Freedom Memoirs – Day 141

Today, we woke up to the news of a mosque in Yangon’s Ahlone township caught on fire around 2:30am during the nighttime curfew. The fire was extinguished after 30 minutes but only partitions and a roof of Eidgah mosque remained unburnt according to Myanmar Now media. The fire department concluded that the fire started because of wire shock, and pressed charges against two watchmen from the mosque. Many doubt the cause of the fire was a wire shock because there are examples of fires breaking out during the nighttime curfew. If we recall, two shopping malls caught on fire in April during CNN’s reporters’ visit. On June 9 in Yangon’s Dala township, a fire broke out at a mosque, to which the fire department also remarked “wire shock” as the cause of fire. Since the junta is notorious for stirring up religious/racial conflicts, we must avoid anything that can lead to such tensions at all cost.

Our tragic days continue as long as the murderous military junta reigns. Last night in Singu township, Mandalay Region, a groom-to-be Ko Kyaw Kyaw Myo went out with a friend to send out invitations to his wedding on coming Thursday. When they passed a school where junta’s forces were stationed, Ko Kyaw Kyaw Myo was shot and killed instantly and his friend was beaten up and arrested. Today, his dead body was returned to the family, and his wedding tragically turned into a funeral. 

In Mawlamyine, Mon State, two young men were shot dead by the junta’s soldiers for not stopping their motorcycle last night around 8pm. Their bodies were also left on the street for hours until a volunteering group collected. Today, a funeral was held for the two men: Ko Moe Zaw Oo and Ko Zaw Min Oo at their village in Chaungson township. 

Around 7am today, clashes broke out in Hpa-an township between the regime’s forces and Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA)’s Battalion 1. According to KNU’s Department of Information, fighting took place at four separate locations, killing eight soldiers and injuring four from the junta’s side. It was not long ago that KNLA’s Commander in Chief said he supported the KNU Chairman’s will to follow the protocols of Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA). In Hpapun District, another part of Kayin State, the regime used private cars to transport food supplies for its troop, and when the KNLA found out, the ethnic armed group destroyed all the food supplies according to Khit Thit media. The incident reminded the time when junta’s soldiers destroyed the food supplies for internally displaced people (IDPs) in Mobye Township of Karenni (Kayah) State. What goes around comes around after all. 

In a feature article published by Myanmar Now media today, a Yangon based resistance fighter said that they have been receiving insiders’ help to carry out attacks against the regime’s forces. Yangon’s resistance fighters managed to carry out an explosion on a military truck on June 18, another explosion on transport truck from Logistics and Transportation Battalion No. (323) in Mingalardon township on June 1, and a bomb blast at Home Affair Office on March 27, and these attacks couldn’t have done without help from the insiders. The resistance fighter said that their friends from the regime’s forces wanted to join the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) but they are not able to because their families still live in military housings. Although attacks were successfully carried out, the resistance fighters said that junta’s soldiers randomly arresting innocent civilians in respective areas remains a problem.

June 21 (today) marks 146th Karenni National Day. Past few weeks have been difficult for the Karenni State since the clashes between local resistance forces and the regime’s forces took place, resulting in the junta’s attacks against the civilians. Karenni people were killed, abducted, and had to flee from their homes. Their homes and properties were raided and destroyed, churches were also attacked by the junta. In this difficult time, Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP)’s Chairperson Abel Tweed reminded Karenni people to stay united and to make right decisions together in the crucial moment.

In her meeting with legal team before the court hearing today, the detained leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was told about the people’s overwhelming wishes for her birthday last Saturday. Through her lawyer Daw Min Min Soe, the ousted leader thanked the people, and wished them well. In today’s court hearing, prosecution witnesses were heard and questioned, which meant the hearing was progressed. 

As we reported previously, Covid-19 cases are on the rise again. In addition to new cases in Chin State and Yangon’s cluster, positive cases are also reported in Theinni township, Shan State, Meithtila township, Mandalay Region, and Phyu township of Bago Region. With no proper quarantine or travel restriction for domestic travels since the coup in February and healthcare system collapsing, the spreading rate is alarming, and the death toll is also rising. 

Despite having to face with an ongoing pandemic, a group of power hungry generals and murderous soldiers, people of Myanmar still managed to keep on protesting against the military. Marching strikes and guerilla protests were seen today in Yangon, Mandalay, Sagaing, Taninthayi, Kachin to name a few. We haven’t given up on our fight for democracy yet. The revolution only accelerates. 

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