Freedom Memoirs – Day 143

The attack on people defense force in Mandalay yesterday had impacted the public significantly, every one of us spent the night praying for the surviving six heroes who were most assuredly taken to an interrogation center. We are too familiar with torture stories and inhuman acts inside interrogation centers, and we fear our heroes would be facing with the maximum punishment there. We all are in the same storm yet some people already have sacrificed too much. It is our duty to keep fighting for their lives in various forms.

As soon as the sun rose, a news came in from Yangon that a pro military supporter/military informant was shot and killed in Hlaing township. The victim, U Kyaw Aye, was a local teashop owner who was responsible for several arrests of young activists in the neighborhood. About the same time in Myawaddy, the border town of Thailand-Myanmar, a ward administrator fell under the same fate. U Than Htay, despite his duty to serve the public, was instead serving the power craving dictator & co. as he collected information on the young protesters and armed forces in the region and fed his findings to the masters. It’s ironic that two different people from two separate locations worshipping the same god eventually arrive to the destination hell on the same day.

Following yesterday’s incident in Mandalay, people defense forces from Yangon, Magway and Bago have also issued a joint statement saying they will seek revenge on junta’s forces for the attack on Mandalay. And today, Zero Guerrilla Force announced that they have successfully ambushed Nganzun police station in Myingyan township. The initial reports described that two policemen had been killed during the attack including the township chief but the identities of the deceased have not been verified. Bago People’s Defense Force (BDF) also announced that they had attacked a military council police station between Nyaung Lay Pin and Pyuntansar at 8.30pm last night. The attack saw at least seven deaths from regime’s forces.  

A big difference between peoples’ forces and junta’s forces so far has been the accountability, which junta’s forces lack significantly. Peoples’ forces claim responsibility for their attacks/actions while junta’s forces always avoid responsibility and instead try to frame somebody else. Yesterday, military controlled media reported that a SUV carrying four PDF soldiers bumped into a transformer, killing all passengers on board in Mandalay. However, according to Mizzima news today, the narrative could not have been more wrong. The passengers on board were just civilians on their way to a business, not PDF soldiers, who were chased and shot by junta’s forces for no apparent reason. When the car was forced into the accident, junta’s soldiers threw a grenade, killing all on board. Such news continues to prove how junta tries to twist and justify its actions.

We also learnt today that junta’s forces raided the village of a prominent activist, Dr Tay Zar San, assaulting many and killing one person. Shweooya village is located in Watlat township, Shwebo district and had very few protests. The raid could be to arrest him according to Dr Tay Zar San, it has long been their antics to hurt everyone around those who are actively involved in anti-coup campaigns. The attack saw five arrests.

Another sad news came in this afternoon which is the death of Raymond, Myanmar’s one of the biggest rock stars. Raymond, 32 years old lead singer of Idiots band, had been actively involved with demonstrations since day one and he was believed to be taking refugee in one of the ethnic regions. His death came as a surprise since he was posting a birthday wish for Aung San Suu Kyi as recent as last Saturday. Initial reports said that he died due to Cerebral Malaria which is very common in the remote ethnic areas; however, his friends confirmed that cause of death was stomach bleeding. Regardless, we believe he would not have been a fugitive and be alive today if it weren’t for Min Aung Hlaing’s coup and this sad news only fuelled our hatred towards him. Social media today was filled with wishes for Raymond and promises to continue his mission. He may not have died in battle, but he died for the cause.

Meanwhile, Covid-19 continues to hit the country. Falam Township from Chin State was put under lockdown from 23 June to 30 June due to the rising cases. There have been 70 positive patients so far in Falam in June alone and 13 people died. 10 new cases were tested in Magway region as well today. Also, in Kalay, 33 out of 66 suspicious patients tested positive and one passed away this morning. So far, there have been 29 deaths due to Covid-19 in Kalay this month.

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