Freedom Memoirs – Day 146

Today, Myanmar protesters took to the streets in the same fierceness and spirit of a young student named Salai Tin Maung Oo who was hanged on this day for leading a protest against the military rule some 45 years ago. Protesters from townships across the country including Yangon, Mandalay, Sagaing, Tannintharyi, Shan and Kachin shouted Salai Tin Maung Oo’s last words before he was hanged; “We will never kneel down before the military’s boots. You may kill our bodies, but you will never kill our faith.” In the late afternoon, with the news of Deputy Murderer-in-Chief Soe Win in town, Yangon youth activists emerged in the downtown holding burning torches, and banners that say the words of the late student leader Salai Tin Maung Oo. Despite killing and abducting, young students again showed the same spirit that united students against the dictatorship decades ago. Two protesters in Yangon were arrested this morning after a flash mob in East Dagon Township.

As Mizzima reported last night that political prisoners were to be released today, some family members of those detained were seen waiting in front of the prison this morning for their loved ones, but no political prisoners were released. Many continued to be arrested. 

Journalist from Zeyar Time, Ko Di Myat, was arrested which adds to the numbers of around 50 journalists detained. Mizzima reported that the junta’s forces are searching for the father of two police brothers who had joined CDM in early February, and the father has been under warrant with sedition law and now has to go into hiding. Five youths from Yangon’s North Okkalapa were arrested last night. One CDM teacher from Bago, a father and a son from Moenyin, Kachin State, and one from Taungdwingyi, Magway region, were all arrested last night. A civilian from Monywa, Sagaing was shot dead at 9pm last night, and one stepped on a landmine planted by the military in Moebye township, Karenni (Kayah) state. As it has become common for the junta’s soldiers to shoot randomly at people going out at night, the death tolls of those murdered at night has increased.

Myanmar Now today also reports that a man died in custody from Lelzin village of Monywa township, Sagaing, was believed to be killed for having a tattoo of detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her father, General Aung San. Zeyar Lin, 33, was among six arrested in the raid on Lelzin village in Monywa township on suspicion of starting a fire at a local school. Others’  whereabouts and condition are unknown. On the other hand, murders of military informants have increased by unidentified groups of men. Kyaw Kyaw Min was shot five times outside his Chanmyathazi Township home after being accused of being a military informant, but he was saved. 

A 54-year-old U Nyo Aye, known as a military informant, was stabbed in the stomach, and died of heavy bleeding in Mandalay’s Pyigyi Takhon township.They are all known as Dalans (military informants), who are responsible for arrests and killings of anti-coup protesters.

The junta’s soldiers raided the office of National League for Democracy in Pale township, Sagaing region, and destroyed everything. In Myaungmya township of Ayeyarwady region, the office of Karuna Youth Organization (civil society organization) was raided by the junta’s forces and medical and emergency supplies donated by the people were taken. Not only the junta’s foot soldiers have shown thuggish behaviors looting people’s properties, the State Administrative Council (SAC) has also been forcing people to pay the taxes from the electricity bills to the municipality fees since the end of April. There have been threats that people who do not pay the electricity bills will have their electricity supplies cut off. The state-sponsored press council has been busy demanding people pay the bills. They have issued four-month worth of bills to the people to pay, Mizzima reported.

Myanmar’s Covid Third Wave is becoming more and more alarming. Covid cases are recorded high in Sagaing region, Chin State and Yangon. Today, a bus driver from Yangon Express Bus Service was found dead in his driver seat, and later tested Covid positive. A 64-year-old elderly also died today in Ngayok Kaung village of Ayeyarwaddy with Covid-19. Junta has been pressuring doctors of private hospitals to give treatments at the public hospitals in Bago region as public hospitals are short of medical workers as they continued to be targeted for anti-military acts. Around 1000 cases reported in Bago alone in the third wave, and six people had died. Letpadan and Pyu townships have been issued a “stay-at-home” order.

Yesterday evening (June 25), the National Unity Government (NUG) held a press conference. Myanmar Now reported that the Minister for International Cooperation, Dr.Sasa, said that NUG received more than 400,000 emails that are evident of the regime’s crimes against humanities and state-sponsored atrocities. The strongest cases will be selected to present to the International Criminal Court (ICC) with the support of professional international legal teams to prosecute the military regime. Deputy Minister of Defense U Lwin Ko Latt also says that People Defense Forces (PDF) will never launch offensive attacks to trigger wars across the country, but as they aim to protect the people, their strategy is only to play defensive. NUG also aims to sign Rome Status by ICC but the NUG needs to be recognized as a government by the United Nations General Assembly first. A new constitution is also to be drafted which is expected to be more inclusive, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister U Moe Zaw Oo said to the press.

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