Freedom Memoirs – Day 175

Access to oxygen for Covid patients has been a major problem, and the junta is making it more difficult. Khit Thit media reported this morning that the regime had now controlled majority of oxygen plants including private oxygen factories, and formed Township Oxygen Distribution Groups. The oxygen distribution groups are tasked to manage oxygen distributions in each township, and Covid patients/caregivers are now required to submit authorisation letters from ward administrators to the distribution groups. Even in normal situation, it is extremely difficult to get oxygen tanks refilled because of the high demand, and occasional attacks by the junta’s forces. Installing new oxygen distribution group is no other than regime’s yet another cunning move to establish its local administration which has so far been met with public’s boycott since February. 

To resolve the Covid crisis, National Unity Government (NUG) announced that it had acquired six millions Covid vaccines and would start vaccination program soon. NUG’s Minister of Health Dr Zaw Wai Soe said in this evening’s press conference that two different vaccination plans had been prepared: one to be carried out in ethnic areas  by ethnic armed groups while the other to be administered by third party organisations such as UN, WHO, etc. Although we don’t know how the plan will turn out, the NUG has confidently predicted that about 20% of Myanmar’s population will be vaccinated by the end of 2021. 

Following up on the Insein Prison strike, the regime has not made any public announcement. However, the prison department announced in today’s state-owned papers that more than 4000 prisoners, excluding political prisoners arrested after the coup, were released from different prisons across the country this week. Yangon’s Insein Prison, which was locked down due to Covid outbreak, released more than 1600 prisoners. Myanmar Now media reported that neither Covid test nor body temperature check were carried out upon the release, quoting a released prisoner. This is another proof that the regime is letting Covid-19 spread among the people, instead of containing it. 

Although the deadly virus is raging, it doesn’t seem to stop the atrocities committed by the regime’s forces. This afternoon in Pyay, Bago Region, the regime’s soldiers shot at two men on motorbikes without making any inquiry. It turned out that the two men were finding oxygen for the sick, one was reportedly injured and admitted at hospital. Due to heavy artillery attacks by the junta’s forces on July 23 and 24, many villages were destroyed in Kani Township, Sagaing Region, a pregnant woman and two men were also injured. In Thaton township, Mon State, a motorcycle-taxi driver named Ko Aung Paing was shot dead by the junta’s soldiers on the evening last night, and his body was taken. In addition, seven motorcycles owned by the villagers were seized by the regime’s soldiers. In Falam township, Chin State, about 800 villagers from four villages are being displaced due to the looting and raiding by the regime’s forces. The raids are carried out in retaliation for the clash broke out between the junta’s soldiers and Chin Nationalities  Defense Force (CNDF) on July 20.

On the front of armed resistance, Tamu Security Group (TSG) announced that a clash broke out between the regime’s forces and TSG yesterday evening. The clash in Tamu township, India-Myanmar border area, killed nine soldiers from the regime’s side. In Thandaunggyi township, Karen State, gunfires were exchanged between the regime’s forces and Karen National Union (KNU)’s Brigade 2. The casualties are yet to be reported.

As usual, the people of Myanmar continued to show defiance against the military regime despite the Covid-19. From Kachin State on the northern part to Taninthayi in southern part, several forms of protests such as marching strikes, motorbike rallies, guerrilla protests and people-less protests were observed today.

As if we haven’t had enough troubles, heavy monsoon downpours caused floods in Mawlamyine, Mudon and Ye townships of Mon State as reported by Than Lwin Times news. In previous days, floods were also reported in Kyar In Seikgyi township in Kayin State, and Launglon township in Taninthayi Region. Southern part of Myanmar is prone to massive floods in mid to late monsoon. Every year, locals have to prepare temporary shelters because heavy floods destroy many homes and livelihoods. Myanmar is threatened by several effects of global climate change, and climate actions is needed to be taken by collective effort of the state, policymakers and the public. When we are supposed to be tackling more important problems like this, the power hungry, extremely corrupted military general has set our nation several years back. That’s why we need to win this revolution. 

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