Freedom Memoirs – Day 161

Last night, we learned that a state-owned oxygen factory in Theinpyu shipyard was ordered by the regime to stop refilling oxygen tanks for private users and provide oxygen to public hospital and Covid treatment centers only. The directive was later extended to private-owned oxygen factories as well. Today, Khit Thit media reported that similar instructions came to oxygen plants in industrial zones in Yangon too. The directive, delivered by junta-appointed administrators, police and soldiers, ordered to prioritise the oxygen needs from the regime or power-cut will be imposed to stop the operations. A few days ago, people widely share the addresses of oxygen plants/factories in Yangon but now, people are encouraged to share available oxygen sources privately in fear of the junta’s forces.

This morning, we saw an unverified directive from the regime to ban the import of Covid treatment/prevention medical equipment/items such as masks, PPE, oxygen tanks and concentrators via Thai-Myanmar border trade zone. Already struggling with shortage of oxygen supplies, such news only stirred up worry among the public, causing panic-buying and price-increase of these medical equipment. Whether the directive is genuine or not, the coup leader Min Aung Hlaing has explicitly said that there is nothing he dare not do, so we cannot rule out that he can be using Covid as a weapon against the people. The unmanageable Covid crisis and ridiculous directives only prove that the military council is neither competent to rule the country nor has the best interest of the people. 

The increasing public resentment towards the regime only strengthens more support to armed resistance, and we find comfort in the news of regime’s soldiers passing. Today in Sagaing Region, people defense forces from Myaing township and Pale township joined forces and attacked the military reinforcement trucks on Pale-Khin Aye highway road, killing 20 soldiers from the junta’s side. And in a separate clash between Pale PDF and the junta’s soldiers around 10am, one regime soldier was killed and five were injured. In Mandalay Region, Kyaukse People’s Defense Force announced today on Facebook that it burned down a small building on highway road where the regime’s forces stationed, and also launched a bomb attack in front of Kyaukse Police Station yesterday. To announcements like these, netizens overwhelmingly cheered for the resistance fighters, and prayed for their safety in comment sections. 

Spokesperson of Chin ethnic armed group Chin National Front (CNF) Salai Htet Ni said that more than 4000 youths have completed military training under CNF. Abled young people from Magway, Sagaing regions and Chin State travelled to Chin-India border areas and attended basic military training and guerrilla warfare tactics according to Myanmar Now media’s report. The spokesperson said, “ The Generation Z’s vision does not stop at removing the military. They aim to build a new federal democratic nation”.  

Determined to build a new federal republic, Myanmar people continue to protest against the fascist military everyday. The people of Mandalay have always inspired the rest of the country with their strong spirit despite the bloody crackdowns. Today, marching strikes from Mandalay university students, monks from Sangha Union, and medicine family were observed. In Dawei township of Taninthayi Region, Dawei main strike and students’ strike were seen rallying with motorbikes, banging pots and pans. In Yangon, guerrilla protesters were seen burning the military flag as they chanted “Down with the fascist military.” The people of Kalay township in Sagaing Region came out to protest against the regime although the township was hit hard by Covid. More protests were observed in Hpakant and Mogaung townships in Kachin State, Sarlingyi and Yinmabin township in Sagaing Region to name a few.

As the protests regain momentum, the regime’s soldiers resume the search and arbitrary arrests. Launglon township in Taninthayi township has never slowed down its protests. This morning around 2am, the regime’s soldiers entered eight villages in the township, searching protesters inside the homes, stopping and questioning passers. 

The regime’s attack on the free press continued. Ko Aung Mya Than, a reporter from Ayeyarwaddy Times, a news outlet based in Ayeyarwaddy Region, was arrested by the regime and released on June 30 together with several civilians from Pathein prison. However, he was arrested by the junta’s soldiers again last night according to his editor from Ayeyarwaddy Times. It has been only 10 days since his release but now Ko Aung Mya Than is detained at Maubin Police Station and the reason for arrest is unknown.

We have previously reported that the junta forcibly collecting electricity bill, and bomb attacks were launched in electricity supply offices. This morning in Mandalay, two electricity bill collectors were shot by unknown gunmen, and one was reportedly killed. The deceased was identified as U Chit Man, deputy superintendent of Mahar Aung Myay township electricity supply office. This evening in Yangon’s Thanlyin township, a loud explosion took place at the township’s electricity supply office around 5pm. In an exclusive interview with Myanmar Now media, National Unity Government (NUG)’s Minister for Electricity and Energy U Soe Thura Tun encouraged the public to keep on boycotting the electricity bill for the sake of our fallen heroes. 

Mindat, a small town in Chin State which saw severe clashes between the people’s force and the regime’s soldiers in May, is now facing the shortage of food supplies. Mindat IDP Management Committee announced that since food becomes scarce, the committee is unable to distribute food supplies to some displaced people in villages where transportation is difficult. Similarly in Southern Shan State, Minekai township, food supplies are in need for nearly 750 villagers who fled from their homes due to the clashes between Shan State Progressive Party (SSPP/SSA) and Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS/SSA). We are starting to witness the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)’s prediction of food insecurity, and unfortunately, this is only the beginning.

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