Freedom Memoirs – Day 134

Myanmar faces a critical situation with an alarming rate of covid-19 cases. With a high Covid-19 spike recorded yesterday and the regime’s ill-preparation together with doctors joining the CDM movement, Myanmar’s Covid third wave situation seems dire. Yangon takes the first spot in the number of Covid cases recording 60.6% found in the region, with Sagaing as a second according to an official from junta’s Ministry of Health and Sports (MOHS). Yangon cluster was first recorded in a private school in Hlegu township, where a student was tested positive. Among 456 students and teachers tested, 246 were found positive making 52.9% in just one school in the township. Min Aung Hlaing’s plan to forcibly reopen schools amid Covid surges only to normalize the country’s condition under his coup, is self-serving and hazardous.

It is clear that Myanmar’s health system has collapsed. The New York Times reported that more than hundreds of Myanmar patients are dying without urgent care, and a cancer patient named Hla Min, a rice farmer from central Myanmar, told the reporter that he did not want to received a treatment from the military hospital and was supportive of doctors on strike even if it meant his life. Doctors continue to be on strike, but open charity clinics and emergency health care centers out of public facilities with support from the community. CDM medical staff were ordered to vacate from government housing quarters in Ayeyarwady region today. Yet, they continue to be targeted and taken into custody by the regime’s forces for curing the sick. Those who courageously resist against the illegal coup are increasingly under detention, and are portrayed as criminals on the state-sponsored evening news. Just days ago, the former head of Covid-19 immunization program was arrested and faces charges for high treason. People have warned each other to take precautions seriously. 

Trial of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi begins today; she faces six charges in total, owning an unlicensed Walkie-Talkie, violating Covid restrictions, corruption allegations, and breaking official secrets act, etc. A trial on sedition charges, if convicted, she will serve 14 years in prison. Before Myanmar’s transition to pseudo-democracy in 2011, she served almost 15 years under house arrest. On her coming 76th birthday that falls on June 19, and on the same day that is recognized as International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, people have called for a “Red Lipstick Campaign” to raise global awareness on the issue that has plagued Myanmar women for decades during the civil conflicts in many parts of the country. National Unity Government’s Ministry of Women, Youths and Children Affairs has also called for a week-long campaign of “End Sexual Violence, Stop Rapist Army” referring to the regime’s forces sexual abuses against women in conflicts.

Today, people from different parts of the country continue to take to the streets as usual even in the rain and under the sunshine. And the regime’s brutality against the civilians continue. In Dawei, motorbike rally and people’s marches were held under the heavy rain. Protests from Monywa, and other parts of Sagaing region, Mandalay, Tamahan township of Hpakant remain strong day by day. However, this morning at 66th street in Mandalay, plain-clothed soldiers cracked down on the crowd and violently abducted six protesters. The regime’s forces also rammed into the crowds with cars. Eight men accused of being members of People Defense Force (PDF) were arrested on June 12 in Myanaung, Ayeyarwaddy township and six men were shown in the evening news of state-sponsored TV channels, brutally beaten and tortured whereas the whereabouts of two are unknown. More arrests — four women and one elderly man were arrested in Nyaung-U township in the afternoon today. 

A bomb blast was reported at the National League for Democracy (NLD) office of Mandalay’s Chan Mya Tharzi township last night and the regional office was also destroyed. Some offices of NLD Mandalay were also destroyed by unknown gangs. The regime launched artillery attacks at villages in Depeyin township, Sagaing. Many civilian homes in Kanpetlet and Mindat townships of Chin State, and Demoso township of Kayah State were destroyed. The areas are deserted as many have fled into the jungle. Many have to restlessly flee to safe havens under the rain due to continued attacks. Meanwhile, the SAC’s spokesperson accuses OHCHR’ statement on June 11 is impartial and unfair for not mentioning the “violence” committed by the PDF and NUG who were declared “terrorist groups” by the junta.

Some good news today includes the release of editor-in-chief of Kamayut media, and G7 members’ condemnation statement on the illegal coup staged by incapable leader Min Aung Hlaing and the gang that still cannot realize that their coup has failed.

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