Freedom Memoirs – Day 185

Last night, Kachin State was targeted by the military. Regime’s forces were firing heavy artillery and flying military aircraft over the town from 7pm until late at night. Across several townships in the entire state, sounds of grenades and heavy artillery were reported. This morning, properties of the civilians in Waingmaw Township were destroyed and their livestocks were shot to death. Some news allegedly speculated it was retaliation to KIA’s offensive attack on infantry battalion 58 although Kachin Independence Army (KIA) denied the speculation saying it was merely offensive attacks launched by the junta using heavy artillery. At the same time, six shells were fired on KIA’s headquarters, Laiza.At around 1pm today, junta’s soldiers were killed by detonated landmines set up by KIA near Ho Nawung village, Kutkai township resulting in more than seven deaths, and more than 12 severely injured soldiers. 

Junta’s soldiers were losing battles to forces in Karenni (Kayah) state as well. Soldiers broke into Nanphe village and looted values and destroyed the houses of the villagers in Bawlake township. They soon were defeated in battles against Karenni People Defense Force (KNPDF) yesterday where clashes broke out four times within a day. A KNPDF member told the press that they would survive by defending themselves properly and fight until the fascist regime was out with combined efforts through democratic alliances and all the PDFs in the country. With junta’s soldiers and its lackeys losing more to the people day by day in Sagaing Region saw many ward/village administrators resigned from their positions. The region has become one of the places where the highest numbers of administrators have resigned from their post.

Today, Permanent Representative to the United Nations U Kyaw Moe Htun sent a letter to the UN Secretary General of the mass killings of innocent villagers in Kani township, Sagaing region. The killings were committed three times and mass graves of bodies were found. Massacres occurred on 11 and 12 of July where the soldiers killed 16 men. There were severe signs of torture and they were killed blindfolded with their hands tied. Some were nearly decapitated. Again on 26 July, 13 bodies of Monywa People’s Defense Forces together with civilians were found. The third time on 28 July, 11 men including a 14-year-old were killed, and the house of a farmer was burnt down to ashes. The incident mentally disturbed a local man who then went on to the military base shouting “people died because of you all” which the soldiers responded by shooting him to death. Death by torture in interrogation while in custody continues. A 23-year-old young man named Ko Htet Ko Oo died in custody, tells a family member. SAC told the family to take the dead body. He was arrested on July 20 and accused of possessing homemade weapons, having attended a training given by Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA).

Covid surges continue to hit Myanmar. General Saw Nay Soe Mya, Commander-in Chief of the Karen Peace Council died with Covid today in Maesot, Thai-Myanmar border town where many exiles went to live after 1988 uprising. He is the son of the late General Bo Mya, a well-respected revolutionary leader of Karen National Union (KNU) which operates at the border and near Thai border in Karen State. Many elderlies are seen lining up for Covid vaccines as the mounting death toll scares more and more people to be alarmed. However, Social Welfare groups and medical doctors said most of the Covid victims died due to difficulty in breathing and lack of adequate oxygen which were supposed to be given by health care facilities. Had it not been for the coup staged by the murderer-in-chief in February, health facilities although limited could have managed the situation and vaccination plan that was planned to jab elderlies since February by the civilian government would be rolled out. 

Myanmar people rely on themselves. People-to-people campaign has been gaining momentum across the country. In Yangon, Sunni Jamal Mosque in South-Okkalapa township sold rice for 100 kyats (0.061 USD) to poor households. This act was also seen in Sharyawkha village of Hpakant township where people sold basic food items for 100 kyats. In Natmauk township of Magway region, Burmese from abroad sent basic food items to 100 households. In Patheingyee township of Mandalay region, rice and vegetables were distributed for 40 households. Protests were also carried out with a theme that said “Go Away Mad Guard Dogs” (reference to Caretaker Government) in Hpakant of Kachin State,Monywa and Kalay Sagaing and some townships Mandalay and Sagaing. Dawei, Launglon township says “Never kneel down, never give up, march forward”. In Yangon, protesters dispersed even before their march as they saw plain-clothed police and soldiers waiting for Yangon protesters to carry on with their protest march “Go away guard dogs (aka caretaker government)”.

On International front, Erywan Yusof from Brunei was appointed by ASEAN Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a special envoy to Myanmar. SAC agreed to this appointment although SAC reportedly wanted Thailand’s deputy minister of foreign affairs H.E. Mr. Virasakdi Futrakul. Disappointing bloc, ASEAN changed some of the wordings so as not to upset the State Administrative Council. The SAC agreed to the bloc’s five-point-consensus in April but never implemented it. We will just wait and see the audacity of SAC to ASEAN’s bloc. On the other hand, the Swiss MPs released a statement for their government to recognize the National Unity Government (NUG).

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