Freedom Memoirs – Day 176

People of Myanmar are being hit from left to right and front to back this year. At least the global pandemic and the natural disasters threatening our country, we can somewhat make peace with the fact that it is a natural phenomenon and just a part of natural earth process and life cycles. But it is tragic that Myanmar people have to endure the devastating effects of these natural phenomena tenfold worse because a group of disgustingly power hungry and selfish military generals refused to retire and live a normal life like any other citizens. 

Yesterday we reported how monsoon rain had been rampaging across several regions of Myanmar, causing floods in many townships of Mon State and Karen State. Today local relief teams told RFA Burmese that about 3,000 people from southern part of Myanmar in Karen State, Mon State and Tanintharyi Region are being affected from the floods and many Covid-19 patients from those regions are barely fighting for their lives. It is unthinkable how the residents are dealing with the trifecta of Covid-19, floods and the repercussions of the coup. Mizzima News also reported floods in northern Shan State in places such as Mongyang and Mongpying townships. Mon State and Shan State were two of the places that were hit hard since the beginning of the third wave of Covid, and now the consequences of major floods. it’s disheartening to say this, but we could only pray for our brothers and sisters since those selfish people in power will absolutely not do anything to save our people from these tragedies. 

Instead of trying to earn the trust of the people or building a relationship to successfully fight against the global pandemic or the natural disasters, Min Aung Hlaing-led military regime is still busy arbitrarily arresting youth and student leaders, or exerting their authority down people’s throats. Both Myanmar Now and DVB News reported that over 10 activists, including five student union leaders from Bago Region were abducted between July 21 and 25. Also in Rakhine State, local political groups and civil society organizations are condemning the “donation” from the military regime towards a private oxygen factory in Mrauk-U in an attempt to control it. Basically, what happened was that a private oxygen factory was built with funds organized by Mrauk-U Sayadaw and local residents, and the military regime said they would like to donate K10 million, but the oxygen plant must only distribute to the public hospitals. Military regime and their blackmailing ways… Do they only know this tactic in their lives?

In somewhat good news amid grim news surrounding us, RFA Burmese reported that at least 20 security forces from the town of Magyi Ein Kin Nu of Mindat Township, Chin State have surrendered their weapons and joined forces with the Chinland Defence Force on July 24. Along with 10 soldiers and 10 police, Captain Than Htike from the outpost have decided to join the civil disobedience movement and they have let go of other five security forces who didn’t want to join the movement. Apparently, the corrupted military council has not provided food rations to Magyi Ein Kin outpost for two months. We hope more and more will see the light and decide to stand on the right side of history. In another part of Myanmar in Kachin State, the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) attacked a group of military ships on Ayeyarwady River in Shwegu town. Reports said that these ships were carrying tanks, weapons and rations to reinforce the Brigade 88 that has been launching offensive attacks against the KIA in Bhamo Township. 

Despite Covid, floods, abductions, raids, and the violent clashes, nationwide protests across Myanmar continued on day after day. It’s been 176 days since the coup and we are reaching almost six months of being under one of the worst military dictatorships, but defiant people of Myanmar still continued to show up in the streets, on social media platforms and in their own neighborhoods proudly displaying messaging condemning the leadership of Min Aung Hlaing and his atrocious military council. Today, we observed protests in Mandalay Region, the land of brave people; Sagaing Region, the land of fearless fighters; and in Tanintharyi Region, the land of conquerors who are currently facing the trifecta of major floods, Covid third wave and the coup. 

On the political front, the National Unity Government’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs U Moe Zaw said during the press conference on July 25 that the military regime should think about stepping down if they are incapable of gaining the trust of the general public and in turns, failing to control the spread of Covid-19 in Myanmar. Back in December 2020, the World Bank forecast that Myanmar economy would start to recover from the effects of global pandemic by March of this year, but with Min Aung Hlaing selfishly staging a tantrum in February, the World Bank said today that Myanmar will see a loss of one million employment and the economy will deteriorate by 18%, resulting in more than double of the population to be living poverty. Min Aung Hlaing is literally throwing all of our futures and lives down the drain. But we believe in karma and what goes around comes around, so we will all be waiting for your demise and the fall of your so-called “reign”.

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