident, Khit Thit media reported this morning that junta’s forces have occupied Hlay Swea village, and carried out “clearance operation” with more than 200 soldiers. A local told that neighbouring villages were also searched. Currently, elderlies, children and women were trapped inside these villages while a bridge nearby was blocked by junta’s soldiers, not giving the civilians a chance to flee. People who follow Myanmar military’s atrocities are familiar with the term “clearance operation”. Nothing good comes with the term, and no one is safe when these uniformed-terrorists are around. 

In Saging region of upper Myanmar, a clash broke out between local people defense force and military in Yinmabin township, Si Hlaung village. One PDF member was killed since the military used artillery shelling. When the junta’s soldiers entered Si Hlaung village, civilians left their homes and fled to hide from the uniformed-terrorists. 

Fighting resumed in Mindat town of Chin State since June 3, resulting in more increasing internally displaced persons (IDPs). This morning around 10am, Mindat Civilian Administration updated that three separate troops of junta’s soldiers approached a village where IDPs were taking refuge. Local CDF members were confronting two out of three troops according to Mindat Civilian Administration. Fighting between CDF and junta’s forces escalated throughout the day. Zalen, a news outlet based in Chin State, reported this evening that heavy artillery attacks and airstrikes were launched by the military. One member of Mindat CDF was reportedly killed due to chemical gas bombs. 

In Demoso township of Kayah (Karenni) State, the junta’s soldiers launched an artillery shelling at a local church this morning since 6am. The attacks continued throughout the day; the soldiers shot indiscriminately at the residential areas, shophouses and schools were burned down as reported by Khit Thit media. Local residents said that the military targeted residential areas to prevent local PDFs from stationing inside houses and shops. These barbaric activities were carried out after an official directive to do so. From yesterday’s fight between Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF) and the junta’s soldiers in Mobye township, about 20 soldiers from the military were killed while one from KNDF was killed due to an artillery attack. 

In urban areas, although things seem to go back to normal with shops and businesses reopening, safety is not guaranteed because of ongoing explosions. This morning around 9am, Yangon’s Shwepyitha township saw an explosion at a ward administration office. Again around 2pm, an explosion took place at a mohinga vendor in Thaketa township, targeting  a former parliamentarian candidate of USDP, military’s proxy party, who lived in the area. However, no injuries were reported from both incidents yet. In Mandalay last night, a handmade grenade was thrown inside a ward administration office where junta’s soldiers were stationed. In Hakha, Chin State, a bomb blasted inside a house last night, killing three members of Chinland Defense Force. A shootout also occurred last night among the junta’s forces who were stationed inside Meiktila University, killing one police sergeant. In Shwenyaung township of Mon State, three young men on motorbikes were shot with live rounds by soldiers, killing two of them. 

Illegal abductions also continued. In Kachin State, NLD party’s township level chairpersons and executive committee members were abducted in Mogaung and Bhamo townships. In Taungup township, Rakhine State, junta’s soldiers arrested seven civilians, claiming the civilians had ties with Arakan Army (AA).

Today, an official directive to ban import of commodity such as detergents and toothpastes from Thailand via Myawaddy border town was circulated on social media. The reason of the ban is “to reduce the spending of foreign currency”, and “to protect local SMEs from the market competition”. The announcement resurrected painful memories among many Myanmar people who lived through the Socialist Burma, the times when rice, cooking oil and gasoline were rationed, when people had to queue up to buy local made low quality soap bars, and when both the country and market was isolated. After having a decade of quasi-democracy and a few developments, nobody wants to go back to isolation, nor tolerate the junta with outdated policies. All the more reason to keep resisting and remove the military junta for good.

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