Freedom Memoirs – Day 183

Today, Frontier Myanmar media reported that mobile surveillance system had been operating on MPT and MyTel mobile users. The former is a joint venture between state-owned Myanmar Post and Telecommunications and a Japanese company, and the latter is owned by companies from Myanmar military and Vietnam military. According to Frontier Myanmar, the artificial intelligence (AI) system tracks the keywords “Protest” and “Revolution” and records phone conversations which contain the keywords. Then it notifies the Cybersecurity police force which was formed in late 2020 as instructed by then Ministry of Transport and Telecommunications. This didn’t come as a surprise because we knew that the regime even tried to pass a draconian cybersecurity bill back in February, but it was indeed a very alarming report as well as a reality check for us. The regime is doing everything in its power to halt our revolution while violating the citizen’s basic personal security. 

More upsetting news came from Mandalay this morning. About ten young protesters and PDF fighters were arrested last night according to Than Lwin Khet media. The regime’s forces used excessive troops including plain-clothed soldiers for several arrests in four neighbourhoods of Mandalay City. Locals assumed that the arrests last night were derived from the Mya Taung strikers’ arrest in the previous days. It was also reported that two men from Pyin Oo Lwin township were arrested on July 31, and the regime was using the two guys’ contacts to trace more resistant fighters in Mandalay Region. 

In Myaing township, Magway Region, local PDFs on mission were trapped by the junta’s forces and a shootout took place. Due to the imbalance forces, the PDF leader, who confronted junta’s soldiers, was shot dead, and three other PDF members escaped from the scene. The fallen hero was identified as Ko Pho Htay, who was also a member of NLD in Myaing township. According to his fellow fighters, he led Myaing PDF and successfully participated in four clashes in Kani Township. He was well respected and loved by young PDF fighters. After losing a great leader Ko Pho Htay, Myaing PDF members vowed to continue the fight against military regime.

More on the fighting news, Karen National Union (KNU) announced today that the regime’s forces and Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) had clashed for 133 times in July. The fightings took place in KNU’s Brigade 5 controlled area, killing 65 and injuring 101 junta soldiers according to KNU’s announcement. In addition to the clashes, the regime’s forces and their lackeys Border Guard Forces (BGF) launched artillery shelling into villages for 25 times, detonated land mines which killed four civilians, and destroyed five houses with arson attacks. KNLA Brigade 5’s spokesperson Saw Kleh Doh confirmed that three KNLA soldiers were injured from the clashes, and two BGF members surrendered to KNLA.

An interesting news came from Rakhine State today. United League of Arakan (ULA), political organization Arakan Army (AA), announced that it would administer judicial affairs within Rakhine State. AA’s Deputy Commander-in-Chief General Nyo Twan Aung wrote on his social media on August 1 that both criminal and civil cases shall be filed to ULA’s justice department. AA has called for self-determination since its formation, and after the February coup, we have seen that AA tries to establish its administration in Rakhine State. With this new announcement, the armed group is taking step by step towards the self-autonomy.

Following up on the prison release news from yesterday, some healthcare workers and civil servants who had been arrested for joining the Civil Disobedience Movement were released from Insein Prison and Pathein Prison today. As much as we are happy for their release, we must remember that they should have never been arrested in the first place. We must continue to fight for several thousands who still remain behind bars. 

Be it a chairman of the military council or a prime minister of Caretaker government, Min Aung Hlaing is the coup leader and murderer-in-chief to us despite all the titles he tried to give himself. Across the country, protesters took to the streets and rejected the so-called “Caretaker government”. From marching strikes and motorbike rallies to people-less protests and online campaigns, majority of the banners read, “Let’s remove the caretaker war dogs”. Considering all the atrocities that Min Aung Hlaing and gang committed, we have passed the point of no return. That’s why our entire country keeps on resisting with peaceful protests, civil disobedience movements and armed resistance. 

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