Freedom Memoirs – Day 138

A series of attacks on junta’s forces and supporters took place today.

Early this morning around 7am, two unidentified persons tried to shoot U Maung Htun, a ward administrator of Hlaing Tharyar during his morning walk but the man managed to react quick and escaped without any scratches. The ward administrator checks all the boxes in ‘making a villain’ as he is a former USDP member who is known for being a major military informant in the area and also extremely corrupted. He may have dodged the bullets this morning but it will be interesting to see if he will ever go out for a morning exercise again.

In the town of Myingyan, a traffic policeman was shot and killed under broad daylight this afternoon. The news came as a mild surprise to some because traffic police were largely uninvolved in the junta’s schemes and despite their usual tactics in luring bribes, they meant little harm to the public. Soon we learnt the background story, the policeman who was murdered had been coordinating with junta’s forces, detaining and charging the extreme penalty to those as who had committed mid traffic violations and also known as a military informant. His lifeless body lies on the road as the passers mind their own businesses as if it is a warning to everyone who chooses to stand against the justice will follow his footsteps.

The highlight of today took place in Tamwe township of Yangon where a military truck was attacked with a grenade, killing one and injuring many. The truck had been deployed in front of a USDP office to provide security to the military’s beloved political party every day since a few months ago. Despite heavy presence of soldiers on board and nearby, a car managed to get close to it and threw a grenade inside the truck. The blast was heard by many in the township and later the pictures of the truck caught on fire circulated on the social media. Mizzima News reported that one was killed and six were put in critical conditions. The news was met with virtual cheer from thousands of netizens.

About the same time in the same township, another explosion occurred inside a taxi cab. The blast too seemed powerful as it killed the cab driver and injured a passenger terribly. The identities of the victims are yet to be disclosed; thus, we don’t know how and why a bomb was triggered inside this car. Some netizens claim that those people in the car were military informants but it has not been clarified. Nonetheless, both incidents at Tamwe today alarmed people to stay vigilant going into the weekend as danger is around us.

Junta’s plan to get back at its supporters being attacked is to use more violence, extreme violence. About thirty people have been detained early this morning around 3am following two explosions in the town of Thayet, Magwe Region yesterday. According to DVB news, explosions occurred near the houses of a non-CDM doctor and a non-CDM municipal employee, and the detainees are mostly those who have had issues with a victim’s father previously. Junta’s strategy is to abduct and impose extreme violence to everyone on sight, return a couple of dead bodies and release the survivors as they believe it will serve as an example to instil fear into people who want to harm their friends. Today incident at Tamwe show that they have not been successful.

In the meantime, State Administration Council (SAC) seems to be reversing every progress that happened during 2010 to 2020. It has reformed the Ministry of Cooperatives and Development of Rural Areas, the ministry formerly known as “The Ministry of Cooperatives” which had been dissolved in 2016 under NLD government, infamously produced and sold locally made low quality products to the public on quota. The recreation of the ministry reminds people that they may be heading towards close-door economics policy.

SAC has also announced a directive that exempts almost 50% of tax on undisclosed source of income during the period of July to September. Initially, the tax on unverified income under 100,000,000 MMK was 6 percent, now it is 3 percent. Between 100,000,000 MMK to 300,000,000 MMK used to be 10 percent, now it is 5 percent. According to the SAC, the change was made in order to help people during economic woes of COVID-19 but many see this as a move to exercise money laundering and force people to pay tax during coming three months, which will, in turn, finance junta’s management. We have learned that violence and fear do not work to oppress our people, but will the less tax work? We will have to wait and see.

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