Freedom Memoirs – Day 186

Reuters reported yesterday that security had stepped up towards personal protection of U Kyaw Moe Tun in US, Myanmar Envoy to the United Nations, after reported attempt on his life. Since the coup, U Kyaw Moe Tun has chosen to represent the ousted democratically elected government and the junta has branded him national traitor. He has been constantly reporting the atrocities committed by the junta and his troops to the global level and we reported yesterday about him recently sending letter alerting a massacre of 40 villagers during July in Kani Township, Sagaing Region, to the UN Secretary General. Although the details were not released, U Kyaw Moe Tun said, “Reportedly there is some threat. The police are working on it”. The military regime has consistently disputed his position and attempted to replace with Aung Thurein, who left the military this year after serving 26 years. A diplomatic battle is expected when the UN Credentials Committee convenes next month.

Yesterday, 28-military affiliated parties, including the military proxy party USDP, issued a statement welcoming the timeline set by military leader Min Aung Hlaing, i.e. 2 years from now to hold a new election. The statement basically declared their love to military and everything they are doing, including military structuring civilian administration structures, its continued oppression, and inward look economic policies which are warned by international experts as potentially detrimental to the country’s economy. All, except USDP, failed to win a single seat at 2020 Myanmar General Election and majority of former USDP seats were voted for NLD as well. Before the elections, these 28 parties participated in a meeting with army chief Min Aung Hlaing and urged the military to intervene, should the election results were “not fair”. The general populace of Myanmar has no trust nor desire in Min Aung Hlaing’s words of scrapping 2020 election results and holding a new one.

Today morning, U Kyaw Aung, Secretary of Hantharwaddy U Win Tin Foundation, an NLD-affiliated charity named after its late founding member and venerated journalist U Win Tin, was arrested during COVID vaccination site run by junta control health department. Family members expressed concerns for the wellbeing of U Kyaw Aung due to his health conditions.

While the junta is continuing its arrests, his administration yesterday announced that those who are avoiding arrest will be granted clemency should they turn themselves in. The announcement received with strong skepticism from both those avoiding arrest and the general populace alike.

Medical and humanitarian practitioners/volunteers across the country are over-burdened with rising COVID cases and some have claimed the military regime of providing no support at all. In an interview with DVB, a volunteer group from Kayin State mentioned as such, and additionally citing the protective equipment and logistics support they can give to volunteers are scarce and subsequently, the volunteers have become more reluctant to help. Also, Myanmar Now reports that of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) camps in the Kachin State, those which are under the military council controlled-territory are lacking of supports for COVID prevention and treatment. Junta’s apathy to fight COVID is not just restricted to these two areas alone and can be observed across the country. Activists have accused junta of weaponizing COVID to fight freedom. 

On the warfront, the regime’s forces launched artillery shelling at residential area in Loikaw towns of Kayah (Karenni) State. Mizzima News reported today that artillery shells fell onto at least 10 houses, and civilians from two houses were injured yesterday. In Kachin State, Waing Maw township, locals said that junta’s forces had launched indiscriminate shooting and heavy artillery shelling for two nights straight. Due to these attacks and insecurity, civilians from Ma Dein and La Ban villages moved to Waing Maw town. This evening, locals from Waing Maw town witnessed that the regime’s soldiers were patrolling with guns around the small town.

Peaceful protests were observed in several townships in Myanmar although the regime declared stay-at-home order in 110 townships which marked one-third of overall townships in the country. People of Myanmar continue to show defiance against the military regime because it is more deadly than Coronavirus. 

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