Freedom Memoirs – Day 180

Junta’s forces raided the Mya Taung Monastery of Mandalay yesterday evening with excessive force and abducted two monks and two Kappiyas (stewards of Buddhist monks), accusing them of having participated in protests. An elderly monk who was suffering from COVID-19 had a sudden drop of oxygen level and passed away during the incident. Mya Taung neighborhood has been remarkable during this revolution as daily protests have been staged every day since the early February. And despite of what happened yesterday, the monk strike was observed this afternoon as usual in the city.

Early this morning around 3 am, Kachin Independence Army (KIA) advanced into the territory of junta’s forces and attacked an inspection gate between Mogaung and Karmine towns in Kachin State. The gate was destroyed yet the casualties were still unknown. Moments later, the same KIA Brigade 2 shelled artillery towards junta’s outposts in the town of Mogaung. Residents of Myitkyina and Waingmaw also reported that they had heard of at least 90 explosives around 11 pm last night. In the same Kachin State, junta’s military convoy was attacked with detonated mines in Mohnyin Township this morning around 11 am. The explosion killed eight of junta’s troops and injured at least 11 while a truck was also destroyed.   

Pale People’s Defence Force (PPDF) of Sagaing Region released a warning that all the ward administrators in Pale Township must resign from their position by August 1 or face consequences. PPDF also said their targets would be junta-appointed lackeys only and they would not harm the family members. Considering all the family members of political activists who have been abducted by military council just because they could not find the persons they wanted, this proposal by PPDF is more than reasonable.

Ye PDF of Mon State announced today that they would begin guerrilla attacks on regime’s forces shortly. They also added that they had branched out forces in the town and warned the civilians to stay away from regime’s soldiers so they would not be harmed. Meanwhile, a dalan (informer) from Mandalay named Win Zaw was attacked by four unidentified men with knives and died on the spot in Myo Haung Market this afternoon around 3:30 pm. The man was known as a major informer who had caused arrests of several protesters in the neighborhood.  

National Unity Government (NUG) announced that it had distributed funds around 715 million Myanmar Kyats towards conflict areas such as Mindat, Karenni, Phekon etc within 100 days. It has also held as many as 26 discussions with ethnic organizations, civic society organizations, non-government organizations and Myanmar groups in overseas in order to provide more aid towards such areas. In addition to that, NUG said it had also provided about 70 million for Civil Disobedience Movement as well as Covid-infected families. However, there have been criticism on the social media that NUG had done very little in terms of funding PDF on the ground, which are the frontrunners of this revolution.

Recently, more evidences circulated online that PDF members had been living and eating in somewhat poor conditions with significantly less powerful weapons compared with junta’s forces and if we are not able to change that anytime soon, it is going to lower our chances of winning this fight. It means there were some justifications in encouraging NUG that they focus more on equipping the freedom fighters, instead of attempting to clean the ashes afterwards.

The latest news of today came in this evening that a protest in Tamwe staged by General Strike Committee (GSC) was violently cracked down by plain-clothed soldiers and at least four young protesters were abducted. Junta’s lackeys also opened fires on protesters and no casualties have been reported so far. Recently, protests had been planned very discreetly due to the increased violence yet regime’s soldiers somehow received the inside information and showed no mercy in punishing civilians. Dalans are being dealt with from time to time but this incident proves that there is more work to be done. As much as we can’t lose more PDF members to flu in the forest or gunshots on frontline, we can’t also afford to risk more protesters being abducted just like that.

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