Freedom Memoirs – Day 135

Today, junta’s troops burned down the entire village of Kinma in Pauk Township, Magway Region. As of 5pm, the soldiers were still camping in the village and the fires raged on. From the interviews, the locals suggested that the army has been raiding and burning villages in the area since its informants got killed in the nearby area a few days ago. Despite large-scale destruction of property, updates on human casualties is still unknown as yet.

Yesterday afternoon, in Depayin Township, Sagaing Region, shooting by junta’s troops in two villages killed one, injured another gravely and led to arrest of two villagers, both the arrested and injured people are reportedly university students in their early 20s. The cause of these raids is unclear although the houses in the area suffered severe property damage and looting. Since the raid, the residents of two villages counting approximately 3,000 people have fled and currently hiding in the nearby forest.

Junta’s State Administration Council (SAC) plans to sell of treasury bonds worth MMK 500 billion today, which led to National Unity Government (NUG)’s Minister of Planning, Finance, Investment and Commerce U Tin Tun Naing warning that SAC’s these attempts has no legal basis and democratically elected government will not honour these bonds. The bonds have two and four years maturity and 7.25% and 7.5% yields respectively. The details of amount sold is not reported yet. This is the second time SAC attempted to sell treasury bonds.

Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF) today announced that it will halt assaults to junta’s troops due to worsening humanitarian crisis in the area where more than 100,000 people are internally displaced. The statement also reiterates its opposition and resistance to the “terrorist military coup council” and urged the people to be prepared, vigilance and united. As a related development, some of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the area return their villages/towns for the first time in weeks, and found their residences looted and destroyed with corpses lying in the streets. Levelled buildings, looted properties, decaying corpses, photographic evidences circulated on social media and the local media showed the horrific fate of those who could not escape the junta’s troops onslaught and the ruined livelihoods of the returning populace. Civilian casualties in Kayah (Karenni) State now mounts to 55, according to announcement by PKPF (Progressive Karenni People Force). Most of the deaths are due to artillery shelling and indiscriminate shootings by junta’s forces, according to the announcement. By townships, 32 deaths are from Demoso, 18 from Loikaw, three in Mobye, and one in Pekon and Bawlakhe each. Additionally, 139 civilians are under arrest by junta’s forces under allegations of receiving military training, mobilizing humanitarian aids towards IDPs, joining protests and supporting CDM (Civil Disobedience Movement) civil servants. 

Today, local media reports severe looting by junta’s forces in the houses of Mindat. The clashes between Chinland Defense Force (CDF) MinDat and junta’s forces begin in mid-May and most residents have fled the town since May 18. 

In diplomatic front, U Kyaw Moe Tun, Myanmar’s ambassador to the United Nations who publicly supported the NUG and has denounced the junta and coup, has called for the international community to take effective collective measures against the military junta, ahead of upcoming UN Security Council talks regarding the crisis in Myanmar. In the letter, he warned that, “Strong, decisive and unified measures are imperative and needed immediately and any lack of such actions by the international community will further encourage the military to continue committing inhumane and brutal acts against civilians and will result in the further loss of lives of innocent civilians in Myanmar.”

In Mandalay, Ven Zawana, a prominent monk and protestor got arrested in the aftermath of yesterday’s crackdown. While the monk originally escaped the crackdown, he was set up by police operatives who pretended to be a patron close to him. During the arrest, he was beat up on the spot, before being taken away.

Today, peaceful protests are witnessed in Amarapura, Monywa, Dawei, Mandalay, Yangon, Hpakant, Taze, Myaing, Kale. Recently, protests in Yangon got more vibrant, relatively bigger compared to a week ago and yesterday’s protests staged in multiple townships inspired the people and attracted strong media attention. The junta responded this by increased random searches on the roads and in neighbourhoods since yesterday. Today, the protest in Kyimyindaing Township, Yangon got cracked down in early morning and two people got arrested.

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